A columnist for the East Valley Tribune once described the oldest battle in Phoenix–East Valley versus West Valley as a “time-honored Valley conflict, one that stirs 4 million residents’ deepest emotions.” And he would be right in saying that because many locals have their preferences over the established suburbs in Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, and Gilbert in the east to the newer communities in El Mirage, Glendale, Surprise, and Tolleson in the west. But many of the suburbs in the West Valley are gaining more popularity as the area gets more new residential communities, hence attracting more businesses and homebuyers.
And while the west has started to bridge the gap economically with the east, builders are more confident in expanding larger areas into residential neighborhoods. Goodyear and Avondale are two of the West Valley suburbs set to gain new massive residential projects built on former family-owned farms, per AZ Central.
The first development will be north of the Estrella Mountains in Avondale, where 1,124 acres of alfalfa fields will be transformed into a new master-planned community called Alamar that will host nearly 3,700 homes. Developer Brookfield Residential Properties has already invested about $100 million for approximately 6,000 acres in metro Phoenix since expanding here in 2013, and has big plans for the Avondale development.
Developers plan to break ground in Alamar in December with the project’s first phase to offer single-family home designs ranging from 1,400 square feet to 4,500 square feet, and priced from the low $200s to high $300s, according to Phoenix Business Journal. A major amenity of the development will be the 30-acre community park, which will be owned and maintained by the city. In addition, the community will also have more than nine miles of trails connecting the community’s parks and surrounding area. The first homes and four small neighborhood parks are expected to be completed by spring 2020.
In nearby Goodyear, 218 acres of farmland will be transformed into the residential community called Abel Ranch, which is the namesake of the Abel family who once farmed the land. The development will feature 451 homes and will be designed with “sustainability and nature at its forefront,” per AZ Central. Homebuyers will have optional features to make their homes more eco-friendly such as solar water heating and rooftop panels, which will help collect solar heat in the winter and reflect it in the summer. Abel Ranch will also incorporate dark sky standards throughout in order to minimize glare and light pollution, as well as implement desert landscaping to conserve water use. The new development will also be divided into four phases, with the first phase offering 136 homes and the main park area.
Abel Ranch will also include a community park with an urban farming feature, which will “embrace and complement the city of Goodyear’s agricultural heritage,” according to Anderson Baron, the planning and landscape architecture firm involved in the project. Some of the other amenities in Abel Ranch will be a ramada, outdoor barbecue area, a forest play experience, basketball courts, play equipment, and trails.
As Phoenix expands, it’s likely the west and its suburbs will gain some popularity like the communities in the east. And while multiple city officials are steadfast in finding new ways to attract residents to remain in the West Valley the ultimate outcome will be to reap the benefits of retaining businesses in the area, a major cultivator of economic growth.