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Eastmark in Mesa No. 8 in nation for home sales

In a report released by real estate advisory group RCLCO this week, Eastmark was ranked No. 8 among the Top 20 top-selling master-planned communities in the nation during the first half of 2015.

Eastmark opened in Mesa, Ariz. just over two years ago (June 2013) and the 2015 season has seen strong interest from buyers wishing to live in this thriving community. Today, over 1,200 residents call Eastmark home and the community is growing fast, with continuous new phases opening and planned.  An active adult neighborhood from AV Homes debuted in March, and the first gated neighborhood from Meritage Homes is coming to the community in the fall.

Vistancia in Peoria, Ariz. was the only other Arizona community to make RCLCO’s top 20 list.

Dea McDonald, Senior Vice President and Eastmark General Manager said “the continued population growth and the demands for residential housing in the Southeast Valley make Eastmark a primary beneficiary of future growth.  We are focused on the creation of a world-class community that will contribute to the economic vitality of the Southeast Valley.  At Eastmark we have created a framework that allows the community to grow organically over time based on the demands for employment, housing and various other uses.  Eastmark is already home to two A-rated charter schools including BASIS Mesa and Sequoia Pathfinder Academy. The Queen Creek School District will be opening their newest campus next to Eastmark in August this year. The mix of amenities from the growing Eastmark Great Park to the Orange Monster, 25+ neighborhood parks and an active community life are drawing more buyers into our community and creating an active destination for buyers looking for something authentic and engaging.”

Phase two of the community has already opened with builders William Ryan, Ryland, Woodside and Taylor Morrison now actively selling, adding to the wide variety of floorplans and products available. Also a phase two addition, Eastmark will be open its first community pool to residents in 2016.

Christopher Cady joins AV Homes

AV Homes, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVHI) has announced the appointment of Christopher Cady as the president of its Arizona division. Cady will oversee all homebuilding operations for the Arizona Division.

christopher_cadyCady brings to the position 26 years of home building experience and has been involved in every facet of the business. He began his career as a project manager for Home Capital Corp, and then spent 15 years as a division president for Pulte in northern California and Nevada before moving into his most recent position as division president of central California at KB Home. During his time in the new home industry, Cady has worked in both traditional and active adult markets, making him a perfect match for the AV Homes Arizona division.

A graduate of San Diego State University with a B.S. in business administration, Cady has also been an active participant in his community, serving on a variety of industry association, university, and philanthropic boards. His work has been honored by a variety of awards including “Builder of the Year” and “Sacramento People Helping People.”

Carl Mulac, AV Homes Executive Vice President said, “We are delighted to have Chris Cady join us at AV Homes. His vast experience in multiple markets and diverse market segments will be a valuable addition to the Arizona Team.”

Currently, AV Homes has eight communities in Arizona open or slated to open this year including the popular and award-winning 55-Plus community of CantaMia at Estrella as well as the traditional projects of Mountain Trails at Cortessa, Glen River at Canyon Trails, Saronno at Estrella, The Village at Litchfield Park, Glenwood at Verrado, Overton at Verrado and Mill’s Run. Coming in 2015 is the highly anticipated Encore at Eastmark, the only 55-Plus community to be a part of DMB’s master-planned community of Eastmark located on the former General Motors proving grounds near the Mesa-Phoenix Gateway Airport.

Victory Rendering

Seven homebuilders to construct at Verrado

The newest phase of residential development in the Heritage District at Verrado includes seven of Arizona’s most respected homebuilders, adding more than 630 homes to DMB Associates’ Buckeye community, now celebrating its 10th anniversary.

These seven builders, selected for their commitment to quality and design, will offer a mix of residential options. This group of builders includes national, publicly traded, international and local homebuilders. The builder roster includes: AV Homes (NASDAQ: AVHI), Lennar Homes (NYSE: LEN), Maracay Homes (NYSE: WY), Mattamy Homes, Meritage Homes Corporation (NYSE: MTH), Pinnacle West, and William Ryan Homes. These are the first neighborhoods in Verrado to feature models by Lennar, Mattamy, Pinnacle West, William Ryan Homes and AV Homes.

The combined purchase by the homebuilders encompasses approximately 150 acres, totaling sales of just over $45 million. Pinnacle West’s unique green court homes are an exciting addition to the housing options in Verrado.

“Our builders construct homes that offer flexibility, exceed expectations for today’s modern living needs and create a sense of place,” said Dan Kelly, general manager for Verrado. “In addition, the builders are keeping with Verrado’s hometown spirit by creating front porches and diverse, authentic architecture, ideal for Arizona living.”

Home prices start in the mid-200,000s for the new collection of Heritage District homes:

  • AV Homes – 170 lots, 10 home plans ranging from 1,959 to 4,072 square feet
  • Lennar Homes – 22 lots, 5 home plans, ranging from 1,875-2,515 square feet
  • Maracay Homes – 92 lots, 13 new home plans, ranging from 2,063-4,152 square feet
  • Mattamy Homes – 144 lots, 6 home plans, ranging from 1,627–2,947 square feet
  • Meritage Homes – 123 lots, 11 home plans, ranging from 2,200-4,700 square feet
  • Pinnacle West – 82 green court lots, with 4 plans ranging from 1,875-2,515 square feet
  • William Ryan Homes – 82 lots, 4 home plans, ranging from 1,933-2,806 square feet

In total, the Heritage District now includes 2,175 home sites. The District currently offers residents 16 neighborhood parks, and a fire station.

Verrado is launching new amenities concurrent with the construction of this final phase of the Heritage District, which include the opening of 16 additional new parks (total of 32 parks), the resort-styled Heritage Swim Park, a temporary dog park and the Verrado Coffee Company. Verrado also is partnering with the Litchfield Elementary School District to open a new K-8 elementary school that will accommodate up to 950 students.

The deals were brokered by Nate Nathan, Dave Mullard and Casey Christensen of Nathan & Associates Inc. in Scottsdale.

The Colony, Cush Wake

Estrella Makes List Of Top Master-Planned Communities

The Goodyear master-planned community of Estrella has been ranked 35th by the national independent research firm John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC) on its annual list of Top 50 Master-Planned Communities of 2013. The rankings are based on new home sales and Estrella is one of only four Arizona communities to make the top 50. Estrella was also recently named Best Master-Plan Community for Children in Arizona Foothills Magazine’s Best of the Valley Rankings.

Estrella’s developer, Newland Communities, made a strong showing with five of its communities placing on the nation’s top 50 list – the most of any individual developer. The San Diego-based company’s top ranked communities are located in four different metro areas, making them the most geographically diversified developer in the country.

“We are pleased with the velocity of sales from the past year, and with new builders and product coming online, we expect continued growth for Estrella in 2014,” said Bill Olson, Senior Vice President and Division Manager for Newland Real Estate Group. “The recent accolades are truly a testament of Estrella’s unique amenities, such as its lakes and yacht club, and the tight-knit feel and true sense of community of a small-town. It’s not surprising so many people want to call Estrella home.”

Located only 17 miles west of downtown Phoenix, Estrella is home to more than 12,000 residents ranging from young couples to retirees. The community hosts regular arts and culture events, provides residents with top-notch amenities and its design includes plenty of parks and trails to support a healthy, outdoor lifestyle.

Currently there are three active builders in Estrella: AV Homes, T.W. Lewis by David Weekly Homes and William Ryan Homes. T.W. Lewis by David Weekly Homes has begun preselling in its newest neighborhood and CantaMia, the 55+ Community has nine new models under construction. With several other well-known builders in escrow, Newland is working to increase inventory to meet rising demand. To learn more, visit www.estrella.com.

AV Homes, Inc.

Avatar Holdings Inc. Becomes AV Homes, Inc.

Strategic planning initiative defines new brands, business plans, products

With nearly 80 years of history behind it, builder and developer Avatar Holdings Inc. is changing its name.  The new company name is AV Homes, Inc. and its shares will begin trading on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol AVHI effective as of the market open on Feb. 16, 2012.  AV Homes has main offices in Poinciana, Florida and Scottsdale.  The Arizona communities include CantaMia, Serena at Palm Valley, The Preserve at Palm Valley in Goodyear, and Arboleda Ranch in Phoenix.

The new name was chosen to communicate an unmistakable business identity to its customers, while maintaining a linkage to the company’s long and successful history.  The new name, however, is just one part of a larger strategic planning initiative that was undertaken to position the company to participate in the much anticipated rebound in the homebuilding sector.

AV Homes has deep and diversified roots in American business.  Founded in 1933, it endured the Great Depression and has operated in business sectors such as finance, insurance, utilities and manufacturing.   More recently, the company established itself as a builder of active adult communities for people 55 and older, and by serving the housing needs of move-up buyers.

Chief Executive Officer Allen J. Anderson, who stepped into the role in June 2011, said the strategic planning initiative, conducted with assistance from real estate advisory firm RCLCO, has served to redefine the company’s business plans.  “As a company we have a strong understanding of the active adult market and how the last five years have affected the retirement plans of Baby Boomers,” he said.  “In addition, Boomers have never been more focused on the elements that contribute to a healthy and vital lifestyle.  These are both factors that will help us define the homes and lifestyles we provide to this massive demographic segment of our population,” he added.

Anderson said AV Homes will soon bring new active adult brands to the market, but did not elaborate about the specific elements of those brands.  Late last year the company announced that it is reviewing its thousands of acres of land holdings in Central Florida with the objective of selling some of those holdings and deploying the capital from those sales to diversify the geographic footprint of the company.

Recently, the company rebranded its primary residential development operations under the Joseph Carl Homes™ name.  That brand has ongoing operations in the Orlando and Phoenix areas.  Joseph Carl Homes was founded by AV Homes Executive Vice President Carl Mulac.  Mulac and his business associates sold the company to AV Homes in October of 2010.  That sale also included CantaMia, a 55+ active adult community near Phoenix.

Anderson said the overall rebranding activity was an important part of the strategic plan, but added that the company was also implementing a new operational model to address the economic realities of the industry.  “Builders today cannot compete successfully using the operating models of the past,” he said.  “We closed our corporate offices in Coral Gables, Florida and placed our teams and executive officers on the ground closer to our assets.  We’ve right-sized our employee base to align with ongoing operations, and have initiated third-party agreements with experienced service providers who can better manage our lifestyle operations and enhance our customers’ satisfaction,” he said.

Finally, as part of AV Homes’ strategic planning initiative, the company has reduced the size of its Board of Directors from nine members to six.  Directors Milton Dresner, Beth Stewart and Ken Rosen resigned from their positions effective Feb. 13, 2012.

Avatar Chairman Joshua Nash said he was extremely appreciative of the considerable contributions these directors made on behalf of the company over so many years of dedicated service.  “They served Avatar with dedication and high distinction for many years and together, they have contributed to our success and helped build a strong foundation for our future growth.  We thank them for their unwavering commitment and wish each of them continued success in their future endeavors,” Mr. Nash said.

Go to AVHomes.com for more information.