A cross-discipline of female leaders provided strong voices for Mesa’s newest master-planned community.

After more than six years, Cadence at Gateway in Mesa is taking shape and creating buzz as the latest epitome of what a modern, fully-amenitized master-planned community should be.

Cadence is a 464-acre master-planned community entitled to build up to 3,500 residences and will include a charter school, retail and office space plus other commercial areas. Arizona-based real estate investment and development company, Harvard Investments, anticipates building approximately 1,800 single-family homes and approximately 400 attached homes – such as apartments or condominiums – by completion.

To help ensure the project’s success and viability, Harvard Investments, gathered extensive insights and assembled a team that both understands and reflects who will be an essential decision maker – women.

“This should come as no surprise to anyone,” says Craig Krumwiede, president of Harvard Investments. “Women tend to lead the way in this area. But what we’ve done to respond to this is new and refreshing.”

Anticipating that many of Cadence’s future residents will come directly from the East Valley, extensive research has also indicated women will lead the way in weighing the merits of a community, evaluating floor plans, touring models, selecting elevations and finishes and ultimately spearheading the decision-making.

“So we’ve made it a priority to see that all aspects of Cadence, from the larger details such as the diversity of amenities, to the smaller details in how we best communicate and respond to their needs,” adds Krumwiede.

(From left to right) Heather Austin, Claudia Sieb, Christine Zielonka, Katherine Astrom, Susan Demmitt

Some of the project’s influencers included:
Katherine Astrom, chief financial officer of Harvard Investments
Heather Austin, director of The Ferraro Group Phoenix
Susan Demmitt, attorney at Gammage & Burnham
Claudia Sieb, principal of The Sieb Organization
Christine Zielonka, director of development services for the City of Mesa

Each of these leaders bring a unique set of skills that have positively impacted the project’s development.

As the CFO of Harvard Investments, Astrom has been involved in the development of Cadence at Gateway since the beginning, six years ago.

“This is a milestone project for Harvard Investments and the significant time and money invested before breaking ground indicates the commitment Harvard has for the East Valley and local families.” she explains. “From extensive research and ongoing collaboration with the City of Mesa, to the world-class talent assembled, we’re working to create a unique and interconnected master-planned community complementing the lifestyles of our buyers that will stand the test of time.”

She describes Cadence at Gateway as an integrated and cohesive place to live and play that will be abundant in parks, trails, amenities, and open spaces, all accessible by foot or bicycle, including a 12-acre community center called The Square.

That’s all good news to the ears of Zielonka with the City of Mesa, who is in charge of analyzing how Mesa residents want to live now and in the future so that her team can create the best infrastructure to prepare for sustainable, positive growth.

“We work to create a foundation that encourages healthy lifestyles, walkable communities, higher quality development, connectivity between neighborhoods, plus the flexibility to change as homeowners’ needs change,” she explains. “Working with Harvard Investments the past five years, we see they share our commitment, and through Cadence at Gateway are creating a more defined sense of space.”

Helping define what that sense of place means is Sieb, who specializes in the research, branding, marketing and communications for master-planned communities both nationally and globally.

CHUTE RESORT POOL: Located within the 12-acre community center, the resort pools feature two chute-style slides, fountains, lap pool, play pool, spa, nearby fire pit and outdoor dining area with TV and resort-style furniture.

She complimented Harvard Investments for its willingness early on to discuss what research indicates was an important direction to take for the project to be successful. That included preferences relating to the importance of community connectivity, health, wellness and fitness, indoor-outdoor living, neighborhood design, and creating an extremely high quality of life for every variety of family.

“New ideas with thoughtful, analytical back-up has been the hallmark of Cadence,” Sieb explains. “The fresh array of amenities, neighborhoods and home types will allow a variety of households — from empty nesters like me, to young families, couples, single parents, multiple generations under one roof, as well as individuals — to find their place at Cadence.”

Before officially adding any of the amenities and features, each component must fit seamlessly within the zoning and legal framework developed by the city, which is where the expertise of Susan Demmitt, attorney at Gammage and Burnham, comes into the equation.

The mother of three says, “The long-term creative problem solving skills used to raise a family are the same skills that I use every day with developers, municipalities, neighborhood organizations and political actions groups.”

Demmitt adds, “Harvard had the wherewithal to work through all the technical details before we broke ground, and thereby creates the regulatory framework that allows better solutions such as turf-lined streets, an interconnected series of parks, and other amenities driven by knowledge of what our buyers prefer.”

Who’s Building What?

Pulte Homes will build three neighborhoods totaling 193 homes, which will consist of one- and two-story homes from 1,800 to 3,700 square feet with 15 floor plan options.

Lennar will build one neighborhood consisting of 68 homes near the entrance of Cadence with homes ranging in size from 1,800 to 2,900 square feet.

Cal Atlantic will build two neighborhoods totaling 139 homes with multiple one- and two-story floor plans.

Gehan will build one neighborhood totaling 54 homes with one and two-story options and front patios.