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Business News

Canadian developer puts pieces in place for 1,130-acre Phoenix-area master-planned community

 Brookfield 2 

A well-heeled Canadian developer that already made a splash in the Phoenix market with a sprawling master-planned community in Mesa is set to duplicate that effort in the West Valley.

Brookfield Residential Properties Inc. is putting together the final pieces for its planned 1,130-acre project known as Alamar, located in Avondale, just west of Phoenix.

Plans call for up to 3,695 home sites that will be available to builders beginning this month. Called Alamar, the master-planned community is in southwest Avondale near the proposed Arizona State Route 30, which is expected to be completed in 2024.

John Bradley, president of Brookfield Residential's Arizona market, said the company has already invested about $100 million for approximately 6,000 acres in metro Phoenix since expanding here in 2013.

So far this year, Brookfield has invested $25 million for land acquisitions. Of this, $8 million was to buy land in Avondale for the first phase of Alamar. Plans call for investing another $20 million in first-phase improvements for the Alamar community in 2019, he said.

The entire Alamar acreage is expected to be acquired in six equal parcels during the next five years, said Brad Chelton, senior vice president for Brookfield Residential's Arizona market.

The first parcel is about 182 acres and is at the southwest corner of Broadway Road and Avondale Boulevard in Avondale, according to Kasten Long Commercial Group's Weekly Closing Update. That $8.33 million transaction closed in June.

In 2016, Chelton said he and his team were looking at a map of the West Valley and noticed the property was like a hole in a doughnut, surrounded by other developments but undeveloped.

The land — bounded by Dysart Road to the west and Avondale Boulevard to the east, a bit north of Southern Avenue and a bit south of Lower Buckeye Road — was owned and farmed by the Lakin family for nearly 100 years.

"They finally had the motivation to look for a partner to develop the property," Chelton said. "We were fortunate enough to be engaged with them and try to work out a deal."

Alamar's grand opening is expected during first-quarter 2020, he said.

In the project's first phase, single-family homes will range from 1,400 square feet to 4,500 square feet and will be priced from the low to mid $200,000s to the mid to high $300,000s, Chelton said.

When Brookfield expanded to Arizona in 2013, it partnered with DMB on the 3200 acre Eastmark master-planning community in Mesa.  In January, Brookfield became managing partner of that joint venture, Chelton said.

The ownership interest didn't change, he said. Both partners own 50 percent of that project.

"We just changed who would oversee the day-to-day operations of the project," Chelton said. "Our partnership is just as strong as it has ever been."

The company also owns 160 acres at San Tan Ridge, where it has 700 lots under development.

It has two other joint ventures with New York-based real estate investment firm Jen Partners to acquire Vista Verde, an 850-acre community in north Scottsdale. The joint venture sold the golf course and 450 acres to Shea Homes to develop an 1,100-unit Trilogy at Verde River Ranch. It also sold 63 lots to Toll Brothers

Bradley said the company is pursuing other projects, but it's too early to say whether they will come to fruition.

Brookfield Residential currently employs 19 people at its Arizona division. For now, there are no plans to hire, Chelton said.

Brookfield Residential has 12 divisions, with Arizona being its newest. It is part of Brookfield Asset Management, a global alternative asset manager with more than $285 billion in assets under management.

For the six months ended June 30, the company reported $53 million in net income, up from $37 million during the same period in 2017, according to its second quarter 2018 financial report. Land revenue for the first half of 2018 was $95 million, up from $92 million during the first six months of 2017, while housing revenue generated $796 million during the first half of 2018, up from $690 million during the same period in 2017.

"We're very bullish on Phoenix," Chelton said. "We're exploring any and all opportunities that may come our way. We're very focused on growth in the market."

Source: Phoenix Business Journal, August 2018 

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