The Phoenix City Council is expected to vote next month on whether a controversial development near Anthem should move forward.
The development — the Arise North Phoenix — has been contested by residents who have said the area “lacks street infrastructure” and is unsafe. The council is expected to vote on the matter immediately after a 10 a.m. July 1 public hearing is held.
On June 9, Richard Zimmerman of New River filed his second appeal — this one to the Phoenix Planning Commission — claiming the area is not suited for development. Zimmerman, who is “not connected at all” with the Anthem Community Council, filed a similar appeal on April 28.
The area is about 400 feet east of the southeast corner of Interstate 17 and Arroyo Norte Drive.
“Development is not harmonious with the area,” the latest appeal said. “Street infrastructure cannot support this development. This development is a fatality on the frontage road waiting to happen. (The) city of Phoenix has not done their research in regard to streets infrastructure. This development posts a major public safety hazard.”
The development — formerly called Arise Arroyo Norte — is touted as “a luxury, single-family rental community” that would be built around a large park. The rental structures are shown as unattached rather than looking like traditional apartments with a stacked design.
An area that will include a pool, cabanas, a dog park and other smaller parks and common areas for its residents is also planned.
Anthem officials asked the name to be changed since there was an existing community with a similar name. The developer agreed to change the name to Arise North Phoenix.
Julianna Pierre, Phoenix city planner, said the latest contention was an appeal of the Planning Commission’s recommendation.
“This is the second appeal,” Pierre said in an email. “The first was an appeal of the (planning hearing officer) recommendation and this is the appeal of the Planning Commission’s recommendation. So now, the item will go to City Council and there will be public discussion and an opportunity for council to hear what the community concerns are. There isn’t a way to appeal (the) City Council’s decision, but there can be continuances. The decision and reasoning to continue the item would be at the discretion of (the) council.”
Another development near Anthem — called Avilla Vista Norte from Phoenix- based NexMetro Communities, wasn’t contested in the form of appeal. That development would be off Interstate 17 between Old West Trail and Circle Mountain Road near Anthem’s border.
Avilla Vista Norte is planned to have 191 one-story multifamily units that are “predominately detached residences,” according to the city of Phoenix. The development would use 18.04 acres.
The Avilla Vista Norte case was heard by Phoenix City Council on May 19 and was adopted per the planning hearing officer recommendation.
The two development are the latest in a trend of buildto- rent construction of multifamily housing that started in the Valley and has spread throughout the U.S.
Developers such as Nexmetro and Christopher Todd Communities are seizing the opportunity to meet the growing demand of people renting an unattached apartment rather than occupants having to commit to a 30-year mortgage. Nexmetro has 6,200 homes either completed, under construction, operating or in development, representing about 40 build-to-rent neighborhoods nationwide.
Similar homes are relatively small in square footage but steep in price. For instance, a Christopher Todd development in Goodyear starts at $1,470 per month while a two-bedroom home fetches $1,900 a month.
While the communities may be pricier than their standard multi-story multifamily counterparts, developers are looking for renters who want more of a single-family house feel.