Editor’s note: Litchfield Park’s State of the City address Feb. 13 covered numerous subjects. To best serve readers, the Litchfield Park Independent is breaking it down into a series of stories. Part 1 included an update on the City Center project. Read the story here.
With most of the land in its 3.1-square-mile jurisdiction already spoken for, large-scale residential development in the city of Litchfield Park is limited, but it does exist.
Mayor Thomas L. Schoaf spoke during Feb. 13’s State of the City address about the only two large residential projects happening in the city — the yet-to-begin Orchard at Rancho La Loma and Cachet at the Wigwam, which is nearing completion.
“As everyone in the city knows, this is a very important piece of property for the city,” the mayor said of the 322 acres Sun Health owns at the northwest corner of Litchfield and Camelback roads.
Known as the La Loma Campus, the property was gifted to Sun Health in 1999 by the family of Goodyear Tire & Rubber President and CEO Paul W. Litchfield, for whom the city is named.
The nonprofit company currently operates La Loma Village independent living community and the La Loma medical plaza, care center and outpatient rehabilitation center on the campus. Over the course of the next several years, Sun Health plans to expand the campus to include more traditional neighborhoods, as well an agritourism and retail area and convention center.
“For us to be successful long-term, we need that northwest corner to be developed in a way that is respectful of the history of the corner while at the same time being a vibrant destination for the current uses that are going to be placed on that corner,” Mayor Schoaf said. “We have been working with Sun Health for many years.”
In 2020, the city council approved general plan and zoning changes, as well as a development agreement with Sun Health, that paved the way for the company to proceed with expansion plans.
“When that corner is built out, it will have independent living and it will have assisted living consistent to what they’re doing now at their current facilities,” the mayor said. “It will also have traditional neighborhoods with age-restricted single-family attached and detached residences. It will have parks and community garden spaces. There will be an area at the southeast corner of the property that will be the center of an agritourism-type business. It will have, hopefully, a small working farm and there will be a marketplace.”
In the coming weeks, Sun Health is expected to break ground on Phase I with a virtual ceremony for The Orchard, so named because the Litchfield family grew citrus on the estate for many years.
The $28 million, 15.5-acre project will feature between 60 and 76 residences that could be ready for occupancy this year or next. It will feature casita, terrace and villa designs.
“These housing units are all organized around a central greenspace that’s intended to be a community area,” Mayor Schoaf said, calling the building facades “quite pleasing.”
“They fit right into the look and feel we have for Litchfield Park,” he said. “Having them grouped around this open space will help Sun Health create a sense of community with their residents and will help those residents develop a community atmosphere that’s similar to what we have in our neighborhoods in Litchfield.”
Subsequent phases will feature a 17,000-square-foot community events center and fine dining restaurant for use by La Loma Campus residents and the community at large; more residences and a small, working farm and retail stores.
“We think it’s going to be a very successful development,” Mayor Schoaf said.
Home sales at Cachet at the Wigwam, a 28-acre community at Litchfield Road and Village Parkway adjacent to The Wigwam Resort Golf Club’s Red Course, opened in April 2016.
“All of the permits have been issued and there’s only a few units being finished in each of the categories. Cachet is almost completed,” the mayor said as he displayed a slide showing that only 10 of the community’s 54 single-family homes, nine of its 69 townhouses and 16 of its 40 condominiums remain under construction.
“They’ve added a unique neighborhood into our city, something that’s different from the other neighborhoods,” he said. “It offers a lifestyle that adds on to vibrancy of Litchfield Park as a great place to live. We’re happy Cachet’s here and we’re glad to see that they’ve been successful in building it out.”
For more information on The Orchard, visit sunhealth.com. For more information on Cachet at the Wigwam, visit cachethomes.net/wigwam.
To watch the virtual State the City address, visit YouTube.com and search “city of Litchfield Park.”
Kelly O’Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-963-1697.