A new master-planned community is coming to Queen Creek.
Fulton Homes is beginning work on the infrastructure at Barney Farms, a 550-acre master-planned community that has been years in the making.
The development at Queen Creek and Signal Butte Road eventually will be built out to include 1,700 homes with 114 acres of open space.
“This groundbreaking represents a new standard for large-scale communities in the Southeast Valley,” said Norm Nicholls, president of Fulton Homes. “We worked hard to secure the land, and then to develop something more than homes — a vision that represents quality construction, family, recreation and vast open spaces.”
Barney Farms likely may be among the last major master-planned communities in Queen Creek.
“Queen Creek is pretty much at a saturation point right now,” Mr. Nicholls said. “All of the property from Ironwood Road back to Ellsworth Road is taken. I think that Queen Creek is kind of landlocked at this point, and the majority of their properties are already being developed by the residential community.”
Mr. Nicholls added there are still opportunities for businesses and retail and perhaps some multifamily units. But this saturation means large residential communities will begin to be developed southeast of Queen Creek.
“The single family is pretty much developed at this point,” he said. “Then it will be jumping into the San Tan Valley area as it's pushing down toward Florence. There’s still a lot of property out there around the Central Arizona College and southeast as you go to Florence.
“There's really nowhere else to go. Florence, Coolidge, that's the direction it's got to go because Queen Creek is kind of hitting his boundaries right now.”
He added residents’ fears of long commutes to work are no longer an obstacle.
“COVID-19 has really taught us that families can work from home,” Mr. Nicholls said. “They can come out to these bigger communities and work from home and telecommute. It's allowing the growth in areas like Florence and Coolidge and San Tan Valley because the road circulation and the transportation onto the Price Road Corridor isn't as critical to them anymore because they're able to work from home.”
One complaint coming from residents in areas such as the Anthem community in Florence is that it lacks business amenities. But Mr. Nicholls said the deal for EPCOR to acquire Johnson Utilities will take care of a major wastewater problem and likely attract businesses to the area. He called it a “game changer.”
As for Barney Farms, Fulton Homes has spent the past three years designing and preparing for developing the land in the southeast Valley.
Homebuyers have been asking for more amenities, and Barney Farms will deliver with 22 acres of a deep-water lake running through the center of the community that features catch-and-release fishing and small-boat launching.
Other amenities will include an aquatic center, a clubhouse, a large lakeside park, a neighborhood trail system, and several sport courts for basketball, pickleball, bocce and volleyball.
Best of all, Barney Farms is being developed with second- and third-time homebuyers in mind. While there are million-dollar homes in Queen Creek, that’s not the tax bracket Barney Farms is aiming for.
“We haven't tried to make this a million-dollar community, even though it's a lake community,” Mr. Nicholls said. “We have 22 acres of lake, a major 11-acre park with amenities all the way through it, and yes, we put four different product series of homes in that community and we will be starting about $400,000. We're trying to keep it in the high $300,000 but it's going to push to $400,000 very quickly.”
He added Fulton doesn’t think homes will get beyond the $650,000 to $700,000 price point, but those would be the biggest homes in the development. So, homes at Barney Farms will range from $300,000 to $700,00 with the average home costing $450,000.
“That’s an incredible price point for the amenities we’re putting in,” Mr. Nicholls said. “We really wanted to have a great community with great amenities and rates that are still affordable for the average family. It's going to be hard for the entry-level buyer, but for buyers looking to move up it will be great.”
Barney Farms will feature four different neighborhoods, with single-story models starting at $380,000 offering three bedrooms. Two-story homes with lofts are priced up to $470,000 with a customizable floor plan that can be configured for six bedrooms.
Fulton Homes’ exclusive Fulton Features program offers standard features, including high-efficiency HVACs, granite countertops, 36-inch maple cabinets, faux wood blinds, ceiling fans and more at no additional cost.
All homes at Barney Farms will be Energy Star certified, Indoor airPLUS certified and labeled as a Water Sense home by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
A temporary sales office has been established at the nearby community of Ironwood Crossing at Ironwood Road and Ocotillo.
While Queen Creek is becoming saturated, Mr. Nicholls said it Barney Farms may not be the final Fulton community in the town. The company is working on getting one more large parcel in the area.
“It’s still in the works, but hopefully I can disclose it within the next six months,” he said. “But after that, it's going to be small little pieces of land available that will not allow me to do another Barney Farms in Queen Creek.”