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Townhomes cleared to build in Surprise OTS

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Multi-family developments like apartments and town houses are popping up or planned to build all over Surprise, with the latest project approved for the city’s first neighborhood.

Applicant David Bohn with the BFH Group and owner Garrett Seely with Fig Development recently presented a site plan for Sunnyside Townhomes in Surprise’s Original Town Site. The plan calls for 148 town houses in 29 buildings on an undeveloped 9.92-acre parcel west of Greasewood Street and east of Bicentennial Park.

The Surprise Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved the site plan for Sunnyside Townhomes during its Dec. 2 meeting, and construction could start soon.

“The project is in the building permit stage, and no further approvals are required from P&Z or City Council,” stated Chris Boyd, Surprise Community Development director, in an email

Lizard Run bisects this parcel and the proposed apartments are south and west of the wash. The Benevilla campus is north and east of it.
Commissioner Mitchell Rosenbaum knows the long-vacant property well.

“I’m glad to see this going in. During my commercial days 8 years ago, I had the property listed so I’m very familiar with it. One of the problems we had with it at that time ... was there’s recreation to the west of this, there’s an open area and commercial to the north and most of the things we had exits and entrances onto Greasewood directly from the center. This is a much better design and it will be a good addition to the neighborhood, I’m sure,” Rosenbaum said.

Surprise planner Chris Sexton presented the site plan. She said the plan calls for three amenities — a clubhouse/leasing office/fitness center with a pool, plus tot lots and a picnic table.

“The north amenity has a gate that you can access to Bicentennial Park,” planner Chris Sexton said.

She said each unit would have a two-car garage and the complex will include 75 more open parking spaces.

Greasewood Street will be the only way into the complex, as well as the main exit. Secondary exits are planned on Hollyhock Street and the two-lane alley south of the project.

Planner Ken Chapman asked if the town houses are approved, will a light or stop sign be added on Greasewood.

“It’s a two-lane street right now. You’ve got 148-300 cars going in and out of there any morning, so I didn’t know if there was a traffic study on that,” Chapman said.

Sexton said the traffic study projects that Greasewood can handle the additional traffic.

The parcel is zoned for commercial development in the Surprise Heritage District. The City Council approved the heritage district and related zoning in the summer of 2016.

“The architecture meets the requirements of the Surprise Heritage District. The building will be painted with gray and white hues, and will have variations in the eye line,” Sexton said.

This is the second multi-family project to come into the Original Town Site since it became a heritage district. The Heritage at Surprise apartment complex opened at Nash and Rimrock streets in 2020.

Heritage at Surprise is an affordable housing complex managed by the Housing Authority of Maricopa County and offers lower rents, but it is a different program from the housing choice voucher program, or Section 8.

Sunnyside Townhomes is a very different type of project.

“Sunnyside Townhomes are being developed privately and will have market rates,” Boyd stated.

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