A Valley homebuilder that specializes in turning tricky infill lots into high-end subdivisions plans to make over 6 acres of east-central Mesa land pending city approval.
Porchlight Homes, which has communities in Phoenix and Scottsdale, would transform the vacant property on the southwestern corner of East Southern Avenue and South Norfolk into a 17-lot neighborhood called Leawood.
“What makes this (parcel) difficult to develop is the shape and configuration and the size of it,” said Reese Anderson, the attorney representing Porchlight in its zoning case. “There really hasn’t been any development on it except for this old farmhouse and barn structure that’s there, which is overgrown and hasn’t been taken care of.
“Most homebuilders are going to want something 20 acres or more in size,” he said. “It takes a unique person to say, ‘OK, here’s a vision that I think will work here.’ ”
Lot sizes would span about 9,000 to 10,000 square feet, with about an acre of open space preserved.
Anderson said he believes the sizes and layouts of the homes, which would range from about 2,800 to 4,200 square feet, would attract a mix of demographics, from young families to retirees.
“This is such a great part of town that many individuals and their children want to stay in the area,” said Ryan Larsen with Porchlight. “(The subdivision) will attract families who want to stay close by but are looking for a new home to suit their needs.”
Sale prices would start in the $300,000s, Larsen said, and a homeowners association would oversee maintenance.
Minutes from the required community-input meetings detail neighbor concerns ranging from water pressure and home heights to pest control during construction.
Developers in response agreed to limit homes on certain lots to one story and incorporate additional landscaped buffers. The proposal breezed through its November Planning and Zoning Board hearing.
“This was not one where there was a lot of animosity,” Anderson said. “It was more finding out concerns and addressing those concerns.”
Porchlight expects to break ground late this year, assuming nothing delays construction, Anderson said.