Real estate investment and development firm GTIS Partners has broken ground on a single-family, build-to-rent community in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, Ariz.
Located within Cadence at Gateway, a 400-acre master-planned development owned by GTIS and Harvard Investments, the new project will bring 197 rental homes to the blend of for-sale and community retail developed in the past eight years. This project is believed to be the first Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) investment in a single-family rental development since the Opportunity Zone program began in 2018. Thirty percent of the project’s units will be one-bedroom units, 63 percent two-bedroom homes, and 7 percent three-bedroom homes. A fitness center is among the common-area amenities featured in the community.
The new single-family rental community will offer residents walkable access to commercial services and amenities. It will be situated near single-family for-sale neighborhoods and future retail projects. All 2,200 residential lots at Cadence have been sold to regional and national homebuilders, including Toll Brothers, Lennar, Pulte, Gehan and Maracay.
“We view Mesa, Ariz., as the right place for this development for several reasons,” Josh Pristaw, senior managing director, head of capital markets and co-head of Brazil at GTIS Partners, told Multi-Housing News. “Even before the pandemic, the Phoenix MSA and other Sunbelt markets were benefiting from a number of long-term drivers. One of those drivers is that the disproportionately large Millennial cohort is reaching family formation years.
“Many of these new homebuyers have looked to Phoenix and other Sunbelt markets as a more affordable option relative to the gateway markets. The pandemic only served to strengthen existing trends, making an attractive Phoenix market even more attractive in our view . . . With commutes now less relevant, many renters and buyers are opting for locations with more outdoor amenities and higher quality of life.”
Reflective of its commitment to sustainability and the QOZ program’s objectives, GTIS will use an innovative panelized building system called Hercuwall, which is composed of foam, steel forms and poured concrete. The system does away with expensive, time-consuming steps and dramatically hikes energy efficiency. It provides R31 insulation, has three times the strength of traditional wood studs and is light enough to be carried by one individual. Hercuwall also delivers improved fire resistance, sound rating and overall building quality.
GTIS has invested in 11 QOZ projects, primarily in quickly-expanding Sunbelt markets like Tampa, Charlotte and Phoenix. Together the projects include more than 5,300 residential units and 1.6 million square feet of industrial distribution and commercial office space.
Last month, Toll Brothers made news for developing The Brownstones in metro New York City.