Infill Residential Opportunities Attract Out-of-State Builder/Investor

Nov. 20, 2013- The recovering Phoenix homebuilding market has flexed its muscle once again, prompting a new joint venture that links local real estate development veterans Steven Pritulsky and Paul Timm, and their company New Leaf Communities, with long-time Southern California-based builder Watt Communities.

The venture, Watt Communities of Arizona, has closed on two infill townhome community sites—one in central Tempe and another in the Biltmore area—that will bring the infill residential experience of Watt Communities to Arizona.

The joint venture is evaluating other sites in key Phoenix area urban infill markets as well, with the goal of developing many more quality, attached for-sale communities.

“We are firm believers in the power of local industry expertise. It is one of the best ways to understand the direction and needs of a market,” said Watt Communities President Howard Press. “New Leaf brings that expertise to this joint venture and Watt, in turn, brings deep-rooted success in urban residential infill development. The combination will allow us to acquire land and build wisely and precisely, according to what metro Phoenix homebuyers are seeking.”

“We anticipate a pipeline of Watt-New Leaf deals that will take advantage of some very unique land positions in Metro Phoenix and bring new, quality living options and innovative product designs into our urban cores,” said Pritulsky, who serves as New Leaf Communities President and CEO. “We are thrilled to have Watt as a partner.”

Two sites previously acquired by New Leaf have been purchased by the new venture. The company’s “Dorsey” project is located on 3 acres in central Tempe, Ariz., just south of the southwest corner of Broadway Road and Dorsey Lane, and within minutes of the Loop 101, Loop 202 and US 60 Superstition freeways. In the planning stage now, the venture intends to develop a 54-unit for-sale townhome community. When completed, the project will be complimented by other existing uses within Dorsey Crossing, a mixed-use residential, office and commercial services development.

The venture’s “Biltmore” project site is located less than a mile south of 24th Street and Camelback Road, and the Biltmore Fashion Square. It totals 1.7 acres south of Glenrosa Avenue between 26th and 27th streets. The site is a mile east of the 51 Freeway and just three miles north of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Like the Tempe location, the Biltmore site is planned for townhome development, with 29 units envisioned for the project.

Both properties will offer contemporary, three-story urban townhomes ranging in size from 1,400 to 1,800 square feet, and each with its own two-car garage. Community amenities will include gated entry, pool/ramada/sundeck, outdoor poolside kitchen and landscaped paseos throughout. Pricing for the new projects will be released as the communities near completion.

“These are urban locations within established employment cores, and our projects will match the quality and the vibrancy of these neighborhoods,” said Timm, who serves as New Leaf Communities Chief Operating Officer. “They will allow Phoenix residents to move from renting to owning, without giving up any of their urban lifestyle.”

Prior to forming New Leaf Communities, Pritulsky spent 20 years analyzing, acquiring and developing residential projects totaling more than 7,000 acres and 17,000 residential lots. Timm has more than 25 years of residential development experience, including the construction of numerous subdivisions and the formation of several investment partnerships for commercial and residential real estate in the Southwestern U.S.

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