Real Estate

Homebuilder Scores Prime Land at Former South Phoenix Golf Course

(Source: AZCenrtral): Catherine Reagor

A new development with 650 homes is teed up for a site at the base of Phoenix’s South Mountain, where a golf course operated for almost 60 years.

Maracay Homes has paid $10.5 million for 83 acres of the links that closed a few years ago. The builder plans to develop a gated community called Vistal at South Mountain, after the golf course it will replace.

The Vistal links, formerly the Thunderbirds Golf Club, closed a few years ago. Last year, the city of Phoenix approved zoning for the land to become residential.

The former golf-course site backs up to the 16,000-acre South Mountain Park. It’s bordered by 14th Street to the east, Seventh Street to the west and Dobbins Road to the north.

“It’s an amazing piece of land that we want to build a special community on,” Maracay President Andy Warren said. “It’s also an infill site close to many of the Valley’s new jobs that are concentrated in downtown Phoenix and Tempe.”

The homebuilder hasn’t finalized plans for homes yet. Maracay’s purchase includes 204 lots in the new development.

Warren said Maracay is working with an architectural firm to try to design modern-style homes influenced by Phoenix’s Midcentury architecture.

Home sales in Vistal at South Mountain aren’t expected to start until 2019.

Prices could range from $300,000 to more than $500,000.

Grayhawk Development sold the land, and the deal was brokered by Ryan Duncan of Scottsdale-based Nathan & Associates.

Vistal is one of a handful of metro Phoenix golf courses that have closed or will soon shut down to make way for new homes.

Residences on or near golf courses aren’t the big draw for most homebuyers like they were 20 years ago, according to a National Association of Home Builders survey.

As the economy recovered from the Great Recession, homebuilding picked up. Builders sold 460 houses in the area during this year’s first quarter, up 7.5 percent from the same period last year, according to Belfiore Real Estate Consulting.

A few new big retailers have opened in the area during the past decade, but many of south Phoenix’s newer residents still drive to downtown Phoenix or Tempe to shop or go out to eat.

Construction of a new light-rail line in south Phoenix is expected to start in 2019 and draw more development in the area.

“Premium housing like we will build will bring more retail and restaurants to south Phoenix,” Warren said. “And homeowners are just a $10 Uber ride away from central Phoenix.”