A journey that began in 2006 to develop the portion of Apache Junction south of the Superstition Freeway has hit a major milestone – with the groundbreaking of the city’s largest development project ever.
“I am so excited to be here today,” said City Manager Bryant Powell at the Dec. 7 ceremony. “I can’t even begin to express my feelings of where we are today.”
The city first began planning for development in the mid-2000s but the downturn in the economy derailed that plan before any dirt could be turned and the land went back under control of the Arizona State Land Department. State trust land must be auctioned off before in can be developed.
“Today is a day of celebration,” Mayor Chip Wilson said. “There have been people who have worked on this for almost 15 years. But we knew it had to be intelligent, managed, controlled growth. That’s what is happening. We are doing this the right way.”
It took nearly a decade for a new plan to take shape. The state land department then had to approve the concept and the city’s annexation plan before setting an auction, which occurred a year ago.
With Brookfield Communities and DR Horton successfully bidding on the four square miles of state trust land, the wheels were in motion.
“We knew we would have to wait for the right partners, we knew it was going to be a very big step and we knew that we needed to get our ducks in a row,“ Powell said. “We waited patiently and eventually the state land department got the opportunity to make the next move. And it turned out, when that next move came, the developers that were looking at it, it ended up being in our General Plan area. That was great news and things began to fall into place.”
Under the plan developed by Brookfield and DR Horton, up to 10,940 homes, apartments, condominiums and townhomes will be built over the next decade.
Read more about the development.
“We thank all of our partners who have been working with us on the single biggest project in the city’s history,” Powell said. “It’s more than historic. It will change the face of our city and the region. We, the city of Apache Junction, are putting our unique stamp on the East Valley and beyond. It is our time. And I am so excited that Apache Junction’s time is now. We have been working so long and we can’t wait to see shovels in the ground today and rooftops soon.”
Powell summed up the day, “Thank you to everyone not just for making this happen but a real milestone in the East Valley.”