Real estate will always be about location, location, location but with land especially, it’s future location, future location, future location. Today, looking at Dove Mountain in Marana it’s not difficult to understand why home building there hasn’t experienced the same slow down as other places.
We sat down with Carson Mehl, President of Dove Mountain Homes and the general contractor of The Ritz-Carlton Residences, who also oversees sales and marketing for Cottonwood Properties at Dove Mountain to ask the question: What has made Dove Mountain the exception rather than the rule for home building over the past 18-months?
Mehl told us that the long-term vision and planning that has gone into Dove Mountain makes it an exceptional community in several ways. “When the Ritz Carton decided to partner with Dove Mountain, it was a sign of confidence that showed the path forward. The Ritz opened in December 2009, just at the start of the economic recession,” Mehl said. “Forbes recently named the Ritz-Carlton at Dove Mountain one of only two Five-Star resorts in Arizona for 2015.”
The resort opening and its economic impact was precisely the right prescription to keep Dove Mountain away from seeing any recession. Currently, there are six active builders: Del Webb, Mattamy, Miramonte, Meritage, Richmond and Toll Brothers are all in various stages of home sales.
Mattamy and Toll Brothers both chose Dove Mountain as their entry into the Tucson market in 2014; Mattamy for 172 platted lots and Toll Brothers for 72 platted lots. In addition there are more homebuilder transactions pending for 2015. “Homebuilders have been attracted to the premium real estate and the “shovel ready” nature of the lots. The success has been building on itself. We expect great things to continue out there for the next several years” said Will White of Land Advisors Organization who has handled the latest round for transactions for both Dove Mountain and the homebuilders.
The Ritz Carlton Residences currently has six homes under construction, ranging in price from $1 - $3 million, however, five of these were sold before completion by buyers from cold winter states, several Canadians, and some Californians, we were told.
Surrounded by saguaros at the foot of the Tortolita Mountains just outside Tucson, Dove Mountain is a luxury camp in the high desert. The sprawling community is a destination in its own right with the Ritz Carlton boasting more than 20 miles of hiking trails, three pools, an idyllic spa featuring eco-friendly and holistic treatments and a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course. With numerous dining options, there’s really no reason to ever leave the property.
But, the Sonoran Desert is the real attraction in this harmonious place where finding every amenity under the sun will soon get even easier. Global retail leader, the Simon Property Group is building destination shopping, the Tucson Premium Outlets, at Twin Peaks & I-10, just down the road.
Families should also be more attracted to area, since the Marana Unified School District received voter approval for a $125 million bond that is to include construction of two new elementary STEM system schools nearby.
Mehl explained to us, “Synergy feeds on itself. While the Ritz and Dove Mountain developed a synergy, homebuilders have added to it. Limited lot supply and continued demand by new home builders, combined with the ongoing challenges and delays in rezoning experienced in Pima County. All add up to more emphasis on shovel ready lots in Dove Mountain.”
That bodes well for 2015 and beyond, as home sales, according to several groups of real estate experts anticipate, are on their way up, especially among existing homeowners looking to move up into a larger or secondary vacation home market, as money shifts back from the stock market to real estate.
“It’s decidedly a perfect storm for builders here,” concluded Mehl.
Will White and John Carroll of Land Advisors Organization in Tucson can be reached at 520.514.7454 for more information on available land at Dove Mountain, or click on map below.