First Hawes Crossing Housing Plan Advances

Article originally posted on HERE on January 28, 2022
Hawes Crossing
The entire 1,131-acre Hawes Crossing master planned community is surrounded by Air Operations Areas that are shaded in three different colors based on the impact of flights to and from PHX Mesa Gateway Airport.

 

Almost a year after Mesa City Council approved the 1,131-acre Hawes Crossing, the first residential community in the massive master planned community is one step closer to breaking ground. 

The City of Mesa Planning and Zoning Board earlier this month unanimously approved rezoning 80.66-acre for what the developers call “charming and desirable” Hawes Crossing Village One around Hawes and Elliott roads and 80th Street. 

The approval only changes minor development standards to allow for specific homes and townhomes by homebuilder Lennar, which must also get approval of the Specific Plan and preliminary plat. 

There are still several other hurdles the developers must clear with the city but it’s one step closer to issuing permits on the 458 single-family homes and 103 townhomes. 

While a date has not been set for breaking ground, attorney Jordan Rose, whose Rose Law Group represents the developers and put together the initial assembly of land for Hawes Crossing, said, “They are eager to break ground, so they will continue to move through the City processes as quickly as possible.”

“Hawes Crossing has become the hottest new master planned community in the East Valley,” she said. “This area of Mesa is tremendously desirable for the accessibility to jobs, good schools and nearby recreational.”

Rose said almost all of Villages One, Two and Three are in the process of moving forward and include single-family residential, multifamily complexes, and commercial and mixed-use facilities. 

A well-balanced mix of low, medium and high-density districts was part of the discussions by stakeholders with the common goal of planning a residential neighborhood that would complement the existing neighborhood to the north while honoring the agricultural heritage of the area, according to the developer’s vision statement. 

Hawes Crossing had comprised the last remnants of Mesa’s agricultural past and had been home for decades to at least six dairy farms whose owners pulled up stakes for other areas in the state.

The initial rezoning a year ago climaxed lengthy negotiations over how the land uses would be divided.

Those negotiations ended with a compromise that devoted 56 percent of the land to job development and 44 percent residences after the initial plan called for 83 percent devoted to homes four years ago. As it stands, Hawes Crossing will include 4,500 residential units of various types as well as commercial and industrial development.

Mayor John Giles said at the time that Hawes Crossing would generate an estimated 55,000 new jobs and reserve certain strategic areas for housing.

Describing Village One as a “proposed single-family detached and attached residential subdivision with the unique opportunity to offer contemporary homes and lifestyles among a diverse product offering within, what will be, a vibrant community in the City of Mesa,” Lennar’s vision statement outlined the reason for the most recent zoning amendment.

It said a portion of the property was zoned in a way that required multifamily development with a minimum density of 20 units per acre and that “this size would require parking garages, elevator construction and more that would price the resulting apartments out of the market and fail to fill the current need for a diversity of housing options in southeast Mesa.”

“From site planning to open space and circulation elements, great forethought went into developing a diverse but interconnected neighborhood with diverse housing product, ample open space, and common theming that would identify it as a part of the larger Hawes Crossing community,” Lennar said.

Lennar will offer 12 different floor plans ranging in size from 1,724 to 2,524 square feet, with all plans including a two-car garage, full length driveway and covered porch/entry. 

It said the community will offer “a true village experience with similar, yet varied homes in a unifying architectural style” and said architectural details for the homes included “projected window sills with decorative sculpted cap, sculpted trim details, wrought iron, gable pipe details, angled wall detailing, colonial shutters on the A elevations and decorative window tile window surrounds on the B elevations along with more rustic shutters that are appropriate for these Spanish Colonial and Spanish Hacienda styles.” 

Lennar said an HOA would encompass both the north and south Village One components and that 20.39 acres, or about a quarter of the community, “is open space/common area – far exceeding the 15% open-space requirement” – and will include three pocket parks and a larger neighborhood park.

“Village One has been designed to create a pedestrian friendly and connected experience, both in the site planning and home designs,” Lennar said. “The alley-loaded lots all front onto landscaped yards and sidewalks either facing a local street or the fronts of other alley-loaded lots. 

“The lots are all connected to the open space, amenities, and other lots via a network of attached and detached sidewalks and greenbelts. The Townhomes in Village One South similarly front onto landscaped and amenitized paseos that are connected to the larger open space and pedestrian circulation systems.”

In all, Lennar said, “The variety of housing styles, floor plans, elevations, amenities, and open space provide opportunities for its residents to recreate and commune in a neighborhood that promotes social interaction while preserving a quiet peaceful way of life.”

Hawes Crossing’s ability to attract the best retail and restaurant businesses will depend on getting the residences built first, Rose said. 

“I believe all or almost all of the non-residential is under contract or close to it,” she added. 

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