Greenlight Communities’ ‘Cabana’ Properties Help Counter the Effects of Rising Rental Rates in Arizona Cities

Article originally posted on Commercial Executive Magazine on January 13, 2021

AdvisorSmith’s “Cities Where Rents are Rising and Falling the Most” report, the communities of Avondale (1st), Surprise (6th), Glendale (11th), Peoria (21st), Mesa (26th), Gilbert (27th), Phoenix (68th) and Chandler (71st) were all among the cities nationwide with the biggest year-over-year increases in rental rates.

The escalation of rents is due in large part to the attractive living conditions in the Valley, but is exacerbated by the fact that the vast majority of new multifamily construction is geared toward the luxury market.\FIIn response to these trends, Greenlight Communities is currently in the process of building more than 3,000 new units under the “Cabana” brand in the Phoenix metro area and beyond. The projects will make use of Greenlight’s innovative approach and industry-changing designs to create communities with reasonable rent rates.

Greenlight Communities’ first two newly built communities opened in 2020 in Phoenix, with average rents just over $1,000 per month. The company also has new projects in the development pipeline in Goodyear, Scottsdale, Glendale and Mesa.

Greenlight Communities is the first company to innovatively focus solely on building “attainable” housing to fill the void between affordable and luxury apartments, using their leading-edge business and development model to create a one-of-a-kind housing alternative for middle-class residents working in fields such as teaching, healthcare and public safety.

The company’s principals have extensive experience in the multifamily housing industry and identified the need for a product like Cabana as a result of seeing that the vast majority of new builds are offering a luxury product. They worked to create a business model for Cabana that focused on the most necessary and desirable amenities for residents, along with consistent floor plans and design-forward finishes to create economies of scale and keep costs down.

“With renters facing increasing rents combined with the economic challenges of the pandemic, we believe it necessary to provide an alternative to what is on the market now. We believe strongly in the importance of providing everyone an opportunity to enjoy a comfortable living environment,” said Robert Lyles, principal of Greenlight Communities. “Cabana properties are designed to counter the trends in the marketplace and provide new options for individuals and families.”

Greenlight Communities’ Senior partners, Robert Lyles and Patricia Watts, began redeveloping existing properties back in 1996 as part of Starpointe Communities. Partner Dan Richards joined the leadership team in 2003 and the company continued to evolve until it rebranded as Deco Communities. The Cabana brand was born under the Deco umbrella, but in 2018, the partners decided to expand on the vision by creating Greenlight Communities.

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