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Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee to hear update on Upper Canyon

Economic development efforts in Ahwatukee and an update on the 1,050-home development planned for a huge swath of former State Trust Land called Upper Canyon are two major agenda items at next Monday’s Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee meeting.

While no formal action is required on either issue, the VPC is scheduled at 6 p.m. Feb. 26 at Pecos Community Center to get an update on the status of Blandford Homes/DR Horton’s development of 373 acres along Chandler Boulevard between 19th and 27th avenues.

Blandford’s subsidiary, Reserve 100, submitted the winning bid of $175.5 million in June 2021 for the land during an auction by the Arizona Land Department, and has indicated in the past it expected to start construction in 2024. Initially it had planned to be marketing the homes by then.

Most of the land already has long been zoned for single-family homes, though 44 acres in the southeastern corner of the property are zoned for multi-family projects and 11 acres are zoned for retail.

An appraisal done for the Land Department months before the auction said those 55 acres could theoretically be moved to another part of the property, but there has been no indication of whether that’s still being planned.

Blandford has indicated it plans to have an expert in multifamily complex development build 479 residential units but there has been no timetable for that project. Nor has it given any indication of its plans for future retail development either.

Some area residents have complained that the massive project and influx of new residents demands the addition of another exchange on the South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway west of 17th Avenue.

Some even raised it at a meeting last month where Phoenix Police and representatives of the discussed what they would be doing to curb transients’ use of underground drainage tunnels around I-10.

Blandford Homes will provide an update Monday on its plans for starting construction of 1,050 single-family homes and 479 multifamily units on this swath of former State Trust Land in Ahwatukee. 

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