The Village at Pebble Creek

The Village at Pebble Creek will have 344 parking spaces, and entry points on Virginia Avenue to the north and Pebble Creek Parkway, via Harvard Street, to the east. (Photo courtesy Stellar Residential)

Construction has begun on a new single-family rental housing community in Goodyear.

The Village at Pebble Creek — a 14.83-acre, 184-unit community located west of Pebble Creek Parkway, between Virginia Avenue and Monte Vista Road — is expected to open in December.

The Goodyear community — from developer The Empire Group and management company Stellar Residential — marks the entry of The Village brand to the Arizona market. Dale Phillips, president of Stellar Residential, called it the first of many.

“As you know, development sometimes can be concerning in a neighborhood, and we’re not real certain how it’s going to impact our lives. I just want you to rest assured that the partners The Empire Group has compiled are responsible and they are committed to ensuring that the residents of Village at Pebble Creek are going to enhance the neighborhood; they are going to further sponsor the local restaurants and retail,” Phillips said at a recent groundbreaking ceremony.

“It’s a very popular and unique product type, and it builds in a sense of home ownership … It’s not an apartment, it’s not a home — it’s actually very special.”

A fluid design

The community will consist of 74 one-bedroom, 671-square-foot units; 91 two-bedroom, 1,011-square-foot units; and 19 three-bedroom, 1,282-square-foot units. All units will consist of a single story. One-bedroom units will be built in a duplex style, while two- and three-bedroom units will be detached, with no shared walls.

Units will incorporate fenced backyards, 9-foot ceilings, granite countertops, upgraded kitchen cabinets, stainless steel appliances, Kohler kitchen and bath fixtures, energy-efficient dual-pane windows, durable and efficient concrete tile, USB plug-ins, and smart-home technology such as digital thermostats, lighting controls, keyless door entry and doorbell cameras, all of which are controlled via smartphone or tablet.

“Probably the most impressive technology package exists within every apartment, and it’s similar to what you’d see in million-dollar homes, without a doubt, — fully gated, fully surveilled community,” Phillips explained. “The most impressive component with this, beyond the fact that it’s single story and no shared walls on two and three bedrooms, is the fact that every single ‘special’ home has a backyard and a doggy door.”

Exterior designs include pitched roofs and clustered architectural themes, with units surrounding a central open space greenbelt and walkway. Pocket parks will be located at each end, and the development will utilize large, covered entryways and tree canopies for shade.

Community amenities include a pool, spa, barbecue and kitchen area, serenity parks, dog parks with washing stations, a state-of-the-art exercise facility and a recreation building with a community kitchen and gathering area. The indoor amenity area and pool will be at the southern end of the community.

“It’s completely different and new to the Valley and it is very special,” explained Shelby Duplessis, vice president of land development for The Empire Group.

Parking, arranged in a looped private drive, will accommodate 189 covered spaces, 97 uncovered spaces, 44 garages, 10 handicap-accessible spaces and four uncovered electric car charging ports.

And entry to the community will be located on Virginia Avenue to the north and Pebble Creek Parkway, via Harvard Street, to the east.

It was ultimately important, Duplessis noted, to ensure the new community matches the surrounding neighborhood, and doesn’t feel out of place.

“It’s been very exciting to work in Goodyear on our first project. This was very close to my heart,” added Duplessis, who is also president of Leadership West.

Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord — joined by Vice Mayor Wally Campbell and various councilmembers — also pointed to the fluid design with the surrounding area, calling it, as Phillips previously said, “special.”

“I could have had you come to council back when I joined in 2005. I came from the home industry, and the counsel did not understand development and did not welcome it with open arms,” she said at the groundbreaking ceremony. “The council you introduced today does welcome development with open arms.”

An economic stimulus

Pointing to Maricopa County’s status as the fastest-growing county in the nation, Randy Grudzinski, partner at The Empire Group, said developers are looking to solve a growing problem with The Village.

“It’s not a small problem,” he said.

Grudzinski pointed to an increasing population, paired with an increasing rental unit deficit and, in turn, inflated rental costs.

And with millennials entering the rental industry and surpassing baby boomers as the key demographic, there is room for more units, he said. Especially as millennials — and renters in general — are increasing in the population pool on the local level faster than they are nationally.

“If you talk to any home builder out there, it’s the largest real estate problem right now. What do we do with this big demographic, this bowling ball of demand coming through the garden hose, and how do we get them into homes?”

The Village seems to be the answer.

“It’s very good for the economy,” he said. “These are people going to restaurants, going to shops, going to entertainment or paying taxes, so on and so forth. So, not only are we good neighbors, but we also provide a really nice economic stimulus.”