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8 July 18 - 31, 2009
Community
www.SanTanSun.com
Shortfall from Page 1
Cutting back
the product line that builders are offering in the past
This year, the City coped with the decrease in
few months.
property tax, sales tax and state-shared revenues by
Builders are “streamlining” products, stripping
tightening the entire budget.
master bathrooms of luxurious items and downsizing
Cuts were made to the maintenance and operations
models in order to create a better value for prospective
budget, which funds police and fi re operations; public
buyers, according to Dijkstra.
safety; City staff; and more. The secondary budget
“The problem is it is almost impossible for
for retiring debt and signifi cant capital improvement
communities to keep up with what is happening in
projects was also cut.
the foreclosure market,” Dijkstra says. “A lot of homes
Projects that were pushed out of the 10-year time
are up for sale for $20,000, $30,000 or $40,000 under
frame include $14 million in Chandler Heights Road
value.”
improvements, $7 million to build the Southeast
He believes the smaller builds are a “necessary evil”
Fire Station near Ocotillo and Gilbert roads and a $5
for any community or city with high foreclosure rates.
million gymnasium at Snedigar Sportsplex.
“There are no fi nite answers to anything anymore,”
Projects kept in the budget include a $12 million
Dijkstra says. “Everyone is just going with the fl ow.” STSN photo
history museum planned to begin construction in
Recently, Geneva Estates of Fulton Homes BRIGHT SPOT: Construction is underway on single family homes
2011, a 10-year citywide street repaving project and
submitted a request for a newer, less expensive and
in Southern Chandler since Blandford Homes took over the
Portello community on Queen Creek east of Arizona Avenue after
$50 million in road improvements for McQueen and
downsized model, but later withdrew the zoning
Scottsdale developer Randall Martin Home walked away from the
Gilbert roads for 2012 and 2013.
application, according to Jodie Novak, senior city
project.
Irvine says the City made it a goal to prioritize these
planner at the City of Chandler.
projects.
“They were proposing to introduce new housing Permits picking up
“The City Council and staff did an excellent job of
plans, but then met with homeowners and decided In the past four months, Webb says Fulton Homes’
coming together and saying, ‘Given the better picture,
not to,” Novak says. business has picked up rapidly. In June, 20 to 25
what are the most important issues to
According to Dennis Webb, vice president of new home permits were issued in Fulton Ranch and
address?’” Irvine explains.
operations for Fulton, the builder is capturing Geneva Estates combined.
part of the downsized-home market by offering “We are presenting a good product at a fair price in
Builders streamline models
more affordable homes in two new parcels in nice communities,” Webb says.
As the median home price declines,
Fulton Ranch. In June, 147 single-family detached home permits
median new build characteristics
Square footage in one of the parcels is were issued in Chandler, a dramatic increase from the
continue to evolve in the area,
topped at 4,065 square feet. Homes in other eight or nine permits per month the city saw at the
according to Pete Dijkstra of RE/MAX
parcels approach 6,000 square feet, according beginning of the year.
Elite.
to Webb. He says the smaller models offer few Novak says she noticed many more permits being
Dijkstra, who has served the
luxury items like granite countertops and high fi led for individual lots in the communities she serves,
Chandler and Gilbert area for more
ceilings.
than 20 years, has noticed a change in
Pete Dijkstra
See Shortfall Page 9
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