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Real estate investment joint venture acquires Vistancia master-planned community in Peoria

Two giant real estate investment firms are partnering to buy the balance of Vistancia, a 7,100-acre master-planned community in Peoria.

Newport Beach, California-based IHP Capital Partners teamed up with Minneapolis-based Varde Partners to acquire the remaining 3,721 acres of land for development within Vistancia, which includes all 3,300 entitled residential dwelling units within the Northpointe at Vistancia community and 370 acres of commercial mixed-use development.

While this is IHP Capital Partners’ first land acquisition in Arizona, Varde Partners has other investments here, said Richard Whiteley, co-president and COO at IHP Capital Partners.

With the first phase of 437 lot improvements already completed, Northpointe’s 10-acre amenity site and 5,300-square-foot recreation center, called The Sovita Club, are expected to be completed later this fall.

Plans call for delivering 520 single-family residential lots within Northpointe at Vistancia to homebuilders later this year, with lot sizes ranging from 5,175 to 7,200 square feet.

“We’re already in negotiations with five builders for lots in Northpointe that could be closing as early as September,” Whiteley said. “We should have our plans for the town center done in the next six months and I can see land parcels closing within the next 12 months.”

Future phases of development are in the initial planning stages.

Encompassing 7,100 acres west of Loop 303 about 35 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix, Vistancia is fully entitled for 10,500 total homes, of which about 7,200 have already been sold to homebuyers.

About 17,000 residents live in Vistancia’s first three communities: Blackstone, Trilogy and The Village.

Northpointe represents Vistancia’s fourth and final community and is located at the northernmost point of the master plan, at a slightly higher elevation than the other Vistancia communities.

The entitlements for the 370-acre commercial mixed-use development will include a wide range of commercial and employment uses, including health care, retail, education, as well as residential, which could include a more dense residential product for sale, along with rental units that could include traditional multifamily and build-to-rent, Whiteley said.

“We think that commercial core has huge potential,” he said.

Whiteley said he was not at liberty to disclose the purchase price of the land.

But Vizzda LLC real estate database shows that IHP Capital Partners paid $17.683 million to Westside Investment Partners Inc. for 429.75 acres at the southwest corner of Loop 303 and Lone Mountain Parkway in Peoria. That deal closed on April 30, representing $41,147.74 per acre.

The joint venture — called Vistancia Development LLC — paid $50.32 million to Denver-based Vistancia Residential LLC for the remainder of the vacant land, according to an affidavit of property value filed on April 4 with the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office.

In all, records show the joint venture paid around $70.5 million for the entire remaining half of Vistancia, which includes the residential lots and commercial core.

The deal was capitalized through debt and equity, with the IHP/Varde joint venture providing the equity and Alliance Bank of Arizona providing debt financing, Whiteley said.

Steven Hensley, advisory manager for Zonda, a Newport Beach, California-based housing market research firm, said the land acquisition will continue the growth trajectory of the city of Peoria and the northwest Valley in a meaningful way.

“As homebuilders continue their search for land in this robust housing market, this final phase of Vistancia will aid in bringing much needed supply to the market for years to come,” Hensley said. “North Peoria has some of the most scenic topographic terrain in the region and offers a high quality of life, both of which have contributed to the growth exhibited over the past decade.”

Land Resources Inc., a Scottsdale-based real estate development and management firm that has led Vistancia’s development and management since 2004, will continue its work on the project.

Mark Hammons, principal of Land Resources, said Blackstone and The Village essentially are sold out, with a little more than 100 home sites still available within Trilogy.

“They’re going to be sold out here very soon,” Hammons said.

“The future of Vistancia is Northpointe and the commercial core area,” he said.

The previous group that had purchased Vistancia in 2020 realized they wanted to stay focused on their core markets in the Dallas/Fort Worth markets, Hammons said.

“IHP was a partner of theirs in a previous deal and they took this piece to them to see if they were interested,” he said.

On Jan. 27, 2020, Westside Investment Partners paid $21.51 million to Land Resources Inc. for 443.2 acres within Vistancia at the northeast corner of El Mirage Road and Vistancia Boulevard in Peoria, according to Vizzda.

Then, on April 10, 2020, Westside Investment Partners paid $12.5 million for 3,040 acres of Vistancia to a group of limited liability companies tracing to Stratford Land, according to Vizzda.

Sunbelt Holdings and Shea Homes originally teamed up to develop Vistancia in 2001, with Stratford Land joining in 2009 as an equity partner, said Thomas Brophy, research director for Colliers International.

Brophy said The Loop 303 corridor is one of the fastest growing corridors in the Valley.

What began with a joint venture between Sunbelt Holdings and Merit Partners on PV|303 business park in Goodyear before construction even began on Loop 303 now includes Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd.’s 1,129-acre manufacturing facility at the Loop 303/Interstate 17 interchange, he said.

“Vistancia, less than 15 minutes from the TSMC, sits at the epicenter of the southwestern economic development boom and IHP Capital/Varde Partners stand to benefit tremendously as they bring the full Vistancia development to completion,” Brophy said.

Whiteley said he plans to continue to grow in metro Phoenix by providing joint venture equity to builder partners.

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