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    ‘Sorely needed’ rental homes, apartments planned for growing Maricopa

    Larry Miller, CEO of Scottsdale-based Matrix Equities Inc., is working on a 35-acre parcel in the city of Maricopa to bring “sorely needed” rental units to the area.

    “People who are selling their houses are posting on their Zillow ads, ‘Please do not call for rental. This is a for-sale only property,'” Miller said. “I have never seen this in my career.”

    Miller plans to build 183 rental units on 17 acres of that property at the southeast corner of Highway 238 and Loma Road in Maricopa.

    He also just sold about 12 acres of that 35-acre site to Chicago-based Zekelman Industries for $3.84 million, which will build a 3-story apartment community totaling 348 units.

    Kimberly Rollins and Dallan Randall of Tempe-based Commercial Properties Inc. represented Miller in that deal.

    “It’s great to see Maricopa getting multifamily, said Rollins, senior vice president of CPI’s multifamily group. “They have needed a for-rent product.”

    Casa Grande, which is south of the city of Maricopa, has several large multifamily communities, but Maricopa just started to get these rental units developed over the past two years, said Randall, who serves as vice presidet of CPI’s multifamily group.

    “It’s amazing to see the growth out there — the amount of retail and development and increasing population,” Randall said.

    Boasting more than 52,000 residents with an average household income of $68,888, Maricopa encompasses 43 square miles with a planning area of 233 square miles.

    Zekelman Industries, which has a modular manufacturing plant in Chandler, will be using its modular capabilities to build these rental units, Rollins said.

    Miller said he still has 3 acres left for retail on that 35-acre mixed use master-planned site.

    Meanwhile, Miller said he’s getting ready to break ground this week on his 183-unit project, with an estimated total development cost of around $50 million.

    He expects the first rental units to be ready in about 14 months.

    While it’s too soon to determine rental rates, he said they will be comparable to the market.

    Plans call for building one- and two-bedroom units with amenities that include a dog park and dog wash, recreation center and high-speed internet, Miller said.

    Called Innovation Villas, this project will be the first of more to come in the Valley.

    “We have about 1,250 units in our Phoenix pipeline right now,” Miller said. “We have three more fully approved coming out one another another like dominoes the first part of the year and others will follow shortly.”

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