The largest home builder in Canada made a move into East Valley this summer with the opening of Eastmark – and it’s not stopping there.
For Mattamy Homes, Mesa’s Eastmark seemed like a natural fit, said Steve Sasso, the division president for Mattamy in Arizona.
“Mattamy in Canada is not only a home builder, but a major developer. They build and develop big master-planned communities. Eastmark complimented what they do in Canada and it was very impressive and made sense to them in so far as what they do and how we do it,” he said.
Mattamy Homes currently has plans to build 163 homes in phase one of Eastmark, a 3,200-acre community at Ray and Ellsworth roads.
Mattamy also purchased 40 acres in northeast Mesa in the last three months. There, Mattamy will offer 56 “exclusive” lots, ranging in size from 9,000 square feet to 12,000 square feet, said Sasso, who joined the company three months ago, but has built his career in home construction in Arizona.
Mattamy started in Canada in 1978 and entered the U.S. market — building homes first in Minneapolis, Minn. — in 2003. Since its beginning, Mattamy has built more than 60,000 homes.
The company came to Arizona in late 2007 and now has developments in Peoria, Surprise and Goodyear, as well as Mesa. Since then, it has constructed and closed on between 300 and 350 homes, Sasso said.
With the market upsurge, Mattamy expects to build 300 homes in its next fiscal year alone, which began June 1.
Rather than reusing floor plans from development to development, Sasso said the company tries to target the neighborhood’s market. That means homebuyers at Mesa’s Eastmark won’t find the same home plans Mattamy offers at Canyon Trails in Goodyear or Marley Park in Surprise.
“We believe, and I believe, every submarket, every market, even if it’s 5 miles down the road, you’re going to get a different demographic of buyer. We do our research thoroughly and design the product based on what the buyer is asking and telling us what they want,” he said.
Canadian interest in the East Valley — and all of Arizona, for that matter — has grown as the housing market began to rebound in recent years. According to the Arizona Office of Tourism, nearly 704,000 total Canadian visitors came to Arizona in 2011, with more than 21 percent staying for longer than 21 nights, and close to 11 percent residing in a second home in the state.
Sasso said Mattamy picked Eastmark — and made a more than $10 million investment in the first phase of the project — because of the strong employment base in Mesa, the growth and transportation nearby, and the potential for the south East Valley.
“We believe that corridor is going to continue to grow and it’s a desirable area with the freeways close by, the 202 and the 60,” Sasso said. “We believe the long term is going to be good.”
Mattamy’s mark on the East Valley will extend beyond Mesa in the near future, Sasso said.
“We are looking at projects in Chandler and Gilbert as we speak and have several projects tied up. We are very, very much committed to being in Gilbert and Chandler,” he said.
Eastmark has been a successful venture for Mattamy so far, Sasso said. There are 13 different home plans available for buyers in two product sizes. Since June 1, 22 homes have been sold.
“We’re getting a variety of buyers, from young families to move up to older families. It’s interesting. We’re attracting every demographic,” he said. “We foresee Eastmark being a long-term play for our division and a major part of our long-term plan and we plan on staying in Eastmark and moving on to subsequent phases. Not to mention, DMB as an organization complements Mattamy’s philosophy as a homebuilder. We find ourselves as a partner with them and want to continue to grow with them.”
Apparently, the feeling is mutual. This is not the first time the two groups have partnered. Mattamy is the top seller in the DMB development of Marley Park.
“They’ve been in our other communities. They’re doing a phenomenal job at Eastmark. They’ve kind of taken the lead role from a home selling prospective in the first few weeks at Eastmark,” said DMB’s executive vice president, Karrin Taylor. “I think they recognize, as we do, the significance of this project. … The potential for it is enormous because of the employment opportunities that are really emerging in the area, even on our property.”
She continued: “When you put those factors together, it’s going to create a really unique living and working environment. They clearly see that and see it as the vision we have for the property.”
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