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GOODYEAR, AZ-Newland Communities has acquired 3,750 acres within the 20,000-acre Estrella Mountain Ranch. Although terms of the transaction were not disclosed, industry experts say land sells for $2 per sf to $6 per sf in the master-planned development.

“We’ve got some research to do because at this point we’re just not totally sure how we will use the land,” says LaDonna Monsees, president of San Diego-based Newland Communities LLC. She tells GlobeSt.com that the company is planning a “re-visioning process” to nail down the design and uses.

Monsees foresees Newland Communities’ portion of Estrella Mountain Ranch could include 1,600 acres of retail, office and multifamily development with up to 9,000 apartments. Additionally, the land also could be used for 38,000 single-family homes, including condos and townhomes.

Monsees says research on Estrella Mountain Ranch shows a distinct need for commercial development, specifically a town center component. “We think that the commercial development will occur sooner rather than later,” she says, “and by that, I mean within the next couple of years.”

According to Monsees, Newland Communities will sell acreage to commercial developers or joint venture with developers for commercial projects. But, she stresses, Newland intends to maintain control of the development’s look and feel. “We’re very much into controlling the planning and design,” she says.

Commercial and residential development has been occurring in Estrella Mountain Ranch since the mid-1980s. To date, roughly 2,150 acres have been developed and 3,100 homes built and sold. The development includes an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, two lakes, community park and 11,000-sf neighborhood market. It also features a residents club, two elementary schools and a high school.

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