(Read more on the multifamily market.)

PHOENIX-Opus West Corp. and RED Group LLC have launched construction on their third independent living facility in the state. The 190-unit Toscana at Northern is carrying an all-in development tab of $40 million.

The 5.7-acre project is replacing a local landmark, Bud Brown’s Barn, at 909 E. Northern Ave. The Toscana at Northern is scheduled for completion by year-end.

The JV also has broken ground on the 205-unit Hermosa Village at Speedway Boulevard and Wilmot Road in Tucson. The JV’s first project, the 223-unit McDowell Village Senior Apartments at 8300 E. McDowell Rd. in Scottsdale, was completed in early 2006.

John Boyd, senior director of real estate development for Opus West, says more developments with Scottsdale-based RED Group are in the works. “We’re under contract and due diligence on a site across the street from Pointe South Mountain Resort,” he tells GlobeSt.com. The luxury resort is located at 7777 S. Pointe Pkwy. in Phoenix. Boyd anticipates a year-end closing. Two more sites are under consideration in Houston and Dallas, he confides.

Boyd says Toscana at Northern will differ slightly from the other two projects because there will be more two-bedroom units. “The product type has morphed as the market has changed. We’re approaching 50% with two bedrooms,” he says. “We ran out of two-bedroom units quickly at the McDowell project.”

Boyd says market demographics indicate residents want the second room for a guest room or home office. As a result, Toscana at Northern will have 72 one-bedroom units, 24 one-bedroom apartments with a den and the remainder will be two-bedroom designs. Units will average 891 sf. Although rents haven’t been set, Boyd says market rents for the upper-scale product go from $3.50 per sf to $4.50 per sf, which includes utilities, meals and other amenities.

The management contract for Toscana at Northern has yet to be finalized. The project’s architect is Rich Barber with ORB Architecture LLC of Phoenix, with Opus West Construction Corp. as general contractor.

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