Buckeye, AZ may not be the first place you think of when you consider huge housing projects, but the eye-poppingly large Tervalis community (the former Douglas Ranch) broke ground in late October and will bring more than 100,000 homes to the city of 101,315.

The groundbreaking has been a long time coming. Here’s what the Phoenix Business Journal had to say about it in 2003: “Whodathunkit? The West Valley farming community of Buckeye will be home to just shy of a quarter of a million new … The availability of land in the West Valley and Interstate 10 are luring more growth to the sleepy little farm town.”

What’s the history of Douglas Ranch (Tervalis)

Buckeye really got things moving in 2003 when voters approved a plan to annex Douglas Ranch – a master-planned community across 35,000 acres in the northern portion of Buckeye. The land was predominantly used for farming – something city leaders have been anxious to protect.

“Through its history, Buckeye has been a hub of farming activity, surrounded by miles of cropland in most directions. Only in recent years have home builders and developers started showing up,” the Business Journal wrote in 2003. “Let’s hope the community’s future is well-thought out and built with a smart-growth model that cities and towns throughout the sprawling metro area can use.

The project was supposed to get started in 2012, but the aftershocks from the 2008 housing crash caused its postponement.

What do the locals think?

Buckeye mayor Eric Osborn recently spoke to Livabl and said the region is in a housing crisis. Megaprojects such as Tervalis will go a long way to solving the region’s problems, he says.

“We have a massive amount of development coming in that ranges from single-family starter homes to executive housing. There’s a lot of master-planned communities coming this way, too,” he said. “We’ve been adding somewhere between 3,000-4,000 single-family homes over the last few years, and now it’s just a matter of mixing that with multi-family homes – whether that’s traditional garden-style apartments, build-to-rent product or workforce housing.”

You wouldn’t expect the mayor to bad mouth the city, but he makes a convincing case for its future.

“[It’s about] the quality of life – definitely,” he said. “It’s also massive opportunity. We are a city of 640 square miles, and we’re only 13% built out. Moving to Buckeye is like pioneering. It’s close to the built-up Metro Phoenix Area. There are some wonderful retail opportunities coming our way. There are great transportation projects that are planned right now, too. We also have about 10,000 jobs that are in the queue right now for this area, and we’re close to doubling the number of available jobs. So just massive opportunity. We’re at the ground floor of what is to become a massive growing community.”

The governor is pretty pumped.

“In the game of states, people vote with their feet—and Arizona is winning. Since 2015, Arizona has welcomed over 584,000 new residents and we don’t expect that momentum to stop anytime soon,” Arizona Governor Doug Ducey told AZ Big Media. “This increases the demand for housing opportunities and Howard Hughes is answering that call with this impressive community, providing quality housing options for current and future Arizonans.”

Who’s building the project?

The project is being built by the Howard Hughes Corp., which will announce builders later this year. The project was acquired from JDM Partners, led by Jerry Colangelo and El Dorado Holdings for $600-million in 2021. Both companies are expected to stay on as joint partners in the early days of development.

“How you live matters,” said Heath Melton, president of the Phoenix Region for The Howard Hughes Corporation. “Our mission is to curate vibrant communities that elevate the everyday, creating meaningful moments in great places where people can live their best lives – and thrive for generations to come.”

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