Steve Clarke’s first foray into the world of residential development’s will be an attempt to offer brand new homes at a more affordable price than is currently widely available in Lake Havasu City.
Clarke’s first development will be called The Havasu Life South, which officially broke ground at Kearsage Dr. and Arapaho Dr. on Thursday after getting their permits from the city to begin grading on the lot. It will be a gated community of “micro-homes” is similar to the tiny-home concept used in several developments in town over the last couple years.
“People will be able to come in and pick between our three models,” said Luke Still, CFO of Desert Land Group, which will serve as the developer on the project. “They are a little bit like some of the other tiny homes — we call them micro-homes — except instead of having one really small model they can also go up a little bit and get into the two-bedroom two-bathroom stuff to attract a little bit of the smaller family needs.”
Still said the plan is to build a total of 32 units on the property, which will include about 20 detached homes and another 12 attached ones.
“We did that as a way to try to get the best economies of scale, fit it on the site the right way, and also create enough space between the other houses to where it doesn’t feel cramped,” Still said.
Eric Gedalje, CEO of the Janecek Gedalje Group which will be in charge of real estate sales, said he can’t give many specifics on the pricing of the homes until the public report has been completed. But he said the goal is to offer a product at a substantially lower price than the average Havasu home.
According to data from the Multiple Listing Service in Havasu, from the beginning of 2020 until mid-November, the median price of the 1,805 homes purchased in the city is $360,000 while the average price is $413,992. During that time only 32 homes have sold for less than $200,000.
“For people who want to experience the quality of life of Lake Havasu and to experience all of the amazing things that it has to offer there is nowhere in town besides Experanza – and they are almost sold out – are going to offer a price point substantially less than the average home for sale in Lake Havasu,” Gedalje said. “So I think it provides an incredible opportunity for people to still buy here as prices are rapidly increasing. If we continue in the direction we are going with how quickly we are running out of lots I think prices are going to continue to go up. So Havasu needs a product sub-$250,000 that is still new construction.”
That was the market that Clarke said he wanted to target with his first development.
“I wanted to do something for the city to bring more affordable housing and senior citizen housing,” Clarke said. “So when Eric showed me this lot I thought it would be a good lot to put 30-some homes on it at a price range where people in town can afford it.”
Clarke said he liked the idea of a gated community as well.
“If a young mother has her child they don’t have to worry about them running out onto the street. In a gated community they will get to meet everybody and become a little community themselves.”
Clarke, from Southern California, said he is planning to retire from his job as the CEO of Supplier Management Solutions, an aerospace company based in Temecula, at the end of the year. He said he has been coming to Havasu since he was a kid, and has owned a home here since 2005.
He said he expects to spend even more time in Havasu once he retires and expects The Havasu Life South to be his first of many residential developments in town.
Still said grading the site is expected to start up this week. He said the infrastructure plans are still in the process of being submitted to the city for approval, which will likely take another month or so.
If all goes according to plan, Still said they are hoping to break ground on construction of the first model homes in the development in February. The goal is to have the public report completed so lots can go up for sale in late spring.
Clarke’s second real estate project will be similar to the first. The Havasu Life North, planed near Bahama Avenue and Bimini Lane, will be a similar gated micro-home concept but is expected to be geared more towards senior citizens.
Still said that development will likely have about 35 units, and they plan to put in a few more amenities like a swimming pool and a pickleball court.