Case Study Anthem Phoenix Az

One of the fastest-growing regions in the United States is the central Arizona Phoenix metro area. Much of the development is aimed at retirement or semiretirement age groups; one exception is the Anthem project, which began selling in 1999 and is planned for completion in 2007.

Developer Del Webb is well-known in the Southwest for its "lifestyle communities"—often gated, guarded neighborhoods. The Del Webb Corporation has built more than 100,000 homes since 1928 and is best known for its Sun City retirement communities. Anthem is the company's first nonage-restricted housing development and is described on its promotional web site—www.anthemarizona.com—as containing two sections. Anthem Country Club consists of "gate-guarded, resortstyle living with two .. . 18-hole championship golf courses." The target resident market is described as professionals aged 40 to 60, preretirees and empty nesters. Anthem Parkside offers "real neighborhood living with activities and amenities tailored to fit the way your family lives, works and plays." This section markets to people aged 25 to 40 with children.

This self-contained approach to master-planning community design is typical of the Edge City trend. These are not small, either. By the time the project is completed, it will contain 12,000 homes—the size of a small city on its own. In fact, the project includes features one would expect to find in such a city: shops, restaurants, parks, open space, schools, commercial, industrial, and office space, and municipal services, for example. Because the area involved is both large and remote (5,760 acres 35 miles north of Phoenix) virtually all trips require the use of an automobile. And because the development is so large, it is also diverse, offering something for many different markets within the development itself. Even the recreational facilities are designed to appeal to all age groups.

A 43,000-square-foot community center is the hub of the community. It is next to the community park where the first K-8 school is also sited. The center includes after-school activities, a complete fitness center, tennis courts, dance studio, and a Big Splash Water Park. The Golf and Country Club, one of the few private clubs in Arizona, includes two full championship courses as well as swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness center, and a dining room.

The complex includes a 128,000-square-foot retail center called

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