New Tempe housing development to break ground next week

Tractors stand on the new site where apartments that are going to be built on Weber and Scottsdale roads. (Photo by Emily Johnson) Tractors stand on the new site where apartments are going to be built on Scottsdale Road and Weber Drive. (Photo by Emily Johnson)

Developers are set to break ground Monday for a new housing development north of the Tempe campus.

The development, called The Newport at Tempe, will be composed of 38 single-family homes, geared toward making the Tempe area more enticing for families and professionals, Ashley Rose, a spokesperson for the housing developer Risi Homes, said in an email.

The development, located near Scottsdale Road and Weber Drive, is strategically located to give residents easy access to the ASU campus, downtown Tempe and the surrounding commerce areas, Rose said.

Rose said the development is coming at a time when downtown Tempe is expanding and becoming more attractive to homeowners, so the need for affordable housing is growing fast. In a press release, she said that more than 10,000 new employees will be flocking to the Tempe area for the new State Farm headquarters, so the housing development will provide the influx of people with a wider selection of housing options.

The development will come in an area where the need for single-family homes is very high, said Ryan Levesque, deputy community development director for Tempe.

“This development will fit in very nicely with the surrounding community,” Levesque said. “It is going to be in an area that is very compatible with single-family homes, and it will bring some vibrancy to the community.”

Levesque said Tempe has seen a rise in construction of townhomes, apartments and other multi-family housing, so a large single-family housing development fits a growing demand for more permanent housing for new Tempe residents.

The Community Development Department in Tempe is looking forward to the beginning of the Newport project, as well as looking to the future at opportunities to improve Tempe as a whole for residents and people who might want to live there, Levesque said.

Tempe City Councilmember Kolby Granville said a diverse selection of housing options is crucial for Tempe.

“Tempe needs apartments, single-family homes and it also needs nicer apartments and homes,” Granville said. “We need for every type of person who wants to live in Tempe to be able to find a home that suits their needs.”

The Newport homes will be for sale, not for direct rental, but the developer advertises that buying a home in the Newport development would be a good investment for someone who wants to rent a home to students.

Rose said in a press release that all the Newport homes will be built to be energy efficient, which is designed to save the residents money on their electric bills. Risi Development also pledged sustainable business and building practices, so each Newport home will have to meet the standard.

The development offers a variety of floor plans, including two-, three- and four-bedroom options in the homes, according to information provided by Rose. The loft-style homes will also offer other amenities such as two car garages and balconies, Rose said.

Joe Risi, the developer of the project, is an ASU alumnus who has overseen projects in Arizona, California, Nevada, Idaho and Wyoming. Risi said that with Tempe becoming a destination for business and for families, now is the time to plan for the growth.

“The opportunity to purchase a new, completely customizable home while keeping on budget is a far-fetched dream to most homebuyers, but The Newport at Tempe is helping make that dream a reality,” Risi said in a statement.

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Sept. 22.

Reach the reporter at or follow her on Twitter @CorinaVanek

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