A Citrus Grove Turned Sustainable Master-Planned Community

Navarro Grove emphasizes sustainable design and smart home technology in this modern twist on agrarian lifestyle

By Abby Pittman

Moving us into the 21st century by implementing smart home technology and sustainable building practices, Scottsdale-based Maracay Homes, a subsidiary of TRI Pointe Group, has recently debuted four model homes for one of their newest master planned communities, Navarro Groves, in Phoenix, Arizona.

TRI Pointe Group is a family of premium homebuilders with a long legacy of providing sustainable features in an effort to provide healthier, higher performing homes to buyers in major markets across the United States. For nearly two decades, TRI Pointe’s homebuilding brands have been industry leaders due to their inspired use of new technologies, materials, and strategies in constructing homes that produce superior performance in energy efficiency.

Originally known as Navarro’s Citrus Growers & Packers, the citrus grove that once occupied the land before being repurposed into a LEED Certified master planned community, inspired the builders to craft a community that showcased the best of both worlds — the peacefulness of rural living, and the convenience of big city amenities. “We carefully selected, reclaimed and wove elements from the citrus operation — including trees and historic artifacts — into the landscape and design of the community,” Marketing Manager Elise Goodell said. “We have this beautiful contrast of old and new that reverberates throughout the development and seamlessly blends into the surrounding desert-mountain landscape.”

With Maracay’s FlexDesign program, buyers can personalize that floor plan using a variety of options, including extending the kitchen nook or master bedroom, to selecting from a variety of master bathroom layouts and more.

The nearly 25-acre community presents a modern twist on agrarian lifestyle and aesthetics, featuring urban agriculture, natural desert landscape, and a neighborly atmosphere where nearby farm-to-table restaurants and local shopping and dining provide residents with an escape from the rush of daily life. Inside the homes, homebuyers can choose between six single-story floor plans, ranging from 2,400 to 3,300 square feet. The homes feature expansive great rooms, spacious kitchens, three-car tandem garages, generation suites, and Maracay’s Flex Design® options, allowing homebuyers to tailor each home to fit their specific needs, everything a boomer buyer or working professional could want.

Utilizing smart technology, Maracay Homes created their Flex Design® program, making it easy for homebuyers to personalize their home to fit their specific needs. For instance, homebuyers can go to the Maracay website, choose a floor plan to personalize, selecting from a variety of options, such as extending the kitchen nook or master bedroom, choose from a variety of master bathroom layouts, and more. Additionally, this tool allows customers to place furniture, add ceiling fans and place wall speakers on a desired floor plan to fit their lifestyle. Already a stressful and overwhelming process, this is just one way that smart technology can benefit homeowners and improve the homebuying process while offering a greater degree of control to buyers.

Comprised of 54 single-family homes right on the edge of the South Mountain Regional Park and Preserve, one of the largest municipal parks in the United States, Navarro Groves offers a truly blended lifestyle — a dream for many Arizona residents. This unique combination of nature and city life appeals to the average professional who works in downtown Phoenix or Tempe, but spends the weekend further exploring the surrounding landscape, as well as to Baby Boomers looking to settle down and enjoy their twilight years to the fullest while still having access to the finest restaurants and shopping Downtown Phoenix has to offer.

With the FlexDesign program, homebuyers can also place furniture, add ceiling fans and place wall speakers on a desired floor plan to fit their lifestyle.

Because Navarro Groves is situated on what were once sprawling agricultural fields, Maracay thought it only fitting to design the homes to meet rigorous LEED Certified® standards. In pursuing LEED certification, Navarro Groves’ homes will end up using about 30 to 50 percent less energy than other typical new homes. “We feel it’s our responsibility to not only to maintain the history but also preserve the beautiful landscape,” Goodell stated. “With this in mind, one of the things we wanted to focus on was building an environmentally friendly community that enhances the beauty of this historic land and minimizes the carbon footprint.”

The green aspects of Navarro Groves have become incredibly important to an increasing number of buyers. “I think buyers are looking for ways to save the environment and save money, which puts environmentally friendly homes front and center in the minds of consumers,” Goodell said. “Sustainable features used to be the icing on the cake, but now I think homebuyers are becoming more educated about protecting the environment and they want to know they are making a difference.”

Every home will meet the EPA’s Indoor airPLUS specifications, and will feature water-efficient fixtures, LED lighting, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, Energy Star® Appliances, tankless water heaters, and Wi-Fi enabled, programmable thermostats.

The homes will also feature Maracay’s signature LivingSmart® program, which includes five specific areas of advancement: HealthSmart®, EnergySmart™, EarthSmart®, WaterSmart® and, their latest addition, HomeSmart™, which utilizes the latest in technology to allow homeowners to save energy while they’re away, via their smart phone or tablet. Temperature, lighting, and other features can be controlled from the palm of one’s hand, from anywhere in the world.

HomeSmart, which utilizes the latest in technology to allow homeowners to save energy while they’re away via their smart phone or tablet.

TRI Pointe delivers its LivingSmart® program in order to meet the commitment of providing some of the healthiest and highest-performing homes in the industry. LivingSmart®, TRI Pointe Group’s comprehensive program that seamlessly blends the design, development, construction and operation of high-performing homes to provide healthier, more comfortable living environments with lower operating costs, is now integrated throughout all six premium builder brands that comprise the TRI Pointe Group.

These amenities and this neighborhood are right in line with how markets are trending. Buyers want more affordable high-density housing outside of major cities — with the latest and greatest technology and energy efficiency – while remaining on the cusp of everything that a big city has to offer, which is exactly what Navarro Groves has provided.

Next up for Maracay, they are currently developing another community in the South Mountain region of Phoenix. Maracay anticipates opening this community to sales in early 2019.

Abby Pittman is the Assistant Editor at Green Home Builder magazine. She can be reached at abby@penpubinc.com