Renewed homebuilder interest brings more homes to Tucson’s southwest side

A 20-year-old master-planned community, once considered to be “out in the boondocks,” is getting renewed attention on Tucson’s far southwest side.


Star Valley, near Valencia and Wade roads, is more than 1,400 acres and zoned for about 7,000 homes.


About 1,500 homes have been built, but last year, homebuilders began eyeing the area for new development as improvements to both Valencia Road and Ajo Way have made access to town easier.


Homebuilders pulled 172 building permits in Star Valley in 2021, versus 29 permits in 2020 and are aiming for prices in the low $300,000 range as the average new home price in the Tucson area now stands at nearly $430,000, and the average resale home price is $360,000.


Meritage Homes has just opened a new community in Star Valley called Las Patrias, with plans for 116 houses in five floor plans, starting in the low $300,000s.“Tailored to Tucson, we offer several different floor plans that will appeal to families of all sizes,” said Jeff Grobstein, Meritage’s division president for Tucson. 


“Star Valley is a beautiful community situated in a revered part of town.”Meritage originally bought 107 homesites and, since opening for sale in May 2021, has sold 70 homes.


The new community will have a dog park, basketball courts, biking trails and playgrounds.Meritage is one of four homebuilders currently active in Star Valley.Lennar, Richmond American and LGI Homes are also building with some models in the $400,000 range, said land broker Will White, with Land Advisors Organization, which handles lot sales at Star Valley.


“Star Valley has sold over 900 lots to four major homebuilders in the last 18 months,” he said. 


“Most of those homebuilders have decided to purchase additional phases already.”


Developer Sunbelt Holdings has been aggressive in acquiring land and getting lots approved and ready for homebuilders, White said.


Even farther west of Star Valley, thousands of homes are planned near Ryan Airfield, at Ajo Way and Valencia Road.


Convenience stores and restaurants are also popping up along that corridor as well.


“That area was really underserved,” White said, noting it was one of the submarkets that made one of the strongest comebacks when homebuilding once again took off.


AUTHOR: Gabriela Rico




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