The Maricopa Planning & Zoning Commission gave the go-ahead to a request for approval of the site plan, landscape, photometric and elevation plans for Copa Flats, a proposed 312-unit multi-story, multi-family apartment complex. The project will rise on a 13-acre parcel east of N. Porter Road at the intersection of N. Porter Road and W. Applegate Road, just north of the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway.
The project, located at 17485 N. Porter Road is being developed by Maricopa AHI, LLLP, an affiliate of Minnesota-based Real Estate Equities. The project has been designated as affordable housing development, which is designed to accommodate municipal workers, entry-level professionals and others who are working but do not have enough money to purchase a home.
The measure was approved unanimously, with the stipulation that when presented to city council the site plan will call for a minimum of 592 parking spaces, which would bring it into compliance with the city code.
The developers met several sustainability benchmarks outlined by the city, which allowed them to reduce the number of parking spaces required by 20%, from 740 to 592. The current site plan calls for 542 spaces, which raised objections from several of the commissioners.
Commissioner Ted Yocum said, “I’m concerned that (542) number is closer to 30%,” he said. “If I had a job where I got home about midnight every night that I would be struggling to find a parking space, and I’d be parking off the premises probably. I think that’s a situation that warrants more discussion.”
Eric Omdahl, a representative from Real Estate Equities, said the company, which manages all its own properties initially, typically issues up to two permits per dwelling, but based on their past history, many units do not have two cars.
“I think it’s important to bear in mind that this is an affordable housing development, in which all residents will be income qualified, so drawing a parallel analogy that maybe might not work for everyone in this room based on the number of cars in their household, it works fairly well for the residents that we’d be working with that would be qualifying from an income standpoint,” Omdahl said.
Copa Flats features a mix of one, two and three-bedroom units with 48 one-bedroom, one-bath units; 108 two-bedroom, two-bath units; and 156 three-bedroom, two-bath units.
Real Estate Equities’ pre-application shows the project consisting of 13 total buildings, all of which will be three stories and about 35 feet in height. There will be 24 units per building.
The project now returns to City Council for final approval, likely at the council’s Dec. 7 meeting.