Trailblazing: The Maddox, Mesa (Phoenix), AZ

“Making the Grade on Livability”

Mesa, Arizona sunset

Rankings have become an important metric in comparing quality of life for cities. High rankings not only make newspaper headlines, but also inform us of trends, influence economic growth and help cities attract new residents.

In January 2020, Pathfinder Income Fund acquired The Maddox, a 224-unit apartment community in Mesa, Arizona from Pathfinders Opportunity Fund V. The property is located on the border of Mesa and Gilbert, a rapidly growing area ranked highly for livability and economic prosperity.

Over the past decade, residents have been attracted to the Gilbert submarket for its award-winning schools and family-friendly ambiance. In recent years, the area has been recognized as one of the “Best Places to Live in America” by 24/7 Wall St., one of the “Best Places to Raise a Family” by WalletHub and one of the “Safest Cities in Arizona” by SafeWise. These factors have contributed to the area’s robust housing demand pushing Gilbert’s median home price up 31% year-over-year to $538,000 in November 2021.

Mesa/Gilbert also has a dynamic economy supported by healthcare, education, aerospace, tourism and technology. In 2017, Gilbert was ranked by the Economic Innovation Group as the “Most Prosperous City in the Country” attributable to the area’s emerging industries and world-class amenities. This notoriety has enticed Northrop Grumman, GoDaddy and Isagenix to open or expand operations in the area. In 2021, Gilbert was ranked the “Best U.S. City for Small Business Recovery Since the Pandemic” by Quickbooks; Mesa was ranked fourth.

The Mesa/Gilbert submarket is further supported by the robust economic growth of the greater Phoenix area. Phoenix grew faster than any other major city over the last decade, expanding its population by 11.2% with the addition of more than 160,000 residents from 2010 to 2020, making it the nation’s fifth largest city. Phoenix has recouped all jobs lost during the pandemic and is projected to add 90,000 new jobs in 2021. These factors have contributed to Phoenix’s recent recognition as the second “Best Labor Market in the Nation” by ThinkWhy.

Maddox, built in 1986, is situated on an 11.8-acre parcel and includes a mix of one- and two -bedroom apartments averaging 836 square feet. Maddox is on the corner of Gilbert Road and Inverness Avenue, a highly visible location with exposure to 250,000 cars per day. The property boasts a very low density of just 19 units/acre and is well parked at two parking spaces/unit with half the spaces being covered.

Pathfinder Fund V acquired Maddox in 2016 and completed substantial renovations including constructing a new clubhouse, leasing office and fitness center, upgrading the pool area (gas BBQ, TV-lounge, shade structure and new furniture), repainting the exterior, upgrading signage, adding a package locker and renovating 87 apartments (37%). Since the 2020 transaction, we have recommenced interior apartment renovations, improved the dog park and turned a non-functioning pond into a park area with hammocks.

Maddox is four blocks north of the Gilbert Heritage District, a popular shopping and dining destination home to numerous restaurants, bars and boutique retail. Residents have the convenience of 12 employment centers within a ten-mile radius and under a a 30-minute commute to downtown Phoenix. The neighborhood is great and getting better.

Mesa, Arizona: Did you know?

The Hohokam Canal Systems: The history of Mesa dates back over 2,000 years ago with the arrival of the Hohokam people. These natives built the largest and most sophisticated canal system in the prehistoric New World. Some canals were up to 90´ wide and 10´ deep extending up to 16 miles.

Rendering of Honokam Village
Rendering of Honokam Village

By 1100 A.D. the canals were delivering water to over 4,000,000 acres, transforming the area into an agricultural oasis. By 1450 A.D., The Hohokam had constructed hundred of miles of canals, many of which are still used today.

Photo Credit: National Science Foundation


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