If you build it, they will come. That is what developers are planning for in Northern Arizona.
One of the largest privately owned parcels of land in the beautiful pines of Northern Arizona outside of Flagstaff is currently in escrow and scheduled to close this year. Witchita, Kansas based developers are scheduled to close this year on the purchase of a 500-acre parcel near Williams with plans to build at least 1,000 homes and are in talks to create a theme park.
Total development costs for the entire project are estimated at around $500 million, said Brent Moser, principal of Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Phoenix.
Located in Williams, just 30 minutes from Flagstaff in Coconino County, the 500 acres are owned by Valley entrepreneur Max Biegert, who spent $85 million to develop and build the Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel in the late 1980s. Biegert is selling the land to developers for a new mini master planned community that would include custom homes as well as additional housing options.
Offering views of the 35-acre lake, pine trees and Bill Williams mountain, the property is expected to draw a large interest list. Preliminary planning speculates that 90 of the 500-acres will be used for private custom lots which will be elevated over 100 feet above Gonzales Lake and available for purchase by the general public. Developers are also in negotiations with an undisclosed theme park entertainment design company to develop 85 acres of the land into a possible western themed story park. Williams is already a tourism destination with Bearizona, which saw 500,000 visitors in 2020 alone.
Gail Jackson, President and CEO at ECoNA says, “This new development will bring much needed housing and diversity to our strong tourism offerings in Northern Arizona.
While it could take 10 to 15 years for the entire project to be built, the first phase of development would be a $150 million to $200 million investment.