Gilbert Town Council’s

Gilbert Town Council’s approval means 165 of these small homes will be coming to Ash near Sam’s Club in the near future.

Commercial land that sat vacant near Gilbert Road and Houston Avenue for decades will now be the site for a gated multi-family rental community.

Town Council without comment approved 7-0 a minor General Plan amendment and zone change for The Bungalows on Ash, north of Sam’s Club. The 165 bungalows will include a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units on roughly 16 acres.

“This is a single-story, detached high-end community,” said attorney Sean Lake, representing the developer. “We think this is a good project.”

Three people submitted comment cards opposing the project, citing the large number of rentals that currently exist in a 2-mile radius of the site, anticipated increase in crime and they wanted to see more family eating spots and other businesses at the location instead.

The Planning Commission in February unanimously recommended approval of the project. 

The site has a number of challenges, including it is not located on an arterial intersection so it is not a high-customer draw and is on a curve in the road that limits its access. The land has sat vacant for 30 years.

The developer said the area is already saturated with retail. It did a study of the area and identified “42 retail-restaurant locations” and 85 retail and service locations on Gilbert Road between Guadalupe and Baseline roads.

The vacant parcel was originally zoned in the late 1980s as part of a larger 31-acre shopping and medical center but was rezoned a few years later, according to a staff report. 

The master plan contained the Sam’s Club parcel as Phase 1 and The Bungalows site was originally intended for Phase 2 with a large-anchor tenant and supporting restaurant and retail along the street. 

In the early 1990s, five or six different developments were approved for those supporting industries, including an IHOP, Kyoto Bowl and a few others.

But because there was no main-anchor tenant, those establishments were never built, according to town planners.

Each unit at Bungalows on Ash will have a private backyard. The development is expected to appeal to retirees, young professionals and couples who do not want to own a home but could still enjoy the benefits of renting and have a backyard.

The residential units are designed in a cluster configuration, with typically four to eight units clustered around a common connected pedestrian courtyard. Amenities include a clubhouse, a resort-like pool, dog spa and central turf lawn.

The one main entry to the development would be off of Gilbert Road with fire access to the north.