Gold Hill Mesa hurt by nation’s housing slump

       Gold Hill Mesa has not gone untouched by the nationwide housing market slowdown.
       “We went from three to four a week to three to four a month,” developer Bob Willard said last week of sales in the new, growing subdivision off Lower Gold Camp Road and 21st Street. “The market sure slowed down. Just now we are starting to see an increase in activity.”
       A major side effect will be a delay in the widening of South 21st Street. “We're going to put it off till next year,” Willard said. He predicted the summer of 2008.
       Phase 1 of the widening - from two to four lanes between Lower Gold Camp and Villa de Mesa Drive - had been planned for this summer, so as to keep up with new residents moving into Gold Hill. But the development's agreement with the city allows the start date to slide if that pace is slow, Willard explained in an interview.
       Phase 2, as yet unscheduled, would extend the widening to Broadway Street.
       Willard also provided information about the houses being built. He said that of the 46 building permits so far, about half are for model or speculation residences and the other half are for buyers. Included are four townhomes with three or four units each.
       The first residents were starting to move in during late September, he said. The very first resident is Adel Ibrahim, at 262 S. Raven Mine Drive. He is the consumer sales director for the Gazette. Other early residents include a lawyer, firefighter/dental hygienist couple, a rental car manager/ special education teacher and an army captain now in Iraq (his father is buying his house for him), Willard said.
       All the building construction has been in the project's Filing 1 area, which is approved for 167 homes. No building has occurred yet in the Filing 2 area, closer to 21st Street, which is approved for 73 homes, Willard said.
       In all, Gold Hill Mesa plans about 1,000 homes, plus a 67-acre commercial area southeast of 21st Street and Highway 24, on a total of 210 acres.

Westside Pioneer article