Francisco Grande Plans Major Expansion

Credit: PinalCentral

By Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa for Casa Grande Dispatch 
The Francisco Grande resort has big plans to expand in the next few years. 
The Casa Grande Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of a plan by Francisco Grande to develop a mix of residential, commercial, hospitality, open space, office space and recreational campus space on its 663-acre property near Montgomery Road and Gila Bend Highway. 
The owners want to create a walkable, multi-use community that expands the property’s current uses as a hotel and golf resort and as the home of the Barca Soccer Academy and ASU Preparatory Academy, according to a report given to the commission. 
The 144-acre high-density residential section would include a mix of detached and attached single-family homes, medium-density residential and multifamily residential. The 62-acre recreational campus area includes ASU Prep and Barca Academy and an expansion of the existing dorms for both. The 35-acre commercial and 83-acre mixed use areas would include space for multifamily residential, offices and small businesses. 
The project may also expand the existing hotel on 36 acres of the property. 
Most of the 190-acre open space is to be taken up by the existing golf course and several new trails along with some low-lying, flood-prone areas. The exact number of homes, offices and commercial space hasn’t been determined yet. 
City Planning and Development Director Paul Tice explained that the site does have several areas that fall within the 500-year and 100-year floodplains. The federal, state and city governments allow a property owner to build in the 500-year floodplain without having to raise or protect buildings from a flood. 
However, a property owner who wants to build in a 100-year floodplain does have to show that they have raised any buildings out of the floodplain before the construction is approved, Tice said. 
Linda Morales from The Planning Center said the company has taken an in-depth look at the flooding problems on the site. The plan is to have most of the development take place in the 500-year flood zone and leave most of the 100-year flood zone as open space for the community to enjoy. The company would develop flood channels to help control some of the flood water in the areas where it was needed. 
Read more at Casa Grande Dispatch. 

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