Bobby Lieb

DRE: BR007861000

(602) 376-1341

Bobby's Blog

Urban infill: Coloring inside the old lines

Posted On: April 29th, 2019 8:52PM

Many people tell me they don’t like to see the new apartment building where an open field used to be…or the parking lot that now covers a field where kids used to play soccer, baseball, football and soccer. What they’re really saying is that they can’t get used to the fact that Central Phoenix has morphed from its suburban roots into A Big City. Let me just get this out of the way, right up front: as a realtor, yes, I do benefit from more people moving into Phoenix who need housing—whether they’re leasing an apartment, or purchasing condo, townhome, or house. But, there are four social benefits I want to tell you about regarding this kind of growth—known as urban infill.

The first is that there are historic preservation considerations that happen before land use changes. Structures and land that served as single-family residences in the past may now be the foundation where many more families live and enjoy the benefits of that location and its history. In many cases, the new development is named after the property’s history, such as Windsor Square, Madison on 16th and Madison Pointe, Roosevelt Square, Colter Park and Biltmore Commons. The second benefit of infill is environmental. Many projects are being developed with the idea of walkability — reducing vehicle use and minimizing carbon footprint.

Before residential development can be zoned in a brownfield (or any property that was used for something else, such as boarding horses), there must first be an elimination of all hazards on the property. In the case of horse properties (three to five acres), and the land is more valuable as residential space than as a boarding property. The horses, once so much a part of suburban Phoenix, are now being boarded outside of this big city’s limits. Sprawl…minimizing anymore urban sprawl is the third benefit of urban infill. When was the last time you drove “to the desert” just to see the native plants and flowers? How far did you have to drive to see them?

Finally, yes, there is a social economic benefit to urban infill. Infill takes place where there is already infrastructure that benefits residents. Being able to live in a place that is well-located in a city as opposed to outlying areas that require commuting—is what keeps the heart of Phoenix expanding within its own boundaries.


Bobby Lieb Associate Broker

HomeSmart Elite Group Manager/Founder

5225 N. Central Ave., Ste. 104 Phoenix, AZ 85012

Mobile: 602-376-1341 Fax: 602-996-9141 

Add Comment