Greenlight Communities’ ‘Cabana’ Properties Help Counter the Effects of Rising Rental Rates in Arizona Cities

Eight Arizona Cities Make List of Highest-Rising Rates in the Country; Company Defines New Product Designed to Provide Quality Options at Lower Rents

The Phoenix metro area has some of the fastest-rising rental rates in the country, with eight cities in the region ranking in the top 100 in rate increases in a recent study.

Fortunately, a Scottsdale-based company is working to counter this trend by creating a new multifamily residential product that is attainable for working families.

According to AdvisorSmith’s “Cities Where Rents are Rising and Falling the Most” report, the communities of Avondale (1st), Surprise (6th), Glendale (11th), Peoria (21st), Mesa (26th), Gilbert (27th), Phoenix (68th) and Chandler (71st) were all among the cities nationwide with the biggest year-over-year increases in rental rates.

The escalation of rents is due in large part to the attractive living conditions in the Valley, but is exacerbated by the fact that the vast majority of new multifamily construction is geared toward the luxury market.

In response to these trends, Greenlight Communities is currently in the process of building more than 3,000 new units under the “Cabana” brand in the Phoenix metro area and beyond. The projects will make use of Greenlight’s innovative approach and industry-changing designs to create communities with reasonable rent rates.

Greenlight Communities’ first two newly built communities opened in 2020 in Phoenix, with average rents just over $1,000 per month. The company also has new projects in the development pipeline in Goodyear, Scottsdale, Glendale and Mesa.

Greenlight Communities is the first company to innovatively focus solely on building “attainable” housing to fill the void between affordable and luxury apartments, using their leading-edge business and development model to create a one-of-a-kind housing alternative for middle-class residents working in fields such as teaching, healthcare and public safety.

The company’s principals have extensive experience in the multifamily housing industry and identified the need for a product like Cabana as a result of seeing that the vast majority of new builds are offering a luxury product. They worked to create a business model for Cabana that focused on the most necessary and desirable amenities for residents, along with consistent floor plans and design-forward finishes to create economies of scale and keep costs down.

“With renters facing increasing rents combined with the economic challenges of the pandemic, we believe it necessary to provide an alternative to what is on the market now. We believe strongly in the importance of providing everyone an opportunity to enjoy a comfortable living environment,” said Robert Lyles, principal of Greenlight Communities. “Cabana properties are designed to counter the trends in the marketplace and provide new options for individuals and families.”

Greenlight Communities’ Senior partners, Robert Lyles and Patricia Watts, began redeveloping existing properties back in 1996 as part of Starpointe Communities. Partner Dan Richards joined the leadership team in 2003 and the company continued to evolve until it rebranded as Deco Communities. The Cabana brand was born under the Deco umbrella, but in 2018, the partners decided to expand on the vision by creating Greenlight Communities.

Greenlight Communities’ business model eliminates many of the cost and time constraints other building projects and apartment communities around the country inevitably experience and uses innovative design and economies of scale to create a quality living experience at attainable rental rates.  

The Cabana brand and Greenlight’s overall approach has already generated a significant amount of interest in the marketplace thanks to this innovative model.

Overall, plans for seven Cabana communities have been announced for the Phoenix metro area, with additional properties in the planning stages, including expanding to Tucson.

“There is a clear and significant need for the Cabana product in the multifamily marketplace. It is gratifying to be building residences that are attainable for individuals and families looking for alternatives to what is currently on the market,” said Dan Richards, principal at Greenlight Communities. “Those in professions such as education, healthcare, public safety and other essential workers should have access to quality housing, and we are pleased that Cabana is filling this need.”

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