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New apartment complex on Tucson's south side aims to offer 'attainable' rents

From the 2021 rewind: A look back at Tucson's wild housing market this year series

Cabana Bridges will be a 288-unit complex at The Bridges, the mixed-use development near Park Avenue and Interstate 10.

A new housing community geared toward working class residents will soon be going up on Tucson’s south side.

Scottsdale-based Greenlight Communities and Tucson-based Holualoa Cos. plan to build Cabana Bridges, a 288-unit complex at The Bridges, the mixed-use development near Park Avenue and Interstate 10.

Greenlight focuses on building “attainable housing” which the company defines as the void between luxury apartments and restricted affordable housing units.

“What we’ve seen in the last few years is a run-up of rents and people who make $40,000 a year not having an option,” said Dan Richards, one of the partners for Greenlight. “It’s just not right.”

The new apartments will have an average monthly rent of about $1,000, which is the current average rent in the Tucson market.

Richards said to keep costs down the company has an in-house general contractor and only three floor plans that can be designed faster because of the repetition.

The models are 468-square-foot studios, 624-square-foot one-bedroom units and 828-square-foot two-bedroom units.

The Bridges community will be designed in pods with different amenities that are open to all residents.

One pod will have a pool and barbecue area; one an orchard seating area; another will have a backyard lawn games theme and finally a hammock garden with hammocks tied to trees and grass.

All units will be pet friendly.

The apartments will all face inward toward the different pods, not out to the parking lot, Richards said.

Richard Kauffman, CEO of Holualoa, said he got involved with Greenlight because of its focus on middle-income housing.

“It’s increasingly unaffordable and scarce,” he said. “And there’s not a lot of participants in this market.”

"The whole live, work, play motto has become a cliche but if you look at The Bridges, it's a reality. It's a great, self-contained place to live," said Richard Kauffman, CEO of Holualoa, referencing the various employers, retailers and eateries in the area, including Costco, Walmart and Century Theatres.

The appeal of The Bridges, Kauffman said, was because of location near the interstate and many employers nearby such as Geico, JTED, Banner hospital, the VA hospital and juvenile and adult probation offices along Ajo Way.

Then there’s the retail workers at The Bridges for Costco, Walmart and many restaurants and shops.

“The whole live, work, play motto has become a cliche but if you look at The Bridges, it’s a reality,” Kauffman said. “It’s a great, self-contained place to live.”

Greenlight bought the vacant land on the southeast corner of Park Avenue and 36th Street for $3.4 million and plans to spend $50 million on construction, which is expected to begin later this year.

A new housing complex consisting of 288 apartments is planned at The Bridges, as seen from Park Ave and 36th Street. The Geico building is in the background.

The hope is to welcome residents in January 2023.

As housing prices in the Tucson area have been on the rise, rents have also increased to accommodate people who may not be able to compete with the run-up in prices of new homes.

Several new rental communities that have come online in the last year are luxury units with monthly rents of up to $4,000.

“We are excited to bring the many benefits of the Cabana approach to multifamily development to the residents of Tucson,” said Patricia Watts, principal of Greenlight Communities. “The Tucson market needs attainable housing options for individuals and families who want to enjoy a quality living experience at reasonable rental rates.”

Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at

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