Ever-expanding Tesoro Viejo adds 1,000 lots in Madera. High school, athletic facilities planned
Tesoro Viejo — Madera’s mammoth planned community — took another step Tuesday toward greater expansion as the county’s planning commission approved more than a thousand new residential lots. The subdivision maps approved by the commission set the stage for development in four of the community’s nine planned neighborhoods: Arroyo Village, The Vistas, Oak Knoll Village and The Vineyard.
The growing community already has an onsite K-8 school, a town center, an amphitheater and ranch houses for residents to hang out in — all surrounded by the Rio Mesa’s hilly landscape and bordered to the southeast by the San Joaquin River. Still in the works are an on-site school that also serves high school students, and the Rio Mesa Education Complex, which will include athletic facilities.
Brent McCaffrey, president of McCaffrey Homes, Tesoro Viejo’s developer, told the county’s planning commission he expects the education complex to be completed in the next few years. An age-qualified senior development on the southern edge is also in planning. According to McCaffrey’s presentation, homes planned for construction in each neighborhood are: 307 in Arroyo Village, 259 in The Vistas, 317 in The Vineyards, and 175 in Oak Knoll Village
Tesoro Viejo broke ground in the county’s Rio Mesa area in 2017. It falls under the county’s Rio Mesa Area Plan, a nearly 15,000-acre space bordered by Highway 145 to the north, Millerton Lake to the east, the San Joaquin River to the southeast and Highway 41 to the west. The county hopes to see the full 30,000 homes in the next 30 years.
Jamie Bax, Madera County’s director of community and economic development, said Tesoro Viejo has 922 projects in different phases of construction. The community was recognized this year as the National Community of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders. The Bee spoke to several residents who said that the broader development was starting to feel like a real community.
Lisa Wells, 57, and Laura Rios, 33, neighbors in the Hillside community, said they immediately “hit it off” when they moved in about four years ago. “We immediately became family,” Rios said.
Neighbors said book and bicycling clubs have formed. Brian and Renee Curwick, a married couple who also live in Hillside, joined a local running club before they even moved into the development.
“It absolutely has become a community in a short time,” Brian Curwick said.
So far, Tesoro Viejo has homes in three neighborhoods: Hillside Village, Creekside Village and The Plaza. KB Homes and De Young Properties are also developing homes there. According to McCaffrey’s presentation to the county and conversation with the Bee: 804 homes are planned for Hillside Village, with about 705 homeowners already living there 544 homes are planned for Creekside Village, with a few dozen homeowners already living there About 1,560 homes are planned for The Plaza, with approximately 46 already sold.
Upcoming in this neighborhood are also about 540 apartments, 230 duplexes and 250 “Wildrose” homes In The Plaza, sales are set to begin for Tesoro Viejo’s “Boulevard” product – two-story homes ranging in size from 1,200 to 1,700 square feet. Already on the market are the “Poppy” homes, which McCaffrey said are designed to be affordable for first-time home buyers. Prices for Poppy homes start in the $300,000s. “Tesoro Viejo is not about high-end living,” McCaffrey said. “We have made a commitment to having products that are available for all walks of life or demographics.”
Homes in the highest price ranges start in the high $500,000s with the Oaks collection and in the high $600,000s with the Ivy Collection, which has homes of more than 4,000 square feet. Different price ranges will also be found in the new subdivisions. McCaffrey said construction on Rio Mesa Boulevard — a new north-south road that will begin about 2,200 feet east of the Avenue 12 and Highway 41 intersection and traverse a few miles north to Avenue 15 — is expected to begin in the second quarter of next year. Traffic on Highway 41 has increased from an average of 29,000 daily trips when the development first began to about 40,000 daily trips today, he said.