Founded in 2007, Habitat Metro, LLC’s development principals, Wm. Timothy Sprague, John Hill, and Feliciano Vera, have been actively involved in real estate development within the Phoenix market for over thirty years. With a focus on responsible development in Phoenix, the principals of Habitat Metro have never been satisfied at measuring the potential success of a project by its pro forma. The firm approaches every development opportunity with a double bottom line perspective—measuring project success not solely by bottom line results, consistent with the highest fiduciary standards, but also in how the project builds social capital within adjacent neighborhoods and communities. For Habitat, development requires not only stewardship of capital, but community stewardship as well, demanding time away from the herd, and a focus on long term value creation. Moreover, as sustainability becomes increasingly integrated into the development process, the principals of Habitat Metro believe long term sustainable development requires more than advertising “green” features—it demands that project success is measured by how it improves the public fabric, stabilizes neighborhoods, and brings confidence to residents and business owners.
Habitat Metro, LLC traces its origins back nearly thirty years ago, with the founding of Sprague and Hill, Inc. by Wm. Timothy Sprague and John B. Hill. Responsible for the successful development of over two thousand residential apartments and condominiums throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area and Oregon, Sprague and Hill’s entrepreneurial energy fueled successful development work across multiple market sectors beyond multifamily residential, including land development, commercial office and retail.
While developing two projects in Lake Oswego, Oregon, in the 1980s, Messrs. Sprague and Hill became intrigued by the implementation of the MAX Light Rail System in Portland and the attendant development potential within Portland’s urban core. Armed with first hand knowledge and experience, the two tracked the progress of similar plans in the Phoenix metropolitan area. After the successful passage of dedicated funding for transit infrastructure improvement in Tempe in 1996 and Phoenix in 2000, Sprague and Hill began identifying potential transit oriented development sites along the METRO starter line.
In 2003, Sprague and Hill, Inc. partnered with the Praxis Group, LLC and Chicanos por La Causa, Inc. to form Portland Place Partners, LLC, the successful respondent to a City of Phoenix issued request for proposals for transit oriented development within the Roosevelt Historic District, adjacent to the Central and Roosevelt METRO light rail station. Portland Place Partners actively collaborated with City of Phoenix staff, the Roosevelt Action Association, a local neighborhood organization, and other community stakeholders between September 2003 and March 2005 to make Portland Place a reality. Portland Place Condominiums first phase was delivered in July 2007 to immediate praise by the community and industry peers. The project’s first phase was awarded the Arizona Real Estate Magazine RED Award for Best Multifamily Project in 2008, and the Pacific Coast Builder’s Conference 2008 Gold Nugget Award Best Mid Rise Attached Housing Project.
Habitat Metro, LLC’s founding came about as a consequence of frequent conversation with neighborhood leaders, community stakeholders, and municipal staff throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area about satisfying unmet demand for moderate and attainably priced housing within infill contexts. Seizing the opportunity to collaborate with local leaders to create well designed, sustainable housing and mixed use projects, the principals of Portland Place Partners created Habitat Metro. The firm has an active roster of ten projects under development, ranging from infill town home anchored projects to complex master plans anchored by hospitality and healthcare uses, and renewable energy projects.