The thousand-acre land parcel in the Sonoran Desert northwest of Phoenix is a little like a child starting school in the shadow of a stellar older sibling. On one hand, it wouldn't mind riding its successful family member's coattails. On the other, it craves a way to distinguish itself as an individual, worthy of its own time in the limelight.

Such is the dilemma of developing a 1,086-acre site in the Sonoran Desert northwest of Phoenix in Peoria. The bank-owned land sits next door to Vistancia, an already well-established giant master-planned community.

For Day 2 of the 2009 Big Builder Virtual Conference, we've tasked a dream team of developers, marketing experts, land planners, and financial experts with coming up with a way to make this parcel, now approved for 3,032 homes, successful in its own right in the new marketplace.

We've asked the team to narrow down the potential target buyer, design the site and several home products in a way that will make a profit, and zero in on a marketing plan for the community. Tune in for the live Webinar today at 1:15 p.m. Mountain time to see what solutions the team came up with for this master-plan and to ask questions about how they got to their end result. Register for free at


In the meantime, here are a couple of hints about some of the ideas our team came up with. They're pretty similar to those a younger sibling hoping to get noticed might employ.

A "Hey, look at me, I'm right next door to Vistancia, but I'm newer and have some different things" marketing plan.

Land planning and home designs that show: "I'm pretty too, with my homes designed to blend in with the desert and placed so they take advantage of the land's natural scenery."

And amenities that speak to families with children by calling: "Come over here to learn and play."

Our dream team knows the Northwest Phoenix market well, with some members building in Vistancia. It includes Kimberley Clifford, Newland Communities; Kevin Egan, T.W. Lewis Homes; John Fortini, Silver Fern Management; Jim Jenkins, Shea Homes; Michelle Mace-Basha, M3B Inc.; and Brad Sonnenburg, BSB Design.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Peoria, IL.