A model "home within a home" in a parking lot near IKEA and Dick's Sporting Goods is hoping to attract enough attention to make the NextGen home by Lennar a success in communities across Arizona.

Lennar Homes built the model home to display its new concept, called NextGen. It's a home with a separate suite attached that's perfect for parents living with older children, children moving back in with parents, or even just a home office or business.

"An architect out of Vegas, Howard Perlman, came up with the concept," said Alan Jones, Lennar's Arizona division president. "He spent a bunch of time in Europe and he had the initial idea of having a separate living area. You could use it for whatever. It could be a day care center, it can be an office, and it works really well for those. Not everyone is using it for a mom or a dad or child that's coming back. The concept was to create a separate living space and a separate entrance where they can live there and come in as much as you want because there's a door that connects. You can lock that door if you want to."

The NextGen show home is a 2,945-square-foot floor plan and includes a 650-square-foot suite with a bedroom, living room, bathroom, kitchenette, washer and dryer, one-car attached garage and separate front door entry. It is literally a home within a home, built just outside IKEA.

Lennar decided to build next to IKEA because of the high amount of traffic the retailer receives each day. Jones estimates it's somewhere near 2 million visits per day. They've also teamed up with IKEA to furnish the home.

Robby Wierman, IKEA Tempe store manager, said it was a great opportunity for IKEA to put some of its décor concepts into action. Another draw for IKEA was that at the end of Lennar's Show Home Tour the house will be carefully deconstructed and all home building materials and furniture inside will be donated to Habitat for Humanity's Restore, which sells gently used building materials and household items. Proceeds benefit their mission.

As well as benefitting Habitat for Humanity the home has an herb garden planted by Tempe Community Action Agency. Herbs from that garden will be donated to local food banks.

Lennar is also testing solar panels on the NextGen model home, which it hopes to be able to offer to all its clients soon.

The NextGen home was first built in the Layton Lakes community in Gilbert in September. Now, Lennar has designed a number of different floor plans and is offering the home in many of its 20 communities in Phoenix and Tucson.

The home, located at 8526 S. Emerald Drive, is open for public tours Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekends. The home will remain at that site until May, but Lennar is not sure exactly when they will deconstruct the home.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

(1) comment


2 million visits per day seems like a high estimate.

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