Tucson firefighters get new lessons in old school building

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) – Firefighters in Tucson are heading back to school.

Crews from around the city are using an old schoolhouse on Tucson’s east side to practice for huge commercial fires.

Pepper Viner Homes in Tucson acquired the vacant Van Horne Elementary School and is allowing the fire department to train there before the building near Speedway and Pantano is torn down.

Firefighters from seasoned veterans like Ed Mendoza, who has been with the Tucson Fire Department for more than 20 years, to rookies like his son Ed Jr., who has only had four days on the job, say the training is priceless.

Posted: Dec 01, 2016 2:35 PMUpdated: Dec 01, 2016 3:16 PM Written By Christian Wlach, KVOA CONNECT  The former Wrightstown Elementary School, was the site of a dedication today. It marks the first time a former school is converted to a housing community. Pepper Viner homes, purchased the school property last year, and was met some resistance from people who worked at or attended the Wrightstown Elementary. They wanted to preserve the history of the school, so Pepper Viner agreed to install a memorial plaque honoring its founder, Fredrick C. Wright. Today’s dedication showed off a commemorative walkway with personalized plaques, and a community playground. The ceremony was attended by Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Tucson Unified School District Superintendent H.T. Sanchez.     COMMENTS

My First TecHome: From Automation Failures to iPads as Standard

  Homebuyers get an iPad Mini with every purchase. “They get it right when they sign the contract,” says Chad Williams, COO of Pepper Viner. “It manages their paperwork for them. Then, as soon as they move in, we program it to manage the home.” The company takes its standard offerings to another level by creating customized tech packages on top of what is already included. Immediately after a home is framed, homeowners meet directly with integrators to discuss options. “They meet with the integrator on site, and he gets to learn a little bit about what their lifestyle is, what their interests are, and he can cater a package for them individually,” says Williams. Through standards and packages, Pepper Viner has certainly evolved since its very first TecHome. It has moved from Honeywell to Nest, Clare Controls to RTI Automation and features a standard “Healthy Home System” that tailors to specific HVAC and IAQ requirements. TecHome E-magazine

Homes replace former school site on Tucson’s east side

Homes are on the rise at the site of the former Wrightstown Elementary School, on Wrightstown Road and Avenida Ricardo Small. Developed by local builder Pepper Viner Homes, The Schoolyard community will have 56 single and two-story homes and a pocket park. The homes will be 1,400 to 2,100 square feet, with six floor plans in three- and four-bedroom models. Prices start at about $229,900. Last year, the Tucson City Council last year rezoned the east-side property for residential use. Tucson Unified School District closed Wrightstown Elementary in 2010. Arizona Daily Star

Building Tucson: Pepper Viner Homes ‘nimble and flexible’

Simply put, Bill Viner likes building homes. And, creating an identity for his developments in a market dominated by national homebuilders, the CEO of Pepper Viner Homes says he has to be “nimble and flexible.” “We try to stay out in front of what is new and best in homebuilding,” said Viner, who founded the company in 1985 with Phillip Pepper. “For example, Pepper Viner has been at the leading edge of high-performance, green homebuilding and Smart Home technology.” Features such as digital-device control of a home’s temperature, lighting or security, built-in WiFi and USB connections along with electrical outlets are featured in Pepper Viner’s communities from startup to luxury. Its first community was the subdivision Mesquite Ridge, south of Broadway and east of Pantano Road. There are currently six active Pepper Viner communities in the Tucson area, two with model homes under construction. Also, the company is under contract to buy the former Van Horne School on the east side near Udall Park for a new-home development to come online in 2017. Another former school site on the city’s east side, Wrightstown Elementary, will become The School Yard, a 56-home community. “The homebuilding market is very competitive, and to some extent every homebuilder affects their competition,” Viner said. “We are currently looking for sites where we can create our own identity and community environment.” Headquartered at 5633 E. Grant Road, Pepper Viner recently received its sixth recognition as Southern Arizona Homebuilder of the Year. The company has 25 employees. Viner declined to disclose the company’s annual revenue. “Bill is a great example of what’s right in our community,” said David Godlewski, president of the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association. “He’s a successful businessman who cares deeply about Tucson’s future and is willing to roll up his sleeves and get to work. “Pepper Viner is a company rooted in Tucson that’s focused on building homes that will lend to the character and quality of our community.” As all homebuilders struggle to attract buyers who might be eyeing resale, Viner said he continues to research energy efficiencies that will save money. “Pepper Viner received an Energy Smart Home Scale award from the U.S. Department of Energy, a milestone reached by only one-half of one percent of all builders nationally,” he said. “We partnered with BASF (the world’s largest chemical company) to build a near-zero energy home that was 81 percent more energy efficient than a standard home.” Viner called the home a “living laboratory” where they tested construction applications, measured energy consumption and reduced environmental impact. The company also has a custom home division and offers “signature collections” of homes that can be built on someone’s home site. “We like building homes; it is the biggest purchase that most people will make in their lives and we like being part of it,” Viner said. “We like to think we build every home as if it was our own.” By: Gabriela Rico Arizona Daily Star

Southern Arizona Home Builders Association Announces 2015 Annual Awards Winners

Tucson, AZ (February 1) – The Southern Arizona Home Builders Association (SAHBA) has announced its 2015 Annual Awards. The winners are: Production Home Builder of the Year:  Pepper Viner Homes Custom Home Builder of the Year:  Sunset Custom Homes Remodeler of the Year – Project over $50,000:  McCaleb Construction Remodeler of the Year – Project under $50,000:  Accessible Home Remodeling Trade Partner of the Year:  Santa Rita Landscaping Associate Firm of the Year- Corporate:  NOVA Home Loans Associate Firm of the Year – Small Business:  OneSource Benefit Planning Individual Member of the Year:  Lisa Walling, Re-Bath/5-Day Kitchens Home Builder Sales Manager of the Year:  Heidi Yetzer, Richmond American Homes Home Builder Sales Professional of the Year:  Eddie Holmes, KB Home SAHBA represents more than 350 member businesses serving the new home construction industry in Pima, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties.

New development of smart homes looks to future, remembers past

A new community under construction on the east side will include more than 50 new homes all considered “smart homes.” And while the company building the homes is focused on the future, they’re also saving a piece of the past. The Schoolyard development by Pepper Viner Homes is going in on the lot where Wrightstown Elementary School once stood, near Wrightstown and Pantano. Each of the homes will be equipped with the latest technology. “We build the internet in and we have the RTI home integration system so you’ll be able to run many processes in your home from your smart phone,” said Steve Crawford, a sales associate with Pepper Viner. Each smart home comes with an iPad mini so you can control everything using an app. Other features include remote unlocking and locking of doors, built-in USB outlets and something called aNest Learning Thermostat. “It’s an intuitive thermostat that learns how you live and will adjust temperatures for movement in the house and things like that,” said Crawford. Many of these features come standard in the homes but there are a few upgrades. Crawford says building homes with this technology is relatively new but he predicts it will one day be the norm. “Eventually it’s going to affect all home building,” he said. “And all homes, it will just be what people expect.” Pepper Viner crews demolished Wrightstown Elementary school last summer to make way for these new homes after the school had sat empty for years. “It was vandalized and anytime you have an empty vacant building that doesn’t have security or utilities in, it has the potential of causing some trouble,” said Crawford. Neighbors that 9OYS spoke to when the school was demolished said they welcomed new development on the land but some were sad to see the nearly 100-year-old school come down. “When we demolished the building, we saved a lot of the original bricks and during the demolition our construction department actually set the excess ones out by the roadway so if somebody came by and had ties to this property, they could have taken a brick with them,” said Crawford. He says the company plans to use the remaining bricks to build something in one of the common areas. They’ve floated around ideas like maybe a community library. “It honors the site,” said Crawford. “A school is a special place. It’s where people learn. We all have memories of our elementary school and to be able to link that to these homeowners here I just think it’s just a nice thing to do.” When finished, the development will include 56 homes. Crawford says they have already sold five. For more information about the community, click here. Copyright 2015 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Author: Rikki Mitchell Source: KGUN 9

Tucson lands new housing and businesses

KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona TUCSON –A major development is in the works for central Tucson. “We could see up to $20 million worth of new homes right in the middle of Tucson,” said Steve Crawford, a sales associate for PepperViner Homes. Many of these new projects are being built near downtown. “People want to live within five minutes of downtown, either by bike or by bus or by car. Ward 3 is a great place to be,” said Councilwoman Karen Uhlich. “Instead of vacant lots and dilapidated structures, we will see some really quality infill going in.” PepperViner Homes is building a project called Parkmodern, which will be urban homes located on Park Avenue, just north of Fort Lowell Road. “There’s a convenience with all the amenities that this place offers,” said Crawford. “Unfortunately, the only places you can pick from are 30,40,50, 60 years old.” PepperViner plans on building almost 40 homes in the first phase and then another 60 in the future. Written By Domenica Fuller for KVOA

Park Modern: New Urban Living Comes to Tucson Tucson, AZ — They’re contemporary; they’re technologically advanced – they’re everything you’ve wanted in central Tucson.     “We believe that Tucsonans will embrace these contemporary, urban, loft style residences.  The new houses are centrally located at Park Avenue and Blacklidge; near the University of Arizona, Banner Medical Center, and Campbell Plaza, explained Bill Viner, CEO of Pepper Viner Homes.  The developer, Park Modern Ventures, LLC is a Joint Venture of Pepper Viner and PSSW. Park Modern is a Smart Home community designed for today’s buyer.  Each home will have built-in Wi-Fi, a Nest learning thermostat, RTI automation system and built in security system.   Even the wall plugs combine USB outlets with electrical outlets,” Viner explained.  “Buyers will be able to control the features of their home from a mini iPad that is included in every home purchase.” There are three available floor plans from 1170 to 1636 square feet with homes prices ranging from the $170,000 to $220,000.  All plans are two stories with 2-3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, spacious great room, two car garage, small outdoor patio and terrific architectural design. The sales office at Park Modern is now open.  For further information, call 520-382-9032.