Greenlight Communities

Patricia Watts co-founded Greenlight Communities in 2016, currently serving as its President and Chief Operating Officer Officer. In partnership with her husband, Robert Lyles, their vision for providing rental housing focused solely on the needs of entry level and essential workers, and doing so without public funding, lead to the creation of Greenlight Communities. Today, Greenlight is an industry leading, mission-driven developer of affordable rental housing in Phoenix and Tucson. As of May, 2024, Greenlight, with its team of over 40 employees, has invested over one billion in assets completed or in development throughout Arizona representing 4,600 affordable rental homes in 19 projects. In 2023, Greenlight was awarded Best Places to Work in the Valley by the Phoenix Business Journal.

In 2016, Patricia Watts also co-founded Greenlight Construction, a licensed commercial general contractor, in order to vertically integrate operations and maximize build efficiencies.  In 2022, Greenlights vision for continuing to improve efficiencies resulted in the launch of Jett Engineering, a fully licensed civil engineering company that provides both vertically integrated services for Greenlight and performs third party consulting.

Prior to co-founding Greenlight, Patricia co-founded two successful commercial real estate development companies, Starpointe Communities and Deco Communities.  Founded in 1996, Starpointe Communities became one of the largest developers of for-sale condominiums in the Valley, completing over 3,500 homes, including industry-leading developments Sovanna at Scottdale Country Club and Artesia.  Deco Communities, founded in 2010, was responsible for the acquisition, renovation and repositioning of numerous apartment buildings throughout the Valley. Deco’s strategy to acquire underutilized apartments and reposition them, resulted in the launch of the Cabana brand, the innovative, colorful and design forward brand that led the way for dozens of similar refurbishments, changing the Phoenix apartment landscape. 

Patricia holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from SimonFraser University in Vancouver, Canada, held a CPA license (retired), and was previously employed with the multi-national public accounting firm of BDO/Dunwoody, specializing in forensic accounting and management control systems. She has been extensively involved in real estate and operating businesses since 1986 and is an active speaker, panelist and moderator at industry events.  Patricia’s current and past affiliations include Valley Partnership, REIAC, Lambda Alpha,ULI, and Charter 100 (Phoenix).  Patricia is also an active philanthropist in the Valley, supporting the American Heart Association, Child Help, Arizona Women’s Board, among others.

Together with Robert Lyles, Patricia launched Greenlight Gives, a charitable organization that focuses on grassroots issues of housing, education and child welfare, donating and providing support to Saving Amy, CASS, UMOM, Kids in Focus, and Save the Family, among others. In addition, Patricia and Robert are supporter of the American Heart Association, Barrow Neurological, Child Help, the Arizona Women’s Board, and Homeward Bound.

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