Marana Chamber update

Though Interstate 10 is closed for construction, business on both sides of the freeway are open.

Courtesy Photo

The pace of growth was as hot as the weather in June, as home builders and entrepreneurs continued to find Marana a great place to live and do business.

Single family residential home starts hit 64 in June, solidifying Marana’s spot as the fastest-growing town in Southern Arizona. Four commercial permits were also issued.

The Marana Chamber of Commerce is proud to have been a part of that tremendous development for three decades. As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we continue to advance our mission as the voice of business working to build economic growth and quality of life in our community, for many years to come.

Through June, 403 single-family residential home permits were issued, putting Marana on pace to nearly double the 500 permits previously anticipated by Curt Woody, director of economic development and tourism for the town. 

“Clearly there’s a lot of interest here,” he said.

Many of the new homes are being built in northern and eastern Marana. Woody said the town recognizes commercial development has been slow to keep up with the rapid development of northern Marana, particularly a full-service grocery store. 

More than 10,000 people live in the north Marana area, but the closest grocery stores are more than 10 miles away. To make grocery chains aware of this huge unserved market, the town has created a web page and related Facebook page “Feed the Need.” The webpage maranaaz.gov/feed-the-need includes a video in which area residents talk about their pressing needs and desires to have a local grocery store.

Winning the Reader’s Choice “Best Chamber of Commerce” for 2016 meant a lot to us, as it shows the support we have in our wonderful community. We are up for consideration again starting Wednesday, Aug. 2, and hope to win your vote. Text 250 to 214-VOTE (8683) or go to tucson.com/readerschoice. You can only vote once per day, per category, per device. But vote early and vote often! Voting ends Aug. 13.

We’re excited about many new projects coming to Marana. National Self Storage broke ground in July on a self-store building at the corner of North Thornydale Road and West Tangerine Road. The beautiful three-story structure will look more like a hotel or an office building. It will be completed in about one year.

Marana Physical Therapy held consecutive ribbon-cuttings to mark 15 years in Marana. They have two locations, one on Ina Road, east of I-10, and the other on North Coachline Road in Continental Ranch.

Our members got a fascinating look at the future of transportation in Pima County at the business connection luncheon. Larry Head, a professor and director of the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Arizona, is a leader in “connected” vehicles; vehicles that communicate with one another and with landmarks such as traffic lights. He spoke about rapidly changing technology that will take more control of our cars and hopefully save lives and money. Lobbyist Michael Racy spoke of the dire need for more state funding to repair area roads.

During our Community and Regional Update this month, Town Engineer Keith Brann spoke about the widening of Tangerine Road to four lanes through Marana to the Oro Valley town limits. That work is expected to be completed by early fall. Work continues on Tangerine Sky Park at Camino de Oeste; the new police department complex at the civic center; and creation of Marana’s new Main Street off North Sandario Road. Future projects include rebuilding the length of Coachline Boulevard and re-doing the blacktop of West Ina Road from the interstate east to the town limits. 

We also have many events and activities underway at the Marana Chamber of Commerce. 

We will be celebrating our 30th Anniversary with the Annual Meeting and Member Appreciation Luncheon Aug. 16 at The Highlands at Dove Mountain.

We paired 13 Marana school principals with an equal number of non-school executives for several hours in July, and then brought them together for lunch to talk about their experiences. They found they were looking for the same end-product from our schools: talented, skilled young people who can take on the responsibilities and demands of pursuing further education or moving into the workforce. Many jobs require skills or experiences that may not have been there even five years ago.

Our 16th annual golf tournament will be Friday, Sept. 15, at The Gallery Golf Club. It will benefit Marana-based military service members and their families. We’re still looking for donations of raffle and auction prizes. 

Catalina Brewing Co. is organizing another block party for businesses impacted by the closing and reconstruction of the Ina Road interstate exchange. The event will be held Aug. 19 at Catalina Brewing.

Did you know those cardboard tubes left when you finish a roll of toilet paper can be recycled? Or that there’s a new life for all those CDs collecting dust in a closet or your garage? Turns out they are in high demand by teachers, who use them for arts and crafts. We will be collecting TP tubes, CDs, old electronics large and small, paper to be shredded and a wide variety of other household items during our Marana Earth Festival – Making Sustainability Fun on Nov. 4 at Tucson Premium Outlets. 

In addition to a full recycling campaign, there will be entertainment, a sampling of Marana’s heritage foods, displays of energy-saving home products and activities. The Marana Police Department will be on hand to safely dispose of old prescription medications, while the Optimist Club will recycle old pill containers to give toiletries to the homeless. Many exciting displays and entertainment are planned. Check our web site, maranachamber.com for more information. 

Our Health and Wellness Committee is busy preparing applications for a Marana Chamber of Commerce Health Education Scholarship. The scholarship fund was established with a $1,000 gift from BAYADA Home Health, and we are preparing to receive more sponsorships and donations in order to support a special initiative to bring local young (and not-so-young) people into healthcare professions.

Please remember our Ina Road businesses for your shopping and service needs. The Town of Marana has a free Project Ina app in both Apple and Android format to keep up with all the latest traffic alerts and deals from local businesses using the #ProjectIna hashtag. 

We would like to encourage all our neighbors to help support all the new businesses by attending our many grand openings and ribbon cuttings at MaranaChamber.com/events.

The Marana Chamber would like to welcome our new members, National Self Storage, Arizona Central Credit Union, Morris Hall, PLLC., Law Office of Christopher Caine, The Screamery, Eco Pest, LLC, Marana Physical Therapy, Ina and Twin Peaks locations, Spinal Care Solutions, Sweet Smiles Family Dentistry and The Dog Complex.

Ed Stolmaker is the CEO of the Marana Chamber of Commerce.

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