When the town of Marana opened the Twin Peaks Interchange in 2010, it paved the road for economic development along a busy stretch of Interstate 10. Four years and one tough recession later, those plans are coming together.

With significant town staff work and Council approval completed, Simon Property Group is moving forward with its premium outlet mall project. Once ground is broken, the build will take 12 to 14 months, a timeline that would have the 360,000 square-foot-mall opening in time for the Christmas 2015 season. More than 90 stores will be open when the mall debuts.

Our staff will do everything possible to help Simon’s tenants open their doors on time. Planning staff will expedite all plans reviews and our building department will have an inspector on site every day at the project to address construction questions. It’s the same approach we took during the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain build, allowing the resort to open ahead of schedule.

The town knows the mall will be a resounding success. Entering this year, Simon had a U.S. inventory of 307 properties covering 236 million square feet. The company has vast worldwide interests, including 20 outlets in Austria, Canada, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, South Korea and United Kingdom. Simon is a serious player on the global stage and we’re excited to have one of its outstanding properties coming to Marana.

Hundreds of jobs will be created when the mall opens. The economic impact every year will be in the tens of millions of dollars as shoppers come from across the region and Mexico. The facility will be like no other in the region with stores that now can only be found as close as Phoenix and its surrounding community.

This project is Simon’s first in Southern Arizona. The company owns Arizona Mills in Tempe and Phoenix Premium Outlets in Chandler. The outlet mall in Marana will most closely resemble the property at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, including many of the same high-end retailers.

Simon is purchasing the land from Vintage Partners, a group of experienced development professionals from the Phoenix area. Vintage has delivered more than 14 million square feet of retail development and 60,000 acres of residential activity. The company knows how to match successful developers with promising projects.

The sales tax dollars generated from the outlet mall will give the town greater flexibility to make investments in community projects, including parks and road improvements. With a structurally balanced budget, sales tax dollars are ongoing revenue and can be used in many beneficial ways.

Those of us who serve the town pledge to continue working with the private sector to create economic opportunities that benefit our community and the region. These are exciting times to live and do business in Marana and we welcome Simon Property Group and its exciting, long-lasting project to our community.

(Editor’s Note: Gilbert Davidson is the Marana town manager.)

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