Marana will be a busy place in 2017 from a development standpoint. There are a number of big projects in every section of the town. Some are town projects, while many others are being undertaken by the private sector, including a number of new businesses coming to the region.
“There is an endless amount of development activity from one end of Marana to the others,” said Marana Town Manager Gilbert Davidson.
The town is involved in a number of different projects, including road improvements, construction and long term planning.
“A lot of dirt will be turning just from town projects,” Davidson said.
No project will have a bigger impact than the Ina Road/I-10 Interchange project that will move into a new phase this week. The on and off ramps are scheduled to close on Feb. 15 and that will cause a lot of traffic to be diverted and can be a scary time for local businesses.
The town is working hard to help the businesses in the area and have adopted the phrase “Ina road is open for business” as their mantra during this time.
Although the bulk of the project is being handled by the Regional Transportation Authority, a portion of the project west of the Freeway is a town project and includes building a new bridge over the Santa Cruz and repaving Ina Road all the way to Silverbell.
“A lot of improvements are being made there,” Davidson said.
The improvements to Tangerine Road continue and the good news is that the Marana portion will be completed by end of 2017.
When completed the road will be four lanes, completely level and include paths and walkways. Davidson said it will be very similar to Twin Peaks Road. Additionally, a new park will be built in the area, but unlike the road it will not be completed this calendar year.
A second phase to the project will be improvements to Tangerine from I-10 to Dove Mountain Blvd., but that part of the project is still down the road.
Marana road realignment is underway. According to Davidson, the plans are 90 percent complete and bidding will begin soon. The hope is to have the project, which will realign the roads leading into the Marana Road Interchange, to begin in May. The current configuration can be confusing and dangerous, with drivers having to get on and off different roads to get on and off the freeway, instead of one continuous.
“This realignment being driven by public safety,” said Davidson, adding they want to reduce traffic congestion in the area.
Part of the project will also serve as the initial portion of the town’s Marana Main Street project which is designed to create a downtown area in the town. Those first steps to downtown is a roundabout on Sandario that will connect with Marana Road. Marana Economic Development Director sees the roundabout as serving as the main gate to downtown
“That will jumpstart that project and get it going and hope that the momentum will continue right on through that,” Woody said.
There has been a lot of interest in the developing the area, but people want to see roads and infrastructure in place before really becoming invested in the project.
The idea is to create a downtown area similar to those in several communities in Maricopa County. They would include retail, restaurants, entertainment and some housing.
“Nothing is off the table except smokestacks and factories,” Woody said.
The goal is to get people to come to the area and stay. They want a “walkable/bikeable” feel with narrower streets and plenty of sidewalks.
The roundabout planning is about 90 percent done and final drawing should be presented soon and construction will begin in the spring with the project being completed in about a year.
The police facility will also begin in May and should be completed by the end of 2018. The new station will have a full array of training facilities, including a gun range and computer simulation rooms. There will be adequate meeting spaces, storage and jail/holding areas that can better accommodate prisoners who may need to stay overnight before being transferred to a long term facility.
“We are going to have a beautiful facility that will be the premier thing in the region for law enforcement,” Davidson said.
Thanks to the sales tax there will be no debt on the project. The Sunset tax will go away as soon as the project is fully funded.
The new waste water treatment plant and recharge facility projects are also moving forward. Those plans are also 90 percent done. There will be town council study session in February and there are still some decision points before the council for this next phase.
North Marana is growing and with the plant the town acquired several years ago is reaching capacity. Add to that the town’s desire to maximize the effectiveness of the facility, which is why they need the recharge portion of the project.
“Every drop of the water coming out of the plant and putting it back into the aquifer,” Davidson said. “That will be a critical project for our future.”
A number of businesses are coming to town. The Hampton Inn will soon be built near the Tucson Premium Outlets. The project is in the final planning stage and construction should commence in 2018.
Top Golf is coming to the area behind Costco that was occupied by the Practice Tee. The multi-tier golf center is geared as much to nongolf fans as it is golf fans.
“For those of you that golf and even for those of you who do not golf, this is a great facility,” Woody said.
While it is a state of the art driving range, the goal is to provide entertainment aspects with target games and high tech lighting. There is also plenty of food, drink and television screens.
“It is almost like a bar and grill like atmosphere,” Woody said.
The site plan approved, permitted and according to Woody the building plans could be approved at any time. They want to be open by fall of this year.
More stores at the Arizona Pavilions will open by the end of the year. Ross, TJ Maxx, Homegoods and Petco will all open there doors this year.
“That will be a great addition to our community,” Davidson said.
All the new stores are relocations from outside of Marana, which means new sales tax revenues for the town.