Marana has prided itself as being a business friendly community and won an award for their efforts to not only grow, but grow in a way that benefits the businesses, their residents and the town itself. Last week, the Cornerstone Building Foundation recognized the Town of Marana with its 2016 Owner of the Year Award. 

The award recognizes the town’s commitment to “a forward-thinking planning strategy and its high quality service to the building community.” 

Marana Planning Director Ryan Mahoney and Building Official Benny Sanchez accepted the award on behalf of the Town on March 10.

“We’re honored, especially given the list of past winners, to stand among giants,” said Mahoney. “We’re all helping the Town of Marana to improve our services.  Our work with the construction industry helps the whole Town improve and grow.”

Marana won the award due to its ability to partner with Vintage Partners and Simon Properties in their construction of the new Premium Outlet Mall at Marana Center. The town took a number of innovative approaches to make the project work within the timetable necessary to complete the mall in time to take advantage of winter visitors and the Christmas season less than two years after the initial planning of the project. 

The town worked hand in hand with the developers to make sure the timetable could be reached. One of these innovations was to designate a plan reviewer to serve the builder on site, ensuring that builders could alter their design quickly and efficiently, without having to wait for a lengthy review process. 

Marana did the same thing with the sign code inspection, creating ways to streamline the process allowed the developer to create packages where similar signs can be approved all at once.  

“Each of these is a separate whole review process,” said Assistant Town Manager Jamsheed Mehta prior to the mall’s opening. “That is like dealing with 200 vendors at the same time.”

Similar arrangements were made during the initial planning and permitting phase when the town brought the developers and the various town departments together to make plan approvals quicker and keep communication between the various departments 

“It has been amazing to work with your staff and I think you needed to know that,” said Duane Hunn of Vintage Partners at a Marana Town Council meeting. 

The Owner of the Year Award also honored Marana for its strong working relationship with the residential building community. The Dove Mountain neighborhood is one that has experienced significant growth over the past several years, and Marana worked closely with developers and builders to keep pace with this demand. The town has seen more new home growth than the rest of Pima County last fiscal year and has been close to their projections so far this fiscal year. 

“These relationships serve Marana residents, both present and future, in powerful ways,” said the town in a press release. 

The Cornerstone Building Foundation was established over two decades ago to foster strong cross-sector relationships for members of the construction industry. Founded by Robert Hershberger, his goal was to annually recognize a “Dream Team” of members across the building community.

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