January is complete, and the Town of Marana has hit the ground running into 2018. Last year saw great development in the town, and 2018 promises to be very exciting as we continue to grow and thrive.
Last year saw new businesses come into Marana, not only providing jobs for our residents, but also a variety of new shopping, dining and entertainment options, just to name a few. Top Golf chose Marana to be its Southern Arizona location. Marana became a home for some great breweries: Button Brew House and Dove Mountain Brewery opened their doors, while Growlers became a hub for craft beer and gastro pub fans. Arizona Pavilions added even more shopping options, such as HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, Ross, Dollar Tree and a Petco opened stores in the already popular shopping area.
2017 also saw more homes being built. There were 775 new single-family residential permits issued in Marana, surpassing projections and once again leading southern Arizona.
Last year proved that people want to work, live, and play in Marana. This year, we will see a number of new projects begin, enter new phases, or come to completion that will improve the Marana experience for those who work, live and visit our community.
The new Ina Road Interchange will open in 2019, with the bulk of the project being completed this year. The west side of the freeway is teeming with ADOT contractors working hard to rebuild the bridge over the Santa Cruz River. This will expand the roadway to four lanes and provide improved infrastructure, which will lead to a higher level of mobility and regional access for future land uses on the west side.
The Ina Interchange itself is not the only improvement to the area. The town is committed to making Ina Road an even better place to do business with new landscaping, street lighting, and even monuments or public art.
The area is already a great place to shop and eat, but we are always looking at how to make the Marana experience even better. With the new interchange, improved side streets will allow better access to businesses in the area and further aid in reducing traffic delays. Traffic will flow better on, off, and over the freeway. The Union Pacific Railroad will no longer be an issue for motorists. Having Ina Road travel over the freeway and train tracks is certainly safer, but it will also eliminate lengthy delays.
The Town is committed to making the area better for businesses. We are already looking at ways to improve the landscaping, and we are exploring what type of public art and monuments in the in the Ina Road corridor will help distinguish this important commerce center in the Town.
2018 will see great changes in north Marana. The expansion of the wastewater facility will allow for further development of this area, and we have a number of housing and business developers interested in projects in this area. Had we not expanded the facility, growth would be halted in the area. Now, Marana can handle plenty of residential and business growth in the area.
With more homes and businesses comes the need for improved infrastructure. 2018 will see the completion of the Marana Road realignment and the new traffic circle on Sandario, the extension of Adonis Road and the reconstruction of Coachline Road.
Developers have shown great interest in the entire region. By re-routing Marana Road, we hope to create better travel in the area. The roadway was designed to better access properties eyed for development. These projects are also being constructed in a way that is consistent with our long term vision of the area. Eventually, we will see the connection of Tangerine Farms into a northern loop, and changes to the Marana Road Interchange will make the area easier to navigate.
The new traffic circle is the first step in our plans to develop a Marana Main Street district. Already, businesses are inquiring about contributing to the vision we have of the area. Our desire is to create a shopping and dining district that can become the centerpiece of North Marana and give a real identity to the area.
Town Staff is already hard at work on putting together budgets for the 2019 Fiscal Year, which begins on July 1. Marana takes great pride in having balanced, responsible budgets that allow us to provide great customer service and great amenities, while still spending money wisely. In fact, our finance department received the Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for our 2017-2018 budget. The award reflects our commitment to providing the public with detailed information on how their resources are allocated to important services and infrastructure investments.
2017 was a great year for our Town, and 2018 looks to continue that trend. We are very excited about what is happening in Marana this year and beyond.
Jamsheed Mehta is the Interim Town Manager for the Town of Marana.