Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2 outlet centers planned northwest of Tucson

MARANA - Major developments are planned along Interstate 10 northwest of Tucson.

The Town of Marana is expecting the Tucson Premium Outlets to break ground in the first few months of 2014, according to Town Manager, Gilbert Davidson. He said the developer wants to be in business before the holiday season of 2015.

"Premium mall outlet is going to be one of the larger ones," Davidson said, "but I think people are going to see a lot of neat things taking place in the Marana community in the months to come."

The outlets will be built southeast of the freeway and Twin Peaks Road. They will be similar to the outlets at Wild Horse Pass just south of Phoenix, according to Davidson. No specific stores have announced opening yet.

The owner, Simon Property Group, hopes to capitalize from the 2.7 million Mexican visitors who spend about $1 billion in the Tucson area every year, according to a brochure for the outlets.

Another outlet center is expected to break ground near the next exit north. Southwest of the interchange at Avra Valley Road is a 100-acre property in unincorporated Pima County, surrounded by Marana town limits.

Juanita Carbajal lives north of the project in the community of Rillito and welcomes the changes.

"So much stuff is happening, coming this way from Tucson," she said. "And I feel pretty excited that it's possibly a reality this time."

The owner, I-10 Avra Valley Mining and Development LLC, is expected to sell the property to AWE Talismansince the Board of Supervisors approved the plan, according to a news release from the county.

Alan Douglas just retired and owns a home off Avra Valley Road west of the project.

"This immediate area here hasn't been doing as much," Douglas said. "If it goes, it would be exciting."

AWE Talisman operates shopping centers in Chicago, Las Vegas and Santa Fe. The project could bring Pima County $89 million over 30 years, according to the news release.

During the recession, another developer cancelled plans for a different project near Tangerine Road and I-10. There are no immediate plans to continue that project, according to Davidson.

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