THE VAIL VOICE
BY: John Wilson
February 1, 2013
All lot (sic) of things is the answer to that question! Let’s break them down so that you, the resident or small business owner of this area, can get a look at the big picture of how we sit for growth in the future and the projects that might shape that growth:
Houghton Road Widening– This $20 million, 18 month project to widen Houghton Rd between Valencia and Irvington from the current two lanes to six is a major development in making Houghton Rd the main artery linking Rita Ranch/Vail to the rest of the east side of Tucson and making it a likely route for travelers to Tucson coming from eastbound I-10.
Houghton Town Center-The first phase of this development, as you probably already know, will be anchored by Walmart. They take up approximately eleven of the 45 acres that will comprise phase one. The balance of the project is to be filled with retail, restaurants and the like.
Two New Home Developments– Vista Del Lago at the west end of Vail on Mary Ann Cleveland Way is under development right now. Mountain View Estates is where the latest Vail school, Esmond Station, is being built on the same road about a quarter mile east of Empire HS.
Tucson Technology Corridor- this initiative is gaining momentum. In a recent webinar the president and CEO of Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Joe Snell, listed transportation/logistics as one of the four main industries that are the future of Tucson and named the Target.com distribution center and Arizona Canning as examples. Both of these organizations are in the heart of the Tucson Technology Corridor.
Proposed infrastructure improvement connecting the area around Raytheon’s main campus, the Tucson International Airport and the Tucson Technology Corridor– In an article that appeared in Inside Tucson Business, County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry is proposing major infrastructure improvements that will make an “aerospace/defense” corridor which will connect Rita Rd/Kolb Rd to Old Nogales Hwy just south of Raytheon via Old Vail Connection Road, significantly increasing accessibility to our area.
Port of Tucson expansion– The Port of Tucson (warehouse complex at Kolb Rd and Century Park Dr) is in the process of completing a $19 million expansion which includes 20,000 feet of rail line that will allow local freight to be shipped straight from Tucson to Shanghai, China. This will be a big draw of regional business to the local area and is an important part of the strategy that links the Tucson Technology Corridor and the proposed infrastructure by Chuck Huckleberry.
Signs of these projects are popping up all around us and the timing of all of these projects seems to be coming together perfectly. Saying that there will be growth is not something I can do. It is something you can determine for yourself though. However, I’m feeling very optimistic about our area!