By Anne Gibson

Encantada Layout

The Pima County South East Regional Council (SERC) is a citizens group that combines the three areas of Corona de Tucson, Southeast City of Tucson, and Vail to speak with one voice and serve as community ambassadors, said Lucretia Free as she opened the meeting at 6 PM on Thursday, July 25th at the Vail Innovation Center. The audience, estimated at 40 members, heard from nine guest speakers regarding a series of topics of interest directly affecting the local area.

Of special interest is a 312-unit luxury apartment complex being built by HSL Properties appropriately named Encantada at Rita Ranch. The project is located on a 17-acre site consisting of 16 buildings, each two to three stories high; and will include such amenities as a clubhouse with a fully equipped fitness room, rental room for parties or special gatherings, a movie theatre, and a swimming pool. The one to three-bedroom apartments will include covered parking and a balcony or a patio. Encantada at Rita Ranch is located next to Walgreens on Valencia Road on the southeast corner of the intersection of Valencia and Nexus. According to Michael Censky of HSL Properties the plan is for the first units to be prepared to rent by June of 2020.

The second presentation came from Randy Emerson, a member of GRE Partners, LLC Commercial Real Estate, regarding property named Vail Crossings. The raw property exists of a 97-acre parcel and a 297-acre parcel located in Vail, Arizona. Both parcels are zoned CL-1 (Light Industrial/Warehousing) which would allow up to 50% residential development. The Union Pacific Railroad main line runs along the south boundary of the 97-acre parcel lending itself to a possible railroad spur. The 297-acre parcel has a mile of direct frontage along I-10 and surrounds the 30-acres owned by the Vail School District where the Vail Education Center is located. Both parcels were part of the master plan for the now defunct The Passages.

The widening of Houghton Road from 1-10 south to Andrada Polytechnic High School from a two to three lane road to a divided four-lane road with drainage improvements is in the design stage, Jim Cunningham from Pima County Department of Transportation reported. The project with an estimated project cost of $30,000,000 has a completion date of 2024.

In the next couple of months there will be new signal lights in operation at Wilmot, Rita Road and Kolb Road, as reported by Jerimiah Moerke from the Communications Department for the Arizona Department of Transportation.  In addition, according to Moerke, ADOT will start work to replace two bridge decks beginning over State Route 83 at I-10 and then moving to the Colossal Cave/Wentworth Road bridge. Each bridge will be replaced one lane at a time to maintain traffic while work is underway. ADOT will not impact both bridges at the same time. A temporary traffic signal will control single lane traffic across each bridge while it’s under construction, so drivers should expect delays. Work is expected to run through fall of 2020.

The final speaker was Carla Blackwell, Director of Developmental Services for Pima County, who shared the exciting news that for the first time we can fill out our census form online. She stressed the importance of filling out a census form because much of what we do is population driven.

The next meeting of the Southeast Pima County Council will be held Thursday, October 24th, 6 PM, at the Vail Innovation Center, 10775 E. Mary Ann Cleveland Way.

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Anne Gibson