The first of a four-phase senior community is under construction on Tucson’s northeast side.

The Hacienda at the Canyon, located on Sabino Canyon Road just north of River Road, will be built on the 60-acre site of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sanctuary. Both the sanctuary and the Stations of the Cross walking trail will remain open to the public.

The $80 million first phase will have 162 independent living, 72 assisted living and 40 memory care apartments. The future phases will include independent living and casita homes.

This will be the second Hacienda-branded senior living community for Tucson-based Watermark Retirement Communities. The company recently completed The Hacienda at the River, on River and Hacienda del Sol roads.

“We are fortunate to have the opportunity to create The Hacienda at the Canyon,” said David Freshwater, chairman and developer of Watermark. “It offers clear 360-degree views that we are building to take full advantage of, and there is a shortage of senior housing of this caliber on that side of town.”

Both Hacienda developments will feature health and wellness programs created with University of Arizona partners and extensive amenities.

Construction of the Canyon project is expected to take 23 months.

Other construction activity around town includes:

  • Mainstreet Rapid Recovery Center of Tucson is under construction at the site of the former Fort Lowell Elementary School. A $12.6 million building permit was issued for the project at 5151 E. Pima St.
  • Pima County got a $4.4 million permit for a 35,852-square-foot Animal Care Center at 4000 N. Silverbell Road.
  • Chapman Audi of Tucson got a $2 million tenant-improvement permit for its dealership at 4646 E. 22nd St.
  • Native Grill is going into Steam Pump Village at 11107 N. Oracle Road. A $1.3 million permit was issued for a 5,600-square-foot shop.
  • A $1.2 million tenant-improvement to the City of Tucson will go to upgrades at the Reid Park Zoo Animal Health Center.
  • A $577,000 permit was issued to build a 10,000-square-foot spec warehouse at 3236 N. Freeway Industrial Loop, near Interstate 10 and Prince Road.
  • Bealls will move into part of the space vacated by Sports Authority at 7160 E. Broadway. The $500,000 permit is for a 21,000-square-foot store.
  • Tucson Mall
  • will soon get a martini bar. Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar received a $475,000 permit for a 8,700-square-foot site.
  • Blake’s Lotaburger got a $339,478 permit for its new 2,500-square-foot shop at 3560 N. Craycroft Road.

Information on building permits courtesy of Ginger Kneup,, owner of Bright Future Real Estate Research. Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at