Tucson annexes 163-acre southeast tract

2014-08-08T00:00:00Z 2014-08-08T07:56:58Z Tucson annexes 163-acre southeast tractBy Darren DaRonco Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Tucson expanded by 163 acres Tuesday night after the City Council gave final approval to annexing a southeast-side property that one day could house a 1.3 million-square-foot retail development.

A city analysis estimated the Century Park Marketplace parcel, located east of South Kolb Road and along East Valencia Road, could bring about $37 million into city coffers within the next decade if the property is fully developed.

But that was only an analysis to determine if the annexation was worth the trouble.

Right now, it’s a dirt lot, and development might not occur for several years, city records show.

Even though it’s barren now, annexing unimproved land has its benefits, said city annexation project manager Mike Czechowski.

Czechowski said vacant land allows the city to control development from the ground up to ensure it’s the best possible use for the region.

After about a three-year lull when it came to expanding Tucson’s boundaries, the city has annexed about 1,200 acres since June 2012.

The city’s current annexation drive was initiated in part by Mayor Jonathan Rothschild’s plan to increase city revenues by expanding the city’s sales tax reach and capturing more state shared revenue.

Michael Farley, who manages the property, sought an annexation after a falling out with Pima County officials over who would pay for a new road alignment around the property.

Farley sued the county after it refused to finance a rerouting of Valencia to run along the south side of his property.

The lawsuit is ongoing.

Contact reporter Darren DaRonco at 573-4243 or ddaronco@tucson.com. Follow on Twitter @DarrenDaRonco

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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