For those who are unfamiliar with the Tucson metropolitan area (and Arizona at large, for that matter), the State of Arizona holds millions of acres in a public trust, with the objective of planning and releasing those lands for auction, over time, as market conditions and development pressure warrants. All proceeds from the sale of State Trust Lands go to the on-going funding of our public education system.
The Houghton Road Corridor (HRC) is a 12,000-acre planning permit taken out by the Macerich Company through the Arizona State Land Department (ASLD). The planning permit prescribed a detailed scope of work for the environmental and physical inventorying of the acreage, assessment of constraints and opportunities, conceptual planning, and determination of auction phasing for the property.
Projects International was hired by Macerich to provide on-going strategic planning and localized counsel, with the specific role of identifying all pertinent stakeholders (both public and private) and insuring a methodology for the proper involvement and participation of same throughout the planning process. We also served as primary liaison with departmental staffers from both the City of Tucson and Pima County to identify pertinent technical and infrastructural issues, as well as with local elected officials to anticipate political realities and emerging issues.
In addition to the above strategic component, we also actively participated in the writing and publication of the full array of technical reports produced for approval and subsequent publication by the State Land Department.
Presently, Phase I of the Scope of Work has been completed (site inventory, opportunities & constraints, and moving-forward recommendations). Phase II has not yet commenced due to prevailing national economic conditions.