Master-planned community Rancho Sahuarita has been selected as the inaugural recipient of Metropolitan Pima Alliance’s Project of the Decade award. The community, now home to 17,000 residents, was launched in 2002 by developer Bob Sharpe in Sahuarita, Ariz. 

The Project of the Decade award was created this year as part of the ten-year anniversary of MPA’s Common Ground Awards Ceremony. The Common Ground Award recognizes community leaders, projects and events with successful collaboration for the overall benefit of the community.

According to MPA executive director Amber Smith, Rancho Sahuarita was selected as Project of the Decade because of the challenges overcome during its creation, and because of the impact the community has made on Sahuarita and the surrounding area. “Many MPA members know the history of Rancho Sahuarita and the vision that was created at the onset with the lake in the desert,” says Smith. “There were many skeptics, financial challenges and lack of political will. But Rancho Sahuarita has anchored the town [of Sahuarita] and provided for its growth and development over the past ten years, while creating a genuine ‘live-work-play’ environment.” 

Bob Sharpe, the founder of Rancho Sahuarita, “broke ground” on this innovative master-planned community in early 2000, and the first home closed in January 2002. Now a little over 12 years later, Rancho Sahuarita is roughly 50% complete, with over 5,500 existing homes, six schools, a shopping center and other retail services, and the first phase of a Town Center completed. The community is still going strong too, with new home neighborhoods currently being constructed by Richmond Homes and KB Home, and an additional 500 home sites anticipated to be available in 2015.

Rancho Sahuarita has been designed to offer the most vibrant lifestyle in Southern Arizona through a variety of family-oriented and active adult amenities. It includes three pools and the area’s largest private Splash Park, a 30,000 square foot Clubhouse and fitness center, and multiple parks and trails throughout the community. In addition, the two active adult communities offer their own Clubhouses and recreational facilities.

Rancho Sahuarita has been recognized regionally and nationally as one of the most successful master-planned communities in the state and country. In 2014, Rancho Sahuarita was among 13 communities internationally that were recently profiled by the Urban Land Institute for their innovative health and wellness features and amenities.

Rancho Sahuarita has also been recognized locally for its collaborative work with the Town of Sahuarita, Sahuarita Unified School District and other area stakeholders. Recent awards include the inaugural Timothy M. Ahrens Partnering Award, by Pima Association of Governments.

“Metropolitan Pima Alliance’s recognition of Rancho Sahuarita as Project of the Decade underscores the importance of creating a great place to live with a dynamic sense of community,” says Sharpe. “I am honored that the region appreciates the value that we have added to people’s lives through our collaboration with our private and public partners.”

The Project of the Decade award will be presented to Rancho Sahuarita at MPA’s annual Common Ground Awards Ceremony, Friday, Dec. 5, 5:00 p.m. at Westin La Paloma. 

About Rancho Sahuarita

Rancho Sahuarita is a master planned community of approximately 17,000 residents located 9 miles south of Tucson, Ariz. Since closing its first home in January 2002, the community has gained consistent national recognition as one of the top master plans in the country. The amenity-rich community includes a private splash park, fitness centers, miles of paved trails, neighborhood parks, a lake, schools, and many commercial attractions. To learn more, 

About Metropolitan Pima Alliance

Metropolitan Pima Alliance (MPA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating responsible development in the Pima County metropolitan area, and furthering the interests of the real estate and development industry through education, public policy advocacy and networking.

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