Mar 28, 2017

Houghton Town Center: Southeast Tucson’s Premier Community Center

From retail to services, Houghton Town Center is a community shopping center catering to the residents of Southeast Tucson, including Rita Ranch, Vail and Corona de Tucson. Located at the intersection of Houghton and Old Vail Roads, the 60+ acre project continues to evolve based on interest from national retailers, service providers and restaurants and local businesses.

Just three years ago, Walmart Super Center opened at Houghton Town Center, setting the stage for continued development. The center has become quite robust since then with the addition of 13 new businesses, including many nationally recognized names like Panda Express, Discount Tire, Verizon Wireless, Autozone, Dunkin Donuts, Northwest Emergency Center at Vail, Brakemasters, Supercuts, Nationwide Vision and Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza.

In January of this year, Ryan Companies US, Inc., Diamond Ventures and elected officials gathered for the groundbreaking of three retail stores at Houghton Town Center; Ross Dress for Less, T.J. Maxx and Petco. City of Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Ward 4 Council Member Shirley Scott and Pima County District 4 Supervisor, Steve Christy, were all in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony, each speaking to the importance of the project to the City of Tucson in both sales tax revenue generation and the amenities offered to this growing community.

Putting these deals together was a team effort between the tenants, Diamond Ventures, Ryan Companies and the City of Tucson. “Tucson Development Services was very instrumental in getting the project approved expeditiously, so that the development schedules could be met,” said Shannon Murphy, Designated Broker for Diamond Ventures.

Ryan, developer and general contractor of the $6 million project, is working along a construction schedule that allows the three retail stores to open fall of 2017. The commitments of Ross Dress for Less, T.J. Maxx and Petco further validate the project and trade area and enhance the momentum at Houghton Town Center. Local residents are eager to have apparel, housewares and pet supplies available where they reside, as they have usually had to travel great distances for these shopping needs.

In addition to these new retail stores, two new restaurants will be opening later this year: Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen and Jersey Mike’s Subs. Hughes Federal Credit Union and McDonald’s have both purchased land within the project as well and will be opening in the near future. Diamond Ventures is in discussions with several other businesses to locate at Houghton Town Center and anticipates more announcements soon.

Houghton Town Center offers more than just retail and restaurants, however. It is a community center, a place for the Southeast Tucson residents to gather, shop and come for a variety services. For example, in late 2015, Northwest Emergency Center at Vail opened up at Houghton Town Center, providing a much needed medical service to the community. Prior to their opening, the closest emergency room was 15 miles away and more than a thirty-minute drive. Northwest Medical Center is currently constructing an approximately 10,000 square foot medical office building, offering cardiology, obstetrics and gynecology and family medicine.

With the addition of the three new junior anchor tenants, Houghton Town Center becomes the premier power/ community center for Southeast Tucson. Diamond Ventures is currently in the process of planning phase II. The direction of that planning effort will be largely driven by continued interest of the users that want to be apart Houghton Town Center. Diamond Ventures looks forward to partnering once again with Ryan Companies on phase II. “We value our business relationship with Diamond Ventures and the City of Tucson. The efforts of both were critical to moving the project forward,” said John Strittmatter, Chairman/Southwest, Ryan Companies US, Inc.

The southeast trade area has a very strong population base with highly educated and affluent residents. They are attracted by the award winning and high state ranking of Vail School District, great access to employment hubs, such as the UA Tech Park, airport area and downtown Tucson, as well as the beauty of Rincon Valley. While the supply of new home lot inventories city wide is dwindling, Southeast Tucson, a primary growth area within the City of Tucson, remains one of the more active new home markets. There is a sizable amount of private land currently being entitled for future development, which further secures the growth of this retail market. The demand for more shopping options will only continue to grow and Houghton Town Center is positioned extremely well for this.

As the construction of the Ross Dress for Less, T.J. Maxx and Petco building continues to progress, the excitement is now turning to the grand openings this fall, the new shopping options that will be available to the local residents, the tax dollars that will be generated for the City of Tucson and the second phase of development at the Houghton Town Center.

Shannon Murphy is responsible for the sales and marketing of the commercial properties and custom lot communities at Diamond Ventures, Inc. Shannon also serves as the Designated Broker for DVI Realty, LLC the Company’s real estate brokerage arm. Prior to joining Diamond Ventures in 2013, Shannon spent 17 years with CBRE, Inc. as a commercial real estate broker specializing in the leasing, sales and marketing of retail properties. She can be reached at

Colleen Kucera is Marketing Manager at Ryan Companies, where she oversees the Southwest region’s marketing department. She can be reached at

Ashley Black is Marketing Administrator with Ryan Companies, a position she has held since January 2015. She can be reached at

Tucson Real Estate + New Development

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