Courtesy of the Town of Sahuarita, Arizona.

Town of Sahuarita, AZ – Sahuarita Economic Development P3 Master Plan


Located just south of Tucson near the US-Mexico border, the Town of Sahuarita, Arizona, has experienced rapid growth since its incorporation in 1994. Proximity to the University of Arizona (UA) and the recent completion of the Sahuarita Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center (SAMTEC) have opened opportunities for the community to build on its strong (but historically narrow) group of major employers. With a population of over 35,000, Sahuarita stands at a crossroads; it can either respond to growth with a carefully considered economic development strategy or continue as a bedroom community, with most residents leaving for both work and play. By cultivating priorities that support a vision of what Sahuarita could be, leadership can influence future growth.


To help Sahuarita realize its economic potential, the Town engaged TIP Strategies to produce the Sahuarita Economic Development P3 Master Plan (SP3), named after the three goals that center the plan: People, Prosperity, and Place. Built on prior planning efforts and shaped by a set of guiding principles, SP3 aims to position Sahuarita as a dynamic growth center in the Tucson metro area. The People goal sets out strategies for creating a robust talent pipeline by aligning local education institutions (UA, Pima Community College, and the Sahuarita Unified School District), increasing the availability of wraparound services, and establishing a coordinated talent marketing effort. Spurring the growth of new and existing industry, with an emphasis on leveraging local and regional innovation assets, is the objective of the Prosperity goal. The Place goal focuses on building a community identity that goes beyond the predominant residential brand of Sahuarita—to include more diverse employment opportunities and a wider array of amenities—with the goal of establishing the Town as Pima County’s largest and most successful suburb. SP3 not only provides a framework for evaluating potential projects and investments, but it also serves as a roadmap to the future that awaits Sahuarita if local leadership embraces focused and strategic growth.

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