Area next to state park targeted for mega-project

Critics: Proposal for homes, condos in natural zone a bad fit

By Tony Davis

Arizona Daily Star

Pusch Ridge in Oro Valley

East of where Tangerine Road dead-ends at Oracle Road, a series of rolling ridges are crowded with mesquite, prickly pear and palo verde.

High above that lies a collection of sheer, twisting, gnarly rock knobs and notches on the Catalina Mountains’ Pusch Ridge.

The land, which borders Catalina State Park on three sides, is so scenic and biologically rich that Oro Valley wanted to buy it as open space a few years back, but a deal was never inked. Twenty-two years ago, environmentalists successfully fought an effort to build a shopping center there.

But if a Scottsdale developer’s quest is successful, some of the lower-lying ground will become home to the Tucson area’s first major desert development in years, with up to 520 upscale homes, condominiums and apartments, plus stores and offices on 108 acres. An official for developer SunChase Holdings Inc., Eric Bose, pledges a “high-quality project” that will be tastefully carried out in harmony with its surroundings.


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