By Mark Cowling | Florence Reminder
Florence Mayor Tom Rankin recalls being in the Valley to speak of the Phoenix 40 when news broke that Pulte Homes was planning to build 9,000 houses in Florence.
“There were headlines in the Phoenix paper. The day that was announced I had no idea that Harrison Merrill was selling the property to Pulte,” Rankin said. “Everybody at that Phoenix 40 was awestruck that Pulte would come to Florence, Arizona. … It was remarkable the amount of attention it brought to Florence for a long time. It opened the eyes to Florence, I think.”
It was the summer of 2004 and the economy, especially housing in Arizona, was booming.