TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Marana is the fastest growing area in southern Arizona at more than double the state average, according to the Office of Economic Opportunity.
Marana’s current population is 4.5 percent greater from last year’s report at 49,323 residents — compared to the state’s growth rate at 1.6 percent. In an executive report published last month, town officials documented increases in development around Marana and the community’s utility customers from November 2018 to this year.
Total customers billed for water and sewer services saw a 6.9 percent and 14.6 percent increase, respectively, from October 2018 to October 2019, according to the report.
With more people in town, development seems to be everywhere.
This month alone, 66 single-family residential building permits were issued across Marana — that’s included in the 757 permits issued this calendar year to date, according to town data.
To Marana families like the Johnsons, who moved here seven years ago from southern Mississippi, the town’s potential knows no bounds.
“So, the growth of Marana, the future growth of Marana is limitless," Heath Johnson said.
As the community expands, the need for more grocery stores and a larger retail center is still at the forefront of the residents’ minds, but the Johnsons took upon themselves to do what they can to help fill that need.
The family owns and operates a local truck specializing in southern-style food indicative of the family’s roots called Magnolia Blossom. The truck serves up southern delicacies like smoked brisket, po boys and gumbo.
However, the family hopes to see other businesses blossom across Marana alongside their truck.
“Our community is growing. We need dining options," Heath Johnson said.
Until those needs are filled, the Johnson family looks forward to watching their town flourish and being a part of that growth.
“If there’s a small business or even if it’s a chain, if it’s here and it’s employing our people, we need to shop local," Heath Johnson said. "When we do that, we prove to the world that we will support the businesses that are here.”