Kent’s Korner

Green Valley vs. ‘Suburbia’

Symbiotic, Though Uniquely Different Experiences


As I drove to a Costco in Tucson last Sunday, I took a hard look at extensive residential home construction on both sides of I-19 in Sahuarita.  Obviously, the area’s economy is still expanding, and the Town of Sahuarita is doing well at what it does best: catering to families and retail businesses, its ‘bread and butter.’  Kudos to Sahuarita Mayor Tom Murphy, Sahuarita Town Council, and Sahuarita’s Director of Economic Development, Victor Rodriguez. Clearly, these individuals are hard at work realizing their vision to make Sahuarita a suburban community for hard-working families.

Like many Green Valley residents, I frequent retail businesses in Sahuarita. On occasion it’s Frys for a certain brand of hot peppers, Sprouts for fresh fruits and vegetables (I’m a vegetarian), and maybe twice a year I shop at Walmart (usually for plants and potting soil). That’s part of the beauty of living in Green Valley, where 80% of all residents are GVR members. We want to live here, but easily get ‘there’ when we choose to., Green Valley’s community-based website presented by the GVR Foundation, proclaims “Green Valley’s number-one asset is its proximity to the boundless exploration, entertainment and shopping opportunities of Southern Arizona.”

I am glad that Sahuarita is where it is. It is fast becoming a hubbub of suburban family life. For most of us Green Valley residents, we’ve already been there, done that. From raising kids and public schools to shopping plazas and resulting traffic.  This differs from Green Valley, which offers more of a service industry that caters to recreation and leisure pursuits for 55+ folks. For the most part, Green Valley is a premier active adult/retiree community unlike other places. Part of its charm is that we are near other places.

Consider the relatively close proximity of these areas to Green Valley: Sahuarita with its multiple shopping plazas just minutes away; Tucson, just 20-40 minutes’ drive north – depending on which end of town you’re headed to – is a trove of possibilities; Tucson International Airport is just 25 minutes away; and Tubac, a very popular destination for Green Valley residents for meals, art and tchotchkes, is about 20 minutes south. Of course, there are additional interesting and uniquely different places in our area. But if you are lucky enough to live here, you already know that.

I wrote a bit about Green Valley real estate and GVR deed-restricted properties in a recent Kent’s Korner. There is only a limited amount of land left for new residential home construction, and most all of what’s planned is already tied to future GVR Membership.  Developers Fairfield and Meritage are back (GVR has Developer-Member Agreements with both developers to build age-restricted housing).  A couple of months ago, Meritage sold its first new construction home since 2010 in the Canoa Ranch neighborhood, and more new construction in that area is underway.

I remind readers of this because its very different from the construction and growth of Sahuarita and other similar suburb-type towns. Our bread-and-butter is largely age-restricted residential properties.  Elsewhere it’s family housing, schools and shopping plazas.

In last Sunday’s Green Valley News edition, local realtor Scott Chancellor, Associate Broker with Realty Executives, published a special statement entitled, “Who Needs GVR?” (it was a paid ad). In the statement, Scott describes how GVR makes Green Valley a special community. Quite the testimonial! He wrote that if people do not like GVR, there are other options…they can find a non-GVR property or live in Sahuarita or Tucson (I’m sure that Scott would be willing to sell them a property in one of these other communities). Choices all around.

Location, location, location!