Neighborhood Profile - Continental Ranch – Master Planned Community In Marana

Continental Ranch is a master-planned community located in Marana, Arizona. There are many subdivisions within Continental Ranch at various price points. Continental Ranch began development in the 1980s by Charles Keating Jr. The community was shaky at first; slow to grow. But, Continental Ranch has now become the largest subdivision in Marana and one of the largest communities in Southern Arizona. Continental Ranch encompasses around 4000 homes within it's homeowner's association!

Continental Ranch has become the “heart of Marana”. There are many amenities including shopping, parks, pools, quality schools, and employment opportunities all within or very close to Continental Ranch.

Continental Ranch was the first master-planned community in Marana and offered a blueprint of what Marana would become. The town of Marana has pushed forward with mass residential developments such as Gladden Farms and Rancho Marana. These newer developments are, in part, based on Continental Ranch.

Marana, Arizona has steadily grown over the years feeding residential development. Continental Ranch has completely filled its boundaries, and the properties within Continental Ranch have appreciated dramatically. Continental Ranch is a very nice place to live that provides a range of housing currently priced in the $300Ks - $800Ks.

The post-WWII era in Southern Arizona is where the real roots of development stemmed from. In the area where Marana is located, the Dow Chemical Company acquired vast tracts of land along The Santa Cruz River. The land passed through the hands of various speculators until it was acquired by Lew McGinnis. McGinnis was a crook (unfortunately, real estate history throughout the “undeveloped” SW is full of stories of crooked land speculators and developers). After being convicted of theft for an unrelated deal, the Marana/Continental Ranch area passed into the hands of Keating (most famous for the savings and loan scandal that rocked the Phoenix and Southern Arizona area in the 1980s).

Continental Ranch derived its name from Keating's holding corp., American Continental Corporation. In 1989, American Continental Corporation along with Keating's Lincoln Savings and Loan went bankrupt. Keating was charged with multiple crimes and eventually spent over 4 years in prison. Many investors lost a lot of money.

Two years prior, in 1987 when Marana was only 10 years old, Keating had convinced the Marana town council to annex 2100 acres of Continental Ranch. A master development plan had already been created and approved by Pima County. Much of the infrastructure of Continental Ranch was put in place by Keating. Keating's Continental Ranch plan was considered solid by government officials and citizens alike. Despite the fact that Keating was a crook who defrauded investors, his plans for Continental Ranch were considered pretty darn good.

The Federally supervised Resolution Trust Corporation oversaw the liquidation of Keating's holdings and acquired the Continental Ranch property in the late 1980s. The land sat dormant for a few years until Southwest Value Partners purchased it in 1992 for pennies on the dollar. Southwest Value Partners (SVP) was in charge of parceling off “superblocks” to homebuilders who began to build tracts of homes. SVP still owns major tracks of land in Marana. SVP is based in Omaha, Nebraska, and run by Millard Seldin and former National Bank of Arizona president Robert Sarver who currently owns the Phoenix Suns.

Continental Ranch was run by the developers who put up the various subdivisions that comprise current-day C.R. Eventually, in 2002, Continental Ranch was turned over to the homeowners. Continental Ranch has not only persevered through tumultuous times but thrived. Extensive involvement by community members has tremendously helped Continental Ranch preserve its beauty by keeping up with capital improvements. Again, today's Continental Ranch is a very nice area to live in.

The push for more business, more jobs, more schools, more parks, and more of everything in Marana has been a boom not only for Continental Ranch but for all the other residential developments that have gone up since the 1990s in Marana, Arizona.


Check out the Marana Community Guide here -

Please don't hesitate to contact me 7 days a week including evenings to discuss real estate.  

Post a Comment