Connection, creativity and nature inspire Arizona’s upcoming desert wellness sanctuary Align

by Megan Whitby | 23 May 2024
Brothers, business partners and hospitality developers Mark and Eric Erman are launching a new wellness concept called Align in Tucson, Arizona
The space will feature a bathhouse, a wellness facility, a landscape park, health-focused retail, F&B outlets and overnight accommodations.
Align aims to serve as a community hub for users of the Chuck Huckleberry Loop and a retreat space for locals and visitors, promoting human connection, creative expression and wellbeing
The project is a public-private partnership between Pima County and the Ermans' company, Infinite Concepts, with wellness programming by local firm Under a Tree
Credit: Under A Tree
It will be amazing to have a world-class wellness centre in the heart of Tucson
– Amy McDonald

A new nature-inspired wellness destination called Align is coming to Tucson, spearheaded by brothers and local hospitality entrepreneurs Mark and Eric Erman.

Designed to foster individual and collective wellbeing, the project is set to create a central gathering space for users of the Chuck Huckleberry Loop, an 87.5-km circular trail used for outdoor leisure pursuits.

Fronted by the Rillito River, Align will be realised with an extensive wellness facility, a landscape park, F&B outlets, flexible retail space centred around health and wellness and overnight accommodation.

The property's wellness offering will consist of contrast bathing circuits, spa treatments, a social recovery lounge, relaxation spaces and a range of meditation and mindfulness experiences.

The Erman brothers, owners of Tucson's Ermanos Bar and Portal Cocktails, want Align to facilitate human connection, creative expression, movement and belonging. They say the space will serve as both a public welcome stop for Loop users and a retreat space for locals and visitors.

Align’s wellness concept and programming are being developed by local firm Under a Tree, helmed by Amy McDonald, who has worked on numerous global projects and locally at award-winning destination spa Miraval Resort & Spa.

McDonald said: “This city has so much to offer – especially when it comes to the beauty of its natural landscape – and it will be amazing to have a world-class wellness centre right here in the heart of Tucson.”

Currently in the planning stages, the 7-acre project is a public-private partnership between Pima County and Infinite Concepts, the Erman brothers’ hospitality development company.

Align’s wellness-focused proposal was selected through a competitive public request for proposals (RFP) to develop and steward the property, which is surrounded by creeks with sweeping mountain views.

Eric Erman said the primary aspiration for Align is “to infuse the good feelings of slow cooking, fire, drink and music from wild settings into a nourishing social environment".

“Over the years, we’ve evolved as hosts, and we continue to practice the art of wholehearted hospitality which requires genuine care and listening.”

To bring their vision to life, the Ermans have assembled a team led by New York-based design firm HelenHanCreative and San Francisco-based landscape design firm Studio O.G. + Landscape.

Tucson-based architecture firm BWS Architects – led by Robin Shambach – is supporting the design effort, along with a team of local specialists and consultants.

Shambach said: “Align is a rare opportunity for the building design to celebrate the magic of the Sonoran Desert, the ephemeral but significant role of water and the majesty of our skies.

"It will provide residents and visitors with a carefully crafted environment to compose their own awe-inspiring experience. We’re proud to be part of the team that aspires to honour our home in this way."

Align  Arizona  Tucson  Under A Tree  Amy McDonald  Pima County  Infinite Concepts  BWS Architects  HelenHanCreative  Studio O.G. + Landscape  
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