The first planned community in Mesa, model homes opened their doors to prospective buyers in October 1973. Although several other builders participated in constructing custom and semi-custom homes and townhomes, Continental Homes owned the land, designed the man-made lake system and adjoining greenbelts and built most of the single family homes.
Continental Homes' sales office stood on the site now occupied by the homeowners association's La Casita Community Center. This small modular building was donated to the association after it was no longer needed by Continental Homes and housed the association's administrative office, Board of Directors meeting room and preschool until the more spacious La Casita building was constructed in 1992.
The demand for Dobson Ranch homes was so strong that many new houses were sold within weeks, and sometimes months, before they were completed. To accommodate the hundreds of children moving into the new neighborhoods, a senior high school and two elementary schools were built nearby. A total of eight artificial lakes were excavated and the lengthy filling process began in early 1975. Retail development soon followed, including Fiesta Mall, which held its grand opening in the Fall of 1979.
Construction continued at a brisk pace until the mid-1980s, when the Ranch was almost fully built out. The final area to be developed was the Brook Edge Estates neighborhood, which is located west of Dobson Road and south of Baseline Road. Originally owned by the Mesa School District and set aside as the site for a proposed additional elementary school, the land was ultimately sold and subdivided for use as private residences in 1988. The Ranch's final homesite was completed in 1999 on a lot that had remained vacant for more than two decades.