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Old Posted Dec 17, 2008, 8:00 AM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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A convention center hotel with a "daring design" is usually an oxymoron, but Tucsonans have told the Sheraton hotel architect to be bold and create something iconic:

New tower hotel design should be daring, architects told
Design panel hopes to include local landscape features into downtown structure

Tucson Citizen

A man new to Tucson sparked applause when he challenged architects for the planned Sheraton Tucson Convention Center Hotel to be imaginative with their design. "I don't think you should be shy with what you do with (the tower). I think you can do some eloquent, wonderful forms," said Jerry Shapins, a retired landscape architect who moved to Tucson four weeks ago from Boulder, Colo. Shapins was one of about 100 people attending the first open house Monday for public input on what the 520-to-550-room, 27- or 28-story, $150 million dollar hotel at the northwest corner of the TCC should look like. Shapins' remark got the most reaction from the local crowd as well as catching the attention of architect Ken Martin, principal at DLR Group, the hotel project architect. "The big surprise for me today was two or three people saying, 'Be bold, be iconic, give us something that screams Tucson,' " Martin said. Martin said architects are often hamstrung by conservativeness of communities. He reads the open house reaction as a community "really open to see something different." "Open minds are always a lot more fun," Martin said.

James Bird, a Tucsonan who works at Raytheon Missile Systems, suggested putting a bar and grill on the hotel roof. "This is an open-air environment," Bird said in an interview. "We need to stick to that." Bird's suggestion to put the bar and grill "on top of the building" may not have been interpreted as the roof by Tony Traub, principal at Garfield Traub, the hotel's developer. "We're looking at putting a restaurant upstairs," Traub responded. Martin and DLR design leader Gary Worthy walked the crowd through a basic visual concept for the shape of the hotel and its meeting rooms and how it fits with the TCC, but the hotel is "not going to look anything like" the tower drawing seen Monday, Martin said.

Worthy said the design team is intrigued about working rock, crystal and slab into the hotel. It wants to incorporate features from the local landscape and wants a sense of what that means to the local community. Paul Abbott, a low voltage systems salesman, thinks the designers should get a sense of the landscape themselves. "I'd like to see them take a hike up to Sabino Canyon if they want to see shapes and landmarks," Abbott said. "That would tie them to what Tucsonans do."

DLR proposes putting one-third of the hotel on stilts to allow people to drive under the building to get to the lobby. Glass walls would enclose the lobby and a restaurant on the rest of the ground floor. "We're trying to blur the line between indoors and outdoors," Martin said. "We didn't want the whole footprint of the tower to impact the landscape, so we elevated it on legs and the part that touches the ground is really glass." A desert garden would sit between the tower and 30,000 square feet of Sheraton meeting rooms behind the tower. A 20-foot wide open space would lead into the lobby. "You'll arrive and just progress inside," Martin said.

DLR will return with preliminary designs to a second open house at the end of January, and full hotel designs will go to the City Council in April following a third open house at the end of March, Rio Nuevo director Greg Shelko said. The intention is to start construction after the 2010 gem shows and open the hotel in 2012.

Last edited by kaneui; Dec 21, 2008 at 11:05 PM.
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Old Posted Dec 17, 2008, 8:18 AM
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The City Council has given preliminary approval to the Williams & Dame development team for a creative 20-year plan at downtown's east end:

City, big players unveil downtown plans
Tucson Citizen

A year of quiet negotiations led to Tuesday's public unveiling of a 20-year, large-scale downtown development vision including Congress Street, the Warehouse District and stretching from Sixth Street to Armory Park. The City Council enthusiastically approved a pre-development agreement for housing, commercial and other developments with three large developers that banded together to redefine the east end of downtown. The Downtown Tucson Development Co.'s immediate focus stretches north and east from Congress Street and Sixth Avenue, but eventually also will include investing $2.5 million to rehabilitate two dozen century-old warehouses for the Warehouse Arts Management Organization.

Williams & Dame Development of Portland, Ore., luxury home builder and financier Scott Stiteler, and downtown Plaza Centro developer Jim Campbell won the trust of the council with a commitment to spend $10 million in pre-development work over three years. In exchange, the three will receive an option on city-owned land, including the Ronstadt Transit Center, the triangle-shaped parking lot to the north recently leased to Madden Media and the former Volvo lot at Broadway and Park Avenue. "Part of my trust comes from people not afraid of performance criteria," Councilman Steve Leal said.

Williams & Dame has built more than 1,000 homes in Portland's Pearl District created out of a former rail yard. In Tucson, the Portland developer in the past month finished turning the former Martin Luther King Jr. Apartments into the $8.1 million, 96-unit One North Fifth Apartments that will include retail outlets. Stiteler financed One North Fifth and is a partner in the Rialto Block, where $5 million in renovation is slated in the agreement. Since 1995, Stiteler has invested more than $150 million in Tucson as majority owner of about 20 housing projects, bringing about 600 homes to Rancho Vistoso, Honeybee Ridge, Sky Ranch and others and financing half the homes at the Mercado District of Menlo Park just west of downtown. "My style has always been to stay off the radar screen," Stiteler said. "I understand the past has not been kind with a number of agreements (between the city and private developers). Where do we go from here? We start working. One building at a time. Together."

Stiteler convinced Great Wall of China restaurant owner Kwang C. An, known for his commercials with former Arizona Diamondback Luis Gonzalez, to open An Congress restaurant on the Rialto Block. "It's a really good opportunity," said An, who has served Chinese food on Tucson's fringes for 30 years. "That's why I'm willing to say I'll do it with (Stiteler)." The partners are committing to let Skrappy's, the youth empowerment center, to move back into its former 201 E. Broadway home, part of the Rialto Block, for up to one year. "When I hear people talk about redeveloping downtown and Skrappy's in the same sentence, it gives me hope," said Joyce Serido, president of the Tucson Youth Collective, the formal name of Skrappy's.

The pre-development agreement sets the stage for six months of negotiations between city officials and the development company to reach a formal agreement. "Trust is an important word," City Manager Mike Hein said. "They go to a certain point with real dollars. Then we perform." City performance measures include building the streetcar project by 2012, or the development company gets $950,000. Warehouse Arts Management Organization President Marvin Shafer said the warehouse group has struggled to implement the 2004 warehouse master plan endorsed by the city. "There is now a plan before the city that will allow us to do that," Shafer said. Councilwoman Regina Romero believes the developers recognize the city's uniqueness. "I remember asking what is the value Tucson is gaining from this pre-development agreement," she said. "I can answer this question by the work these partners have done so far."
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Old Posted Dec 21, 2008, 10:59 PM
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Another article and initial sketch of Tucson's upcoming new tallest, now proposed at 25-28 stories and 525 rooms. They've also wised up and are planning the hotel construction and convention center expansion to be done concurrently.

(For a taste of the renders we might see in January, check out DLR Group's prior convention hotel designs--a Marriott in Omaha, NE and a Sheraton in Overland Park, KS: http://www.dlrgroup.com/#/3.14/ )

DLR Group design director Gary Worthy explains the different features of the proposed
downtown Sheraton hotel. The project is estimated to cost $150 million.
(photo: Nicholas Smith)

Rio Nuevo hotel to be tallest in Tucson
By Nicholas Smith
Inside Tucson Business
December 20, 2008

The new 525-room Sheraton hotel will dominate the skyline and be one of the most recognizable aspects of the Rio Nuevo downtown revitalization projects, an effort that has faced delays and public criticism. Plans for the tallest building in Tucson were unveiled for public comment on Dec. 15. “What we don’t want to do is expand the convention center and add a hotel,” said Rio Nuevo Director Greg Shelko. “The idea is to redevelop a downtown.”

Input was sought because the project will be so visible, coming in at no less than 25 stories. “It’s really all our hotel, we’re going to have to live with it a long time,” Shelko said. The downtown Sheraton will sit next to the Tucson Convention Center on the east edge of Granada Avenue and will feature glass walls on the first floor and people will be able to drive “through” the building to get to the lobby. “We’re really trying to blur this line between indoor and outdoor,” said DLR Group Principal Ken Martin.

The hotel will be built in conjunction with an expansion of the TCC. The new Sheraton will account for 51,000 square feet of meeting space and join 25,000 square feet of expanded convention center space. An additional 35,000 square feet of exhibit space will also be included in the project. “Without this hotel, convention activity cannot survive,” said Design Director Gary Worthy of the DLR Group. Groundbreaking for the hotel is anticipated for March 2010 with an opening two years later. Construction of the convention center’s new east entrance is expected to begin next fall and conclude in time for the 2010 gem and mineral show.

A second public forum is expected to be held at the end of January. Project drawings are expected to be submitted to the city for review in March. Public inputs ranged from concern over integrating an adjacent streetcar stop to including a bar and grill on the roof to designing an iconic look for the building. “We don’t want to recreate an adobe hut, we want to create something synthetic with the past,” Worthy said. The exterior look of the hotel has not been finalized. Funding for the $150 million project comes at a good time, despite the economic turmoil, Shelko said. “I think the timing for construction is good because the access to public funding is, not ideal, but good,” he said, adding that the hotel should be open by the time the economy starts turning around. Retail is expected to be constructed on the northern edge of the hotel along a new east-west road that will bisect the current convention center footprint.

The out-in-the-open hotel plans aren’t the only signs of change downtown. Earlier this month, the developers of Hotel Congress opened Maynards Market and Kitchen in the Historic Train Depot. Also this month, the Tucson Downtown Partnership awarded more than half a million dollars in grants to restore the facades of four downtown buiildings. Also slated for construction not far from the hotel is a new, 12,500 seat Tucson arena, which will be for multipurpose use, including concerts and minor league hockey and football teams, Shelko said. The current Tucson arena has a seating capacity of 9,000 and is home to the University of Arizona Icecats. Shelko hopes the arena construction will happen concurrently with the hotel, but it is not critical to the project. “The arena is different, it doesn’t have the revenue that the hotel will have,” he said.

Last edited by kaneui; Dec 22, 2008 at 5:05 AM.
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Old Posted Dec 23, 2008, 6:08 AM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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With the west tower restoration now complete, work on San Xavier Mission's east tower will begin in 2009 and last for three years:

People visiting San Xavier Mission, 1950 W. San Xavier Road, this holiday season will not run into
restrictions for the restoration project. With the west tower finished after five years, crews will
take a break and begin work on the east tower after the holidays.
(photo: Renee Bracamonte)

Scaffolding off San Xavier Mission - for now
West tower spiffed up in time for Christmas

Tucson Citizen

Restoration of San Xavier Mission's west tower is finished - just in time for Christmas Eve Mass. After five years of work, the tower has been restored with the integrity of the church protected, said Vern Lamplot, executive director of Patronado San Xavier. The mission has been undergoing a multimillion-dollar restoration project funded by Patronado San Xavier, a local nonprofit group, that began with the interior preservation in 1989.

The restoration team removed the earlier coating of cement plaster inch by inch on the west tower's exterior, repairing the historic brick beneath and refinishing the exterior surface with a traditional lime plaster, Lamplot said. The west tower's flawless finish contrasts with the original plaster on the east tower, built more than 200 years ago. The west tower restoration cost $5.5 million, Lamplot said, and the east tower will take at least three years and about $1.5 million to repair. The scaffolding that has been the hallmark of the west tower restoration is gone for at least a month, until the restoration crew begins working on the east tower next year.

More than 250,000 people visit the church every year from many parts of the country, and the wear and tear takes a toll on the original structure, Lamplot said. "It's a miracle this place still stands," he said, "considering the damage that was done during an earthquake in 1880, and the mold, cracks and water damage it has had in the past hundred years." Inside, the paintings on the walls, the domes and the overall structure have been fully restored, but conservation crews do maintenance a couple of months each year. "Some of the paintings are gone forever, but we've been able to bring most of them to their original state," Lamplot said.

San Xavier Mission was founded as a Catholic mission by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692. Spanish Franciscans wanted to replicate the Spanish-style churches built in central Mexico, and began construction of the current church in 1783, making it the oldest European structure in Arizona. "This is our iconic building," Lamplot said. "History is contained here: Spanish, Anglo, Indian, no matter what the history is, we have it right here." The mission is at 1950 W. San Xavier Road, west of Interstate 19 and about six miles south of the I-19 interchange with Interstate 10. The Christmas Eve masses will be celebrated at 8 and 10 p.m. and Christmas Day masses at 9 and 11 a.m.
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Old Posted Dec 23, 2008, 8:08 AM
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Arizona still 2nd fastest-growing state

According to the Census Bureau's latest estimates, Arizona remained the second fastest-growing state between July 1, 2007 and July 1, 2008, growing at a rate of 2.3%, with 146,759 new residents. The nation's fastest-growing state is now Utah, replacing Nevada at the top spot. (Nevada has now slipped to #8.)

As of July 1, 2008, census estimates now have Arizona ahead of Massachusetts as the nation's 14th most populous state with 6.5 million people, and by 2010 could replace Washington in the 13th slot. Also, Arizona could possibly gain an additional two congressional seats as a result of the 2010 census.

For more info.: http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.php

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Old Posted Dec 28, 2008, 7:53 AM
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Rio Nuevo appears in peril at Legislature
By Rob O'Dell

Tucson's half-billion-dollar Rio Nuevo Downtown redevelopment district is in danger of being suspended, or even canceled, after the Legislature convenes in January. Growing impatience over the lack of progress, compounded by the state's $1.2 billion budget shortfall this year — with a looming $2 billion shortage next year — has lawmakers talking about pulling the plug on Rio Nuevo funding. The 25-year tax increment financing district is funded by sales taxes diverted from the state general fund.

Legislators from both Tucson and Phoenix have criticized Rio Nuevo as a waste of taxpayer money that has accomplished little, with some citing Rio Nuevo expenses revealed in a series of Arizona Daily Star investigations this year as evidence of waste and poor oversight. Several Maricopa County legislators expressed hostility toward Rio Nuevo, but stopped short of committing to kill it. "Rio Nuevo is one more pet project that individual legislators have held onto that is straining the state general fund," said state Sen. Jack Harper, R-Surprise. He declined to say more. State Sen. Barbara Leff, R-Paradise Valley, said Rio Nuevo is "still wasting taxpayer dollars and nothing has been accomplished." "If it was up to me, it would be stopped," she added.

The danger is Rio Nuevo could meet its demise as a bargaining chip in a larger budget compromise, with the funding being cut off with little or no public discussion, said state Sen.-elect Jonathan Paton, R-Tucson, who has already drawn up a bill to reform Rio Nuevo accounting. Paton said he doesn't want to kill Rio Nuevo, but to institute overhauls to persuade Maricopa County legislators not to take away the money. "If the Legislature can be convinced of reforms, then they might not take it away," he said. "But if there's no effort to be more open, the city is setting itself up for a really rough session." Paton's bill would require the city to put its accounting system into a searchable online database, with transactions and receipts posted within 30 days of money being spent. Originally targeted just at Rio Nuevo, the proposed reforms have been expanded by Paton to include all state agencies and local governments, effective in 2010.

Several Tucson officials were not overly concerned about the prospects of losing Rio Nuevo money. Councilwoman Nina Trasoff said she won't "invest energy worrying about something until there's something to actually worry about." "We have a lot to speak about that's very positive, very substantive and very real," Trasoff said. "I think we have a strong case to make. I have confidence in their ability to see it." City Manager Mike Hein said the talk was "speculation and rumor," and added that commenting on it would be premature.

A worse environment
Rio Nuevo was originally expected to draw $60 million in state sales taxes when it was approved by the Legislature and city voters in 1999. Securing approval of a 12-year $600 million extension was a tortuous process in 2006, when Tucson Republican Tim Bee was Senate majority leader and supporter Rep. Jim Weiers, R-Phoenix, was speaker of the House of Representatives. There were audible groans and boos from Maricopa County legislators when the bill came to the Senate floor, and Phoenix-area lawmakers were publicly jeered for voting in its favor. Now Bee, who later became Senate president, is gone from the Legislature and Weiers is no longer speaker. Paton said he is the lone Southern Arizona Republican remaining in either chamber who voted to extend Rio Nuevo in 2006. "You had a friendlier Legislature" in 2006, he said. "The Legislature that is coming in is less receptive, and it was difficult enough getting it in before."

State Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, who famously called the 2006 bill "Rio Dinero" on the Senate floor, said Bee's departure could hurt Rio Nuevo's prospects. "You don't have Bee as president to protect it anymore," he said. And some legislators still resent voting for the original bill in 1999, including Leff, who said the city violated the spirit of the tax-increment finance law by gerrymandering the Downtown redevelopment district to include El Con and Park Place malls. Tucson Rep. Phil Lopes, who was recently pushed out as Democratic minority leader, said he hasn't heard anyone but Paton talking about Rio Nuevo. But Lopes said an important unknown factor is the newly elected Republicans from Pima County. One of those new Pima County Republicans, Rep.-elect Frank Antenori of Tucson, said Rio Nuevo would be a hard sell even to him. He said many of his constituents are asking him to cut the money off. "I'm going to have a hard time hitting that yes button," he said. "They have bungled this from the beginning. I don't see a reason to vote yes."

Words of caution
Some Republicans are discussing a suspension of Rio Nuevo's ability to draw on state taxes until the state's budget crisis passes, said local businessman Bruce Ash, a party leader who has had a long-standing interest in Rio Nuevo. Ash said the city is "playing with fire" with its recent sale of $80 million in Rio Nuevo bonds, since the Legislature may suspend Rio Nuevo state sales-tax deliveries to Tucson. That would leave the city paying for the bonds out of its own general fund, meaning substantial cuts to other city services to pay off the bonds. Antenori also questioned the city floating Rio Nuevo bonds. "They've got to realize they could be on the hook for that," he said.

Hein downplayed the potential the Legislature would take the money pledged to the bonds. He said all of Rio Nuevo's cash flow for the next several years is pledged to the $80 million in bonds sold in mid-December. If the Legislature were to repeal or suspend Rio Nuevo, Hein said it is likely to trigger complex legal action involving the city, the state and bondholders. It would also set precedent statewide that any specially dedicated funding source, such as water or sewer bonds, could be pulled by the Legislature, making it impossible for any Arizona jurisdiction to float those bonds because of that risk, Hein said.

Assistant House Minority Leader Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, said she knows of no specific plans for Rio Nuevo this legislative session, but added that "you can bet on" someone trying to get rid of Rio Nuevo at some point. Sinema said the Tucson City Council asked the Democratic leadership to try to protect Rio Nuevo funding, something it will try to honor. "What kind of power we have to do that is another story," she said.

Push for reforms
Paton said his accounting reforms are designed to make Rio Nuevo palatable enough that Maricopa County legislators won't pull or suspend the funding. He is also introducing a bill to create non-partisan elections in Tucson to change a council he calls dysfunctional. The reforms are the absolute least the city can expect given the lack of progress with nearly $100 million spent on the project, Paton said. "For most people, there would be hell to pay," if they had spent money as freely as the city did and had no results to show for it, Paton said.

A devastating blow
Losing a half-billion dollars in Downtown redevelopment money would be a "devastating blow" for Tucson, said Si Schorr, a local lawyer and active Democrat. "One doesn't have to hold an MBA from Harvard to figure out that," he said. George Larsen, co-owner of Larsen Baker Commercial Realty, said losing the money would be a setback for Downtown, adding that the Legislature should be able to mandate changes like accounting reform, but should not be able to suspend or cancel Rio Nuevo. But Cotlow Co. President Dean Cotlow, a commercial real estate broker, said the city doesn't deserve any more money for Rio Nuevo, given how badly it has misspent the first $100 million. It would be understandable for the Legislature to take the money, given how it has been spent so far, he said. Losing the money would be a blow to the community, Cotlow said, but it would force the city to own up to its mistakes and learn an important lesson.

Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup said he's concerned about the Legislature taking the money, but that he doesn't think it will happen because the city will make a convincing argument to the Legislature for keeping it. "I think we've got a story to tell that a lot of good things are starting to happen," Walkup said. "We owe them that story."
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Old Posted Dec 28, 2008, 2:02 PM
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Lke all Tucson politicians, Walkup is an idiot hippie that wouldn't know good civic leadership if it came up and bit him on the a$$. I seriously hope Rio Nuevo is cut down and I'm from Tucson originally. The waste and lack of results are infuriating. Even this so-called "progress" is hippie-dippie BS centered around projects that will never achieve profitability. Kill it.
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Old Posted Jan 3, 2009, 1:37 AM
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Metro Tucson Development Projects

LATEST UPDATE: January 4, 2019*

*Go to MAP: Metro Tucson Development Projects for current information.

Mission San Xavier del Bac (1797), neon "Gateway Saguaro" on Miracle Mile, One South Church tower (1986)
(courtesy: David Harvey, Arizona Daily Star, Momta Popat)

Estimated 2019 population of Tucson-Nogales CSA (Pima & Santa Cruz counties): 1,095,600
(source: AZ Employment and Population Statistics)


Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District
Rio Nuevo is a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district approved by voters in 1999 to fund and support downtown Tucson revitalization. Although funds did not begin transferring from the state until 2003, and a significant part of TIF revenues (now averaging over $1M/month) are used to pay debt service, Rio Nuevo is now providing financial support and incentives for the following projects:

1. Providing up to $8M in future TIF sales tax rebates to developer Scott Stiteler for theAC Hotel and an upgraded 200 block of E. Congress St.
2. Lending $2.6M to Bourn Companies to construct City Park*, a $27.5M mixed-use project.
3. Building the $50M Caterpillar Tucson Mining Center* on W. Cushing St. by March, 2019 to be leased back for 25 years; also providing $2M for company relocation costs.
4. Funding $5M to Peach Properties/Dabdoub Investments for four downtown redevelopment projects: 100 block of E. Congress St., Arizona Hotel, Brings Building and 123 S. Stone.
5. Funding $1M for Ochoa St. streetscape improvements between Church and Stone Aves.
6. Lending $250k to Flores Concepts to open three new businesses at 61, 121 and 125 E. Congress St.
7. Providing sales tax rebates and site-specific tax payments through 2025 for HSL Properties' $20M Hotel Arizona renovation* as a 309-key, Hilton-branded convention hotel.
8. Providing up to $2.5M in sales tax rebates for the proposed $24M TCC DoubleTree Hotel* by Caliber Hospitality.
9. Providing $4.5M in sales tax rebates for the $34.3M redevelopment of 44 E. Broadway* by Ron Schwabe and Marcel Dabdoub.
10. Providing $1.1M in sales tax rebates for JE Dunn's 12-story downtown mixed-use tower at 75 E. Broadway.*
11. Providing a $2.4M loan to the Gadsden Co. to construct The Monier*, a $35M, 122-unit market-rate apartment complex in the Mercado District.
12. Providing up to $7.5M in sales tax rebates for the Hampton Inn and Home2 Suites at Cathedral Square* project.
13. Providing $2.1M for proposed $24M Volvo site redevelopment* project.

*see project details below

Boundary map of Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District
(courtesy: city of Tucson)

Rio Nuevo website

Downtown Tucson Partnership blog

MAP: Metro Tucson Development Projects

Construction Webcams:

UA Honors Village

The Mark

UA Skaggs Building addition/renovation


Winter, 2018-19
UA Health Sciences Innovation Building ($165M)
City Park ($27.5M)
The Landing (220k s.f. Phase I - mixed/use)
West End Station ($12M)
Marist College restoration/adaptive reuse ($3M)
UA Cole & Jeannie Davis Sports Center ($16.3M)
UA Hillenbrand Softball Stadium renovations ($8M)
Caterpillar Tucson Mining Center ($50M)

Spring, 2019
Diocesan Complex ($12M)
Banner-UMC Tucson expansion ($400M)

Summer, 2019
UA Honors Village ($137M - 1,035 beds)
Aspire (505 beds)
The Mark (595 beds)
Hub Speedway (183 beds)

Fall, 2019
GEICO Regional Office Building (200k s.f.)
Casino del Sol expansion (151 keys)
Downtown Clifton Hotel expansion ($4.5M)
UA Skaggs Building renovation/addition ($26M)
RendezVous Urban Flats (100U)

Winter 2018-19
UA Student Success District ($71M)
TCC DoubleTree Hotel ($24M)
Graduate Tucson (165 keys) & The Collective at Main Gate (238U)
Hotel Arizona renovation ($20M)

Spring, 2019
44 E. Broadway mixed-use ($34.3M)
January 8th Memorial ($2.3M)

Summer, 2019
Hampton Inn, Home2 Suites at Cathedral Square (75 & 123 keys)
TCC Arena improvements ($2.2M)
75 Broadway (12 stories)
Chroma mixed-use


December, 2018

UA Hillenbrand Aquatic Center improvements - $13.25M project that enlarged and replaced the main swimming pool and other infrastructure.
Design Professional: Architekton. Contractor: CORE Construction.
http://www.pdc.arizona.edu/project/18-9388, https://tucson.com/sports/arizonawil...84e81cf09.html

(courtesy: UA)

The Westerner/West Point Apartments (10 E. Broadway Blvd.) - renovation/expansion of existing 54k s.f. downtown office building with offices and retail, plus a six-story addition with 50 low-income apartments for seniors. Owner/developer: COPE Properties. Architect: Carhuff + Cueva. Contractor: Canyon Building & Design.
Apartments completed; completion of office interiors expected in Summer, 2019.

(courtesy: Downtown Tucson Partnership)

The Marist on Cathedral Square (SEC of Broadway Blvd. & Church Ave.) - $22M, seven-story, downtown apartment building with 75 units for low-income seniors on the site of the former Catholic Pastoral Center. Architect: Poster Frost Mirto. Contractor: Tofel Dent Construction.

(courtesy: Tofel Dent Construction)

September, 2018

Arizona Stadium - east renovations - $25.5M of renovations to east side of stadium, including ground-level concourse, student seating area and southeast entrance.
Architects: JE Dunn w/ Populous & Swaim. Contractor: JE Dunn Construction.
http://www.pdc.arizona.edu/project/16-9330 Time-lapse construction video (south view, 57 sec.): http://www.pdc.arizona.edu/file/movies/16-9330-S.mp4

(courtesy: UA)

June, 2018

Seventh Avenue Commons (529 N. 7th Ave.) - $14M housing project with 50 affordable units and a community building/clubhouse utilizing an existing 12k s.f. warehouse/office building and a new three-story structure. Developers: Gardner Capital Development, Neighborhood Housing Solutions. Architect: Biltform Architects. Contractor: Kitchell Construction.
http://7thavenuecommons.com/, https://realestatedaily-news.com/tuc...ng-developers/

views looking SW (left) and NW (right)
(courtesy: apartments.com)

April, 2018

MSA Annex (NEC of Avenida del Convento & Cushing St.) - $12M nearby expansion of Mercado San Agustín with 20k s.f. for 13 retailers and restaurants in modified shipping containers plus a 500-seat outdoor performance venue on 1.5 acres. Developer: The Gadsden Co. Architect: Paul Weiner.
http://tucson.com/thisistucson/todo/...4a74ecb92.html, https://mercadodistrict.com/annex/

(site plan: The Gadsden Co.; photos: Zac Ziegler, Rio Nuevo, Jackie Tran)

January, 2018

UA Bioscience Research Laboratories (NEC of Helen St. & Cherry Ave.) - $107.5M, four-story, 150k s.f. building with translational research laboratories, imaging facilities and clinic to support interdisciplinary research. Architect: Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects. Contractor: DPR Construction.

(courtesy: UA)


City Park (20-60 E. Congress St.) - $27.5M mixed-use downtown TOD project adds a new five-story building between the renovated Indian Trading Post and Chase Annex buildings. Hexagon Mining now occupies floors 3-5 of the new building as its North American HQ; food hall/restaurant and retail tenants on first floor and bowling alley/entertainment tenants on second floor to be open by January, 2019. Developer: Bourn Companies. Architects: Rob Paulus, SBBL Architects. Contractor: Canyon Building & Design. Estimated completion in early 2019.
Design architect: Secrest Architecture LLC
https://www.downtowntucson.org/2017/...breaks-ground/, http://www.bourncompanies.com/projects/city-park/, https://hexagonmining.com/resources/...tucson-arizona

exterior view looking west (L) and east (R) along Congress St.

Hexagon Mining lobby and corner office
(courtesy: J Kaiser Workspaces, Bourn Companies)

UA Health Sciences Innovation Building (Mabel St., E. of Cherry Ave.) - $165M, 226k s.f., nine-story tower for trans-disciplinary collaborations and interactions between health professionals, students, and faculty in medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Architect: CO Architects. Contractor: Kitchell Construction.
Construction timeline: June, 2016 - January, 2019.
http://www.pdc.arizona.edu/Project/13-9193, http://www.wildcat.arizona.edu/artic...ction-projects
Webcam: http://www.pdc.arizona.edu/Project/13-9193?tab=camera

renderings looking northwest (L) and northeast (R)

construction photos: looking southwest - January 4
(courtesy: UA)

UA Athletic Facilities improvements - $66M to renovate/construct the four facilities below, plus a $1.9M remodel and addition of McKale Center locker rooms.
http://arizonawildcats.com/sports/20...-campaign.aspx, http://www.kvoa.com/story/37802226/u...pital-projects

Hillenbrand Aquatic Center improvements - $13.25M (COMPLETED - SEE ABOVE)

Arizona Stadium - east renovations - $25.5M (COMPLETED - SEE ABOVE)

Cole & Jeannie Davis Sports Center - $16.3M, 45k s.f. indoor practice facility for football and other sports. Architects: BWS, HOK. Contractor: M.A. Mortenson Company.
Construction timeline: April, 2018 - February, 2019.
http://www.pdc.arizona.edu/project/18-9390, https://uanews.arizona.edu/story/col...orts-center-ua

construction photo: January 4
(courtesy: UA)

Hillenbrand Softball Stadium renovations - $8M of improvements to existing softball stadium. Design Professional: Swaim Associates. Contractor: Concord General Contracting.
Projected construction timeline: June, 2018 - February, 2019.

construction photo - January 4
(courtesy: UA)

West End Station (855 W. Congress St.) - $12M, four-story complex in the Mercado District with 70 low-income and affordable apartments plus ground-floor retail.
Developers: Gorman & Company, The Gadsden Co. Architect: Gorman & Company. Contractor: Tofel Dent Construction. Expected completion in early 2019.
http://cem-az.com/gorman-company-inc...ts-in-arizona/, http://tucson.com/business/work-on-d...40ed42355.html, https://mercadodistrict.com/housing/

construction photo - December 5
(site plan: The Gadsden Co.; photo: Tofel Dent Construction)

The Landing (NWC of Irvington Rd. & I-19) - 600k s.f. mixed-use with retail, office and hotels on 63 acres in SW Tucson, just north of the Spectrum Mall. Developer: Bourn Companies.
Phase I with 220k s.f. expected to open in 2018; complete build out by 2020.
http://tucson.com/business/new-shopp...404f1ed8e.html, https://realestatedaily-news.com/irv...mous-approval/, http://www.bourncompanies.com/projects/landing/

site plan; construction progress, Hobby Lobby - November 25
(courtesy: Bourn Companies)

Cathedral Square redevelopment (various parcels near Catholic cathedral on Stone Ave.) - nearly $40M to redevelop several of the Catholic diocese's downtown properties:
1. $800k restoration of the 1916 Our Lady's Chapel on Ochoa St. (COMPLETED);
2. The Marist on Cathedral Square(COMPLETED - SEE ABOVE);
3. Marist College restoration/adaptive reuse (SEE BELOW);
4. Diocesan Complex (SEE BELOW);
http://tucson.com/news/local/tucson-...71b7c2e30.html, http://www.newvisiononline.org/2016/...arist-college/, http://tucson.com/business/what-s-go...a97f31f2a.html

Marist College restoration/adaptive reuse (SEC of Ochoa St. & Church Ave.) - $3M project to convert the three-story adobe 1915 Marist College building to eight low-income senior apartments and a community center. Consulting Architect: Poster Frost Mirto. Contractor: Tofel Dent Construction. Expected completion in early 2019.
Video of Marist College renovation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sprFEaYwZ0s

exterior; community center on first floor - November 8
(courtesy: Downtown Tucson Partnership, Rio Nuevo)

Diocesan Complex (SWC of Ochoa St. & Stone Ave.) - $12M, four-story building for offices, meeting space, and 500-seat conference center to replace the former Cathedral Hall.
Architect: Poster Frost Mirto. Contractor: Diversified Design & Construction. Projected completion in early 2019.
http://www.constructionreporter.com/...or-Renovations, http://tucson.com/news/photos-st-aug...2370f9b.html#8

rendering; construction progress - November
(rendering: The Architecture Company; photo: Rio Nuevo)

Caterpillar Tucson Mining Center (875 W. Cushing St.) - $50M, three-story, 150k s.f. office building and parking structure on 7.8 acres to accommodate 600+ employees of Caterpillar's Surface Mining & Technology Division. (City of Tucson to extend Avenida del Convento south of Cushing St. for project's main entrance.)
Owner/developer: Rio Nuevo. Architects: SmithGroupJJR, WSM. Contractor: Sundt Construction. Estimated completion by March, 2019.
http://tucson.com/business/take-a-pe...07111c0d3.html, http://www.tucsonlocalmedia.com/news...8def75bf4.html, https://tucson.com/business/caterpil...37f335b4e.html, http://www.sundt.com/media/blog/2017...-headquarters/

renderings looking southwest (L) and northeast (R)

site map; construction progress - mid-October
(renderings: Smith Group JJR; site map: Arizona Daily Star; photo: A.E. Araiza)

Banner - University Medical Center Tucson expansion/renovation (1501 N. Campbell Ave.) - $400M project to include 75k s.f. of renovations and 670k s.f. of additions to the medical center/hospital built in 1971, including a new nine-story hospital tower with 204 beds, a 18.6k s.f. central utility plant and 730 spaces of parking on 4 acres.
Owner: Banner Health Systems. Architects: Shepley Bulfinch, GLHN. Contractors: Sundt, DPR.
Expected facility opening: April 1, 2019.
http://www.bumct-expansion.com/index.html, http://www.dpr.com/projects/banner-u...-center-tucson, http://www.sundt.com/media/news-room...center-tucson/
Webcam (main entrance, N. parking lot): https://public.workzonecam.com/proje...archiveId=Home

rendering; aerial of medical campus

construction progress (north elevation): August; main entrance, new north parking lot - January 4
(renders: Shepley Bulfinch; photos: Kelly Presnell, workzonecam.com)

UA Honors Village (btw. Adams & Mabel Sts., and Park & Santa Rita Aves.) - $137M mixed-use project on three city blocks with buildings up to six stories, including a 1,035-bed dorm, 25k s.f. academic space, 15k s.f. dining facility, 41k s.f. recreation center, 370-stall, four-story parking garage and 322 spaces of surface parking.
Developer: American Campus Communities. Architect: STG Architects. Contractor: Okland Construction. Expected completion: July, 2019.
http://tucson.com/news/local/regents...f34653cf8.html, http://www.wildcat.arizona.edu/artic...honors-complex, http://www.pdc.arizona.edu/project/18-9395
Webcam: http://www.pdc.arizona.edu/project/18-9395?tab=camera

render showing block of Fremont Ave. converted to a pedestrian mall; aerial render

construction progress - January 4
(courtesy: UA)

Aspire (950 N. Tyndall Ave.) - 12-story, 148-unit/505-bed student housing tower with rooftop pool and two levels of underground parking.
Developer: The Dinerstein Companies. Architect: Gensler. Contractor: TDC Construction. Estimated completion by August, 2019.
http://tucson.com/business/work-is-u...abf10fa3e.html, http://www.liveaspiretucson.com/
Virtual tour video: https://www.liveaspiretucson.com/#fo.../0/g9U66bxbuD4

construction progress - December 13
(renders: Gensler; photo: Aspire Tucson)

The Mark (block bordered by Park Ave., Broadway Blvd., Tyndall Ave. and 10th St.) - 154-unit/595-bed student housing complex on a 3.5-acre city block, with one eight-story and two four-story buildings, plus a five-level parking structure. Developer: Landmark Properties. Architect: Dwell Design Studios. Contractor: UEB. Expected completion: August, 2019.
https://tucson.com/business/construc...c6e3f54e9.html, https://realestatedaily-news.com/mar...k-4-6-million/
Webcam: https://ueb.net/webcam31.html

renderings looking northwest (L) and west (R)

construction photo (looking east from Tyndall Ave.) - January 4
(renderings: Landmark Properties; photo: UEB; site plan: Humphreys & Partners)

Hub Speedway (SWC of Speedway Blvd. & Tyndall Ave.) - four-story student housing complex on .67-acre site with 57 units/183 beds, 6,430 s.f. ground-floor retail, underground parking and rooftop pool. Developer: Core Spaces. Architect: Antunovich Associates. Expected completion: August, 2019.
http://tucson.com/business/a-new-exc...2d99058e8.html, https://corespaces.com/project/hub-c...cson-speedway/
Virtual tour video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2RzdJ11buc&t=8s

(courtesy: Antunovich Associates)

GEICO Regional Office Building (near 36th St. and MLK Jr. Way) - three-story, 200k s.f. office building on 20 acres at The Bridges complex will provide space for an additional 700 GEICO employees in Tucson. Developer: Bourn Companies. Contractor: Renaissance Companies. Expected completion by late 2019.
https://realestatedaily-news.com/bou...eico-building/, http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/...nsurance-jobs/, https://tucson.com/business/tucson-c...d68d719bc.html
1:35 min. construction video from Aug. 31: https://renaissancecos.app.box.com/s...2s95ib1hixhirq

site plan of The Bridges with project location; construction progress: November
(render, site plan: Bourn Companies, Sun Corridor; photo: A.E. Araiza)

Casino del Sol expansion (5655 W. Valencia Rd.) - additions to include a new six-story, 151-key hotel with pool on 2.2 acres, a 90-space RV park and a 9,600 s.f. expansion of the existing conference center. Developer: Pascua Yaqui Tribe. Architect: Cuningham Group. Contractor: McCarthy Building.
Construction completion expected in late 2019.
http://lodgingmagazine.com/pascua-ya...asino-del-sol/, https://www.casinodelsol.com/expansion

renderings of hotel exterior and lobby

render of conference center expansion; site plan
(courtesy: Casino del Sol)

Downtown Clifton Hotel expansion (485 S. Stone Ave.) - $4.5M addition of six one- and two-story structures for 20 new units, retail space and a pool. Architect: Repp + McLain. Expected completion in late 2019.
https://tucson.com/business/what-s-g...763febb66.html, https://downtowntucsonhotel.com/expansion2019/

(courtesy: Repp + McLain)

UA College of Pharmacy Skaggs Building renovation/addition - $26M to add two additional floors for research labs, with another smaller addition for the Pharmacy Museum collection; some parts of existing building to be renovated. Design: GLHN Architects. Contractor: DPR Construction.
Construction timeline: September, 2018 - November, 2019.
http://www.pdc.arizona.edu/project/17-9362 Webcam: http://www.pdc.arizona.edu/project/17-9362?tab=camera

construction progress - January 4
(renderings: GLHN Architects; photo: UA)

RendezVous Urban Flats (NWC of Broadway Blvd. & Stone Ave.) - six-story, 122k s.f. downtown apartment building with 100 units over 4200 s.f. ground-floor retail.
Owner/developer: Aerie Development. Architects: The Davis Experience, Swaim & Associates. Contractor: UEB. Expected completon: late 2019.
http://tucson.com/business/tucson/tu...e2e31d893.html, https://realestatedaily-news.com/tuc...-as-next-year/
Fly-through video: https://vimeo.com/230965535

renderings: Stone Ave. elevation, lobby

view from Congress St.; site plan
(courtesy: Aerie Development)

The Trinity (SEC of 4th Ave. & University Blvd.) - mixed-use TOD featuring a four-story, 54k s.f. building with 58 market-rate apartments and a three-story, 25k s.f. office building, both with ground-floor retail on Trinity Presbyterian Church site. Developers: R&R Development/Bourn Companies. Architect: Rob Paulus.
Phase I (three-story office building) to be completed by year-end 2019.
https://realestatedaily-news.com/new...y+Neighborhood, http://tucson.com/business/of-major-...b2035c924.html, http://robpaulus.com/projects/trinity-mixed-use/, https://realestatedaily-news.com/the...ion-this-fall/

west elevation of building on 4th Ave.; three-story office building on University Blvd.

site plan; nite render along 4th Ave.
(courtesy: Rob Paulus)

Historic Pima County Courthouse renovation/adaptive reuse (115 N. Church Ave.) - $25M to renovate the 87k s.f., three-story, 1929 former courthouse with the UA Gem & Mineral Museum occupying the basement and ground floor, a Southern Arizona Heritage & Visitor Center also on the ground floor, with the second and third floors occupied by Visit Tucson and various Pima County administrative offices. Also included will be three or four public auditoriums.
Consulting Architects: Poster Frost Mirto, Ralph Applebaum Associates. Contractors: Barker-Morrissey, Oden Construction, Kittle Design & Construction.
$7.4M of tenant improvements underway on upper floors to be occupied by January, 2019; UA Museum, Visitor Center and Jan. 8 Memorial on ground floor to open by January, 2020.
http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/opinio...daptive-reuse/, https://webcms.pima.gov/UserFiles/Se...r%20Center.pdf, http://gemandmineralmuseum.arizona.edu/

(courtesy: Pima County)

Kino Sports Complex South (S. of I-10 and Kino Sports Complex) - proposed sports and soccer complex on 167 acres purchased by Pima County in 2014 to include up to 20 sports fields, stadium, splash pad and playground, concessions, hotels and restaurants. Developer: Pima County. Contractor: Haydon Building Corp.
Status: $26M Phase I (12 natural grass fields, 20 pickleball courts, concessions, locker rooms, restrooms, parking lots) to be completed in early 2020; Phase 2 on parcels A-E (see site plan below) with hotels, office, commercial and other sports facilities to be sold and developed through public-private partnerships.
https://tucson.com/news/local/new-to...662ecaf07.html, http://webcms.pima.gov/cms/One.aspx?...&pageId=461193

(rendering: The Planning Center; site plan: Pima County)

The Monier (160 S. Avenida del Convento) - $35M, four-story building with 122 market-rate apartments over 13k s.f. ground-floor retail and underground parking ($2.4M loan to be provided by Rio Nuevo). Developers: The Gadsden Co., Holualoa Cos. Architect: Moule & Polyzoides. Contractor: Lloyd Construction. Expected completion in 2020.
https://tucson.com/business/apartmen...dca917cad.html, http://tiboaz.biz/2018/08/28/rio-nue...in-the-future/, https://rionuevo.org/project/monier-mixed-use-project/

rendering; site photo

(courtesy: The Gadsden Co., Downtown Tucson Partnership)

The Flin (SWC of Broadway Blvd. & Church Ave.) - $42.2M, six-story complex with 243 market-rate apartments and 4,500 s.f. of restaurant/retail to replace La Placita Village, a 200k s.f. downtown office/retail center built in 1973. Developer: HSL Properties. Architect: Eglin + Bresler. Contractor: Tofel Dent Construction.
Expected completion: late 2020.
https://theflin.com/, http://tucson.com/news/local/la-plac...d6d278c86.html

render looking N along Stone Ave.; construction photo: January 3
(renderings: HSL Properties; photo: Tofel Dent Construction)


UA Student Success District - $71M, two-phase project to integrate and revitalize student services in four adjacent central campus buildings: Main Library, Science and Engineering Library, Bear Down Gym, and a new Student Services Building; will also include site development improvements.
Design: Poster Frost Mirto. Contractor: Sundt. Construction timeline: January, 2019 - June, 2021.
https://launchpad.arizona.edu/, http://www.pdc.arizona.edu/project/17-9381

(courtesy: UA)

El Presidio Park/January 8th Memorial (160 W. Alameda St.) - $10M renovation of downtown's El Presidio Park incorporating a memorial for the shooting victims of January 8, 2011, which included former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Architect: Chee Salette Architecture.
Status: construction of scaled-back $2.3M January 8th Memorial to begin in Spring, 2019 and be completed by Jan. 8, 2020.
http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/3...ons-fall-short, http://www.tucsonsmemorial.org/

preliminary renderings
(courtesy: CSAO)

TCC DoubleTree Hotel (NWC of Cushing St. & Church Ave.) - $24M, 170-key, six-story hotel proposed for the southeast corner of the Tucson Convention Center.
Developer: Caliber Hospitality. Architect: Swaim Associates.
Status: Rio Nuevo in discussions with developer to include a four-level parking garage; expected construction start in early 2019.
https://tucson.com/business/new-hote...51866cbbb.html, https://rionuevo.org/project/tcc-hotel-caliber-group/

exterior, lobby renderings

site plan; project site photo
(site plan, photo: Rio Nuevo; renderings: Caliber Hospitality)

75 Broadway (N. side of Broadway Blvd., between Scott & 6th Aves.) - previous 20-story proposal has been downsized to 12 stories with 150k s.f. office space on floors 8-12, 40k s.f. retail/restaurants on floors 1-2 and 350 parking spaces on levels 3-7.
Developers: JE Dunn/Bog Creek Development, Dabdoub/Schwabe. Architect: Swaim & Associates. Contractor: JE Dunn Construction.
Status: developer has signed a sublease with Rio Nuevo and is now soliciting tenants; projected start in 2019.
http://properties.cbre.us/75-broadway/index.html, https://tucson.com/business/planned-...b5de97a26.html

(courtesy: CBRE)

Hotel Arizona renovation (181 W. Broadway Blvd.) - $20M renovation of downtown 13-story former Hotel Arizona as a 309-key, Hilton-branded convention hotel; Rio Nuevo to take title of the property and provide sales tax rebates and site-specific tax payments through 2025. Developer: HSL Properties. Architect: Swaim & Associates.
Status: developer seeking GPLET approval from the city; projected start in early 2019.
http://tucson.com/business/downtown-...21cc46917.html, http://rionuevo.org/rio-nuevo-advanc...hotel-arizona/

(renders: HSL Properties; photo: A.E. Araiza)

Graduate Tucson & The Collective at Main Gate (SEC of Tyndall Ave. & Second St.) - revised plan of previously proposed hotel with mixed-use TOD in a 14-story tower to include a 165-key Graduate Hotel, 238 market-rate apartments and 6k s.f. ground-floor retail/restaurant space adjoining a public plaza.
Developers: Marshall Foundation, Core Tucson Main Gate LLC. Architect: Antunovich Associates.
Status: expected construction timeline: early 2019 to late 2020.
http://www.maingatesquare.com/graduatetucson/, https://tucson.com/business/story-ho...1a128bc39.html

renders of project (looking northwest) and public plaza

renders looking southeast, aerial view; site plan
(courtesy: Antunovich Associates)

44 E. Broadway mixed-use (44 E. Broadway & E. Jackson St.) - $34.3M project to include the rehab of over 6k s.f. of ground-floor retail in existing building and construction of two new buildings (next to 44 E. Broadway and connecting across Jackson St.) with 18k s.f. of ground-floor retail, three levels of parking, and 61 s.f. of office on top floors.
Developers: Ron Schwabe, Marcel Dabdoub.
Status: Rio Nuevo has approved sales tax incentives; build-out of ground-floor retail in existing building continues; construction of two new buildings to begin in 2019.
http://rionuevo.org/rio-nuevo-board-...ear-extension/, https://rionuevo.org/project/44-e-broadway/

preliminary sketches
(courtesy: Rio Nuevo)

Hampton Inn, Home2 Suites at Cathedral Square (141 S. Stone Ave.) - six-story downtown complex across from St. Augustine Cathedral with a 75-key Hampton Inn and a 123-key, extended-stay Home2 Suites. Developer: Fayth Hospitality Group.
Status: Rio Nuevo approved 25-year GPLET lease and up to $7.5M in tax rebates; projected construction timeline: June, 2019 - late 2020.
https://tucson.com/business/new-hote...51866cbbb.html, https://rionuevo.org/project/hilton-...hedral-square/

(courtesy: Fayth Hospitality Group)

Tucson Convention Center renovations (260 S. Church Ave.) - upwards of $50M for renovations to the 1971 facility as outlined below. Developer/Owner: Rio Nuevo.
Status: $2.2M approved by Rio Nuevo to replace the ice plant and floor of the TCC Arena in Summer, 2019; the board is seeking architect designs and bids for remaining improvements:
- Convention Center/Exhibit Halls/Meeting Rooms/Ballroom - $7.7M
- Music Hall - $7.6M
- Leo Rich Theater - $2.7M
- Eckbo Plaza - $11M
- Arena - $4.3M
(The city of Tucson will pay to repair/replace all HVAC systems, estimated at $3.4M)
https://realestatedaily-news.com/rio...cc-renovation/, https://rionuevo.org/wp-content/uplo...11/TCC-CIP.pdf

Chroma (SWC of E. Speedway Blvd. & N. Camino Miramonte) - proposed midtown mixed-use project includes a six-story tower with residential/office/retail, a three-story residential building and a one-story retail building. Developer: SMDSK Encanto LLC. Architect: BWS Architects.
Status: possible construction start in mid-2019.

(courtesy: Chroma)

Speedway Campbell Gateway (NWC of Speedway Blvd. & Campbell Ave.) - proposed $300M redevelopment of a 2.5-acre site near the eastern terminus of the Sun Link streetcar as a TOD complex with a 20-story tower plus two 10-story sections; project may have up to 420k s.f., including retail/restaurants, grocery, office/medical, residential or hotel, and parking.
Developer: Richard Shenkarow and partners. Architect: Rick Joy Architects.
Status: project rezoning approved in June; final design now underway. Possible construction start in 2019.
https://www.speedwaycampbellgateway.com/, https://realestatedaily-news.com/she...d-of-approval/

preliminary renderings
(courtesy: Rick Joy Architects)

Volvo site redevelopment (S. side of Broadway Blvd., between Tyndall & Park Aves.) - adaptive reuse project of up to $24M to include retail, restaurant and possibly hotel components (will include $2.1M investment from Rio Nuevo). Owner/Developer: Sloane McFarland.

early rendering and current site photo
(courtesy: Rio Nuevo)

Hotel Euclid/Residence Inn (NEC of Euclid Ave. & 4th St.) - six-story, 140-key hotel with 8,500 s.f. ground-floor retail and 97-space parking plenum.
Developer: 7one4 Tucson LLC. Architect: Vint & Associates.
Status: city approved the demolition of four dilapidated, historic structures onsite prior to project construction; final design still under review.
http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-an...994f5a4aa.html, https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/pdsd/..._Package_2.pdf

(site map: Arizona Daily Star; rendering: Vint & Associates)

The Bautista (N. of Cushing St., W. of Santa Cruz River) - a mixed-use TOD project to include 294 market-rate apartments and 20k s.f. retail in three-, four- and five-story buildings, featuring cooling towers in the surrounding courtyards. Developers: The Gadsden Co., Aerie Development. Architects: Moule & Polyzoides, Swaim Associates.
Status: in planning and design stage.

(courtesy: Moule & Polyzoides)

Downtown Links (btw. Broadway Blvd. & I-10) - $85M project to connect Barraza-Aviation Parkway from Broadway Blvd. to I-10 with a 1.3-mile, four-lane roadway north of the Union Pacific railroad tracks, providing alternate access to and around downtown by foot, bike, vehicle, and public transit.
Phase 1 - 8th St. drainage - $7.4M (COMPLETED - May, 2012)
Phase 2 - St. Mary's section (I-10 to Church Ave.) - $7.3M (COMPLETED - April, 2014)
Phase 3 - Reconstruction of the Tucson Arroyo culvert from 6th Ave. to 10th Ave.; construction of a new 6th St. alignment, railroad underpass, and 9th Ave. Deck Plaza; construction of the new four-lane Links roadway (the Maclovio Barraza Parkway), 6th Ave. bridge, and a shared-use pathway from 6th St. to Broadway Blvd.
Status: after design changes, $39M final phase is being rebid, with contractor selection by April and construction start by year-end 2019.
http://www.downtownlinks.info/, http://tucson.com/news/local/road-ru...d693881e9.html, http://tucson.com/news/local/residen...5b4305c79.html

site map, 9th Ave. Deck Plaza renderings

(courtesy: city of Tucson)

The Ronstadt (NEC of 6th Ave. & Congress St.) - $127M, multi-modal transit/mixed-use project on 4.7 acres downtown with a 12-story and three 7-story buildings, including a 128-key hotel, 256 housing units, 50k s.f. office, 62k s.f. retail/restaurants, 450-space parking garage, linear transit mall and public market.
Developers: Peach Properties, 5/NorthFifth. Architect: Swaim Associates. Contractor: Ryan Companies.
Status: project awaiting FTA approval.
http://tucson.com/news/local/peach-w...ec10a2f12.html, http://www.tucsonaz.gov/integrated-p...nt-development, http://peachprops.com/news/the-ronstadt/

(courtesy: Swaim Associates)

Union on Sixth (S. side of 6th St. between 4th & 5th Aves.) - proposed 254-unit apartment complex from 3-7 stories with 7,500 s.f. ground-floor retail and 180 parking spaces.
Developer: EdR.
Status: initial review committee approved design with some conditions in August; possible demolitions within 12 months and construction start by late 2019.
https://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/...t?oid=19927528, http://tucson.com/business/planned-h...28e655072.html, http://tiboaz.biz/2018/08/07/an-upda...e-development/

renders of SWC at 4th Ave. & 6th St. (L) and 6th St. elevation (R)

render of SEC at 6th St. and 5th Ave.; site plan
(courtesy: EdR)

Partners on Fourth mixed-use (NWC of 4th Ave. & E. 9th St.) - proposed mixed-use TOD project with building heights stair-stepping from 30' on 4th Ave. to possibly 160' (14 stories) along E. Stevens Ave.; will include ground-floor retail, commercial office space and market-rate apartments. Developer: Partners on Fourth.
Status: rezoning approved by the city; developer continuing to have community meetings for further project input.
http://www.kvoa.com/story/36991705/m...s-southern-end, https://www.tucsonaz.gov/sirepub/vie...&docid=4203167

preliminary concept plan
(courtesy: Partners on Fourth)

Speedway & Euclid student housing (NWC of E. Speedway Blvd. & N. Euclid Ave.) - proposed student housing complex in five-story buildings with 163 units/500 beds, including underground parking and ground-floor retail. Developer: Peak Campus. Architect: Ayers Saint Gross.
Status: in planning stages--project needing a Planned Area Development (PAD) and an amendment to the University Area Plan.
http://tiboaz.biz/2018/04/02/a-look-...eedway-euclid/, http://www.kvoa.com/story/36936595/r...ousing-project

(courtesy: Ayers Saint Gross)

Arena Site project (E. side of I-10, btw. Congress St. and Cushing St.) - $100M+ downtown mixed-use, transit-oriented development on 17 acres: 140-key hotel and 96 apartments--each on four floors in separate buildings above four-level parking podiums with ground-floor retail; 120k s.f. exhibit hall and parking garage connected to the Tucson Convention Center, and a 60k s.f. visual arts center on the north end of the site. Owner/Developer: Nor-Generations.
Status: per their agreement with Rio Nuevo, Nor-Gen has until Sept., 2020 (42 months after the Greyhound relocation) to spend at least $10M on the site or face penalties of up to $2.5M.
http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-an...876a56cfd.html, http://myemail.constantcontact.com/R...id=sSIzKSOB1Dc

Nor-Gen's preliminary site plan and renderings, site photo looking southwest
(courtesy: Nor-Gen; photo: Becky Pallack)

Benedictine Monastery redevelopment/adaptive re-use (800 N. Country Club Rd.) - proposed redevelopment of historic seven-acre property to include 250 new luxury apartments in a U-shaped building of 3, 4 and 5 stories to surround the original structure built in 1940, plus a 4-level parking structure; monastery to receive historical status and adapted for another use yet to be determined. Developer: Ross Rulney. Architect: Poster Frost Mirto.
Status: city has begun historic designation process to preserve monastery; developer has agreed to a 55' maximum height for new buildings, and is seeking a Planned Area Development (PAD).
http://tucson.com/business/plan-unve...4e8164477.html http://tucson.com/news/local/city-co...1fd30d343.html, https://tucson.com/business/communit...d7ab8be7d.html

earlier renderings with taller structures

(renders: Poster Frost Mirto; site plan: Steve Kozachik; photo: Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation)

UA Applied Research Building (SWC of E. Helen St. & N. Highland Ave.) - $50M, 60k s.f.multi-story building to be adjacent to the Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering Building, consolidating numerous strategic, interdisciplinary research programs in one location.
Status: RFQ process for design/build teams underway;: expected construction timeline: May, 2020 - July, 2021.
https://tucson.com/news/local/two-ne...169e0b47f.html, https://public.azregents.edu/Shared%...CMT-Binder.pdf

UA Grand Challenges Research Building - $135.1M, 150k s.f., 10-story building (8 stories above grade) just south of the Meinel Optical Sciences Building to be an interdisciplinary research facility in close proximity to other research entities with the overall theme of tackling critical problems at the edge of human endeavor.
Status: project in pre-planning phase; expected construction timeline: May, 2021 - November, 2023.
https://tucson.com/news/local/two-ne...169e0b47f.html, http://www.pdc.arizona.edu/project/18-9384

Mercado District (west of I-10, btw. Congress St. and Cushing St.) - 32 acres for mixed-use TOD including single- and multi-family housing, retail, restaurants and parking garages.
Owner: Rio Nuevo, The Gadsden Co. and others. Developers: The Gadsden Co., Gorman & Company, Aerie Development.
Mercado San Agustín - 15k s.f. retail/restaurant complex and public market (May, 2011)
Sentinel Plaza: six-story building with 143 apartments for low-income seniors - developed by Senior Housing Group (July, 2012)
MSA Annex: 20k s.f. of retail/restaurants, 500-seat performance venue (April, 2018 - SEE ABOVE)
Under construction:
West End Station: 70 affordable apartments/retail (SEE ABOVE)
The Monier (south of Mercado San Agustin) - 122 market-rate apartments, 13k s.f. retail (SEE ABOVE)
Future projects:
The Bautista (south of Sentinel Plaza) - 294-unit apartment complex with 20k s.f. of retail (SEE ABOVE)
The West Abbey (next to West End Station) - proposed 104 market-rate apartments, 18k s.f. retail
Menlo Park Commons (south of West End Station): 33k s.f. retail with a 500-space parking garage
Menlo Park Rowhouses (west of Mercado San Agustin) - nine rowhouses with underground parking (SEE BELOW)
101 Linda Ave. (west of Sentinel Plaza) - build-to-suit development site for lease, possibly commercial office http://www.suncorridorinc.com/SunCor...e.pdf?ext=.pdf

http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-an...97286b3ef.html, http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-an...4fbf75c9e.html

(courtesy: Rio Nuevo)

The Bridges (N. of I-10 btw. Kino Parkway & Park Ave., acreage west of Park Ave.) - 350-acre infill project on former site of Tucson Downtown Airport to include:
- UA Tech Park at The Bridges (65 acres, 3.2M s.f. mixed-use project with housing, R&D facilities, offices, hotel and conference center - SEE BELOW)
- Tucson Marketplace at The Bridges (115 acres, 1M+ s.f. regional retail power center - SEE BELOW)
- Corporate employment center, multi-family housing and community park (Bourn Companies to develop 112 acres (outlined in yellow), including a new 200k s.f. office building on 20 acres for GEICO by the end of 2019 - SEE ABOVE)
- additional parks and open space (55 acres)
Developers: Eastbourne Investments, Ltd., Retail West Properties, Genesis Tucson South, Bourn Companies
https://azbigmedia.com/geico-plans-e...ridges-tucson/, https://realestatedaily-news.com/bou...eico-building/

aerial site plan
(courtesy: azbigmedia.com)

Tucson Marketplace at The Bridges (N. of I-10 btw. Kino Parkway & Park Ave.) - 1M+ s.f. regional retail power center on 114 acres.
Developers: Eastbourne Investments, Ltd., Retail West Properties, Genesis Tucson South.
Status: project over 60% built with Costco, Walmart, Century Theatres and Dave & Busters as anchor tenants; build-out of remaining pads is ongoing.
https://images2.loopnet.com/d2/wCprY...s/document.pdf, http://optimuscdg.com/projects/tucson-marketplace/, https://realestatedaily-news.com/pla...place-bridges/, http://tucson.com/business/local-nei...8887b4ba4.html

2017 aerial photo with retail outline; signage
(site plans, photos: Retail West, AZ Daily Star)

UA Tech Park at The Bridges (SWC of 36th St. & Kino Parkway) - 65-acre research park for an eventual 3.2M s.f. buildout including office, hotel, conference center, and rental housing.
Status: The Boyer Company has been chosen to develop the 20-acre Technology Precinct, with the Innovation and Technology Complex (ITC) as the initial project, and the first building to be $40M, four-story, 120k s.f. ($20M to be funded by the UA).
https://techparks.arizona.edu/parks/...ng-development, https://realestatedaily-news.com/bou...-ua-tech-park/

site plan; aerial rendering looking north

Innovation & Technology Complex South render ; ITC North and South buildings
(courtesy: UA)

Sonoran Corridor Highway (from I-10/Rita Rd. to I-19 near Pima Mine Rd.) - $600M, 16-mile auxiliary interstate highway to connect two of the region's high-tech employment zones, create a southern entrance to Tucson International Airport, and improve access for southern metro residents to central and eastside employment centers.
Status: the Tier 1 EIS initiated in May, 2017 continues in order to identify Selected Corridor Alternatives, after which environmental studies will be done for each as part of Tier 2; $30M still needed for planning, design, ROW acquisitions and initial construction.
https://www.insidetucsonbusiness.com...a6b375d69.html, https://www.azdot.gov/planning/trans...ement/overview

preliminary corridor route
(courtesy: Pima County)


Mercado Rowhouses (876-894 W. Paseo de los Zanjeros) - $3.8M for nine rowhouses with underground parking just west of Mercado San Agustín. Developer: The Gadsden Cos.
Status: final plat approved; construction timeline unknown.

(site plan: city of Tucson; render: Cushman & Wakefield)

Block 175 development (bordered by Franklin & Council Sts., Church & Court Aves.) - two-acre downtown city block currently used as a parking lot to be developed as a mixed-use project with 138 affordable housing units. Owner: Industrial Development Authority of Tucson. Architect: RAH architects.
Status: IDA has put the block up for sale.
https://www.insidetucsonbusiness.com...e53a575ed.html, http://tucson.com/news/local/downtow...4b13ad2f6.html

preliminary renderings

map; site photo looking northwest
(renders: RAH architects; map, photo: Arizona Daily Star)

22nd Street View (NEC of I-10 and 22nd St.) - $15M, 150k s.f., three-story building on 6.5 acres, with a 50k s.f. third-floor exhibit hall above 86 business condos on the first two floors, primarily for Mineral & Gem Show exhibitors. Developer: Eons Expos. Architect: Rob Paulus.
Status: project postponed 2-3 years, possibly to be reconfigured as a two-story structure.
http://tiboaz.biz/2016/01/12/62nd-tu...roject-update/, http://22ndstreetview.com/, http://tucson.com/news/local/columni...39f9b4e21.html

(courtesy: Rob Paulus)

The Armory (246 E. Broadway Blvd.) -proposed five-story building with 170 market-rate apartments over two levels of parking and ground-floor retail.
Owner/developer: Peach Properties.
Status: preliminary discussions with other parties to develop the property.

early rendering; site photo looking northeast
(render: Peach Properties; photo: herbertliving.com)

Last edited by Dylan Leblanc; May 7, 2020 at 6:58 AM.
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Old Posted Jan 3, 2009, 1:44 AM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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^I have compiled a partial list of metro Tucson projects in the prior post--any corrections or additions, just let me know.

Last edited by kaneui; Jan 5, 2009 at 9:28 AM.
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Old Posted Jan 3, 2009, 3:30 AM
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Anqrew Anqrew is offline
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Here are some U of A projects
(numbers 5&6 on map are the ones i mentioned)

Under Construction





also the Grant Road Widening project is adding an extra lane in each direction plus frontage roads for neighborhoods, bus pullouts and more.

Last edited by Anqrew; Jan 3, 2009 at 3:57 AM.
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Old Posted Jan 3, 2009, 5:53 AM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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The UofA announces a design update meeting on the proposed Science Center/Arizona State Museum project:

The University of Arizona will be presenting a design progress update on the University of Arizona Science Center (UASC) and Arizona State Museum (ASM) project, which is part of the City of Tucson's downtown redevelopment project. UASC will be a new state-of-the-art science based center connecting the expertise generated at the UA with the community. The new Arizona State Museum facility will provide easy access for the community and visitors to its unparalleled collections of Southwestern art and archaeology.

The design team previously provided a project overview and encouraged written comments during the City’s Tucson Origins Open House at the TCC on October 24, 2007. These comments have been incorporated into the design, which will be presented by the University of Arizona project team and Rafael Vinoly Architects. The presentation will include an update on progress related to the project site and context, the emerging building design, and the exciting exhibit concepts being developed for the facility. Please plan to join us.

The University of Arizona Science Center and Arizona State Museum Design Presentation

6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The University of Arizona University Services Annex (USA) Building 220 W. 6th St., Conference Room 104

Free parking
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Old Posted Jan 3, 2009, 6:19 AM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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Originally Posted by Anqrew View Post
Here are some U of A projects
(numbers 5&6 on map are the ones i mentioned)

also the Grant Road Widening project is adding an extra lane in each direction plus frontage roads for neighborhoods, bus pullouts and more.

Thanks for the suggestions--I'll review the UofA's capital projects, particularly the ones recently approved by the Board of Regents (although funding is currently being withheld by some legislative committee).

I hesitate to list many of the Regional Transportation Authority's dozens of projects in their 20-year, $2.1B plan, although the Grant Rd. widening is one of the largest. Perhaps I'll add a link to their website if anyone wants further details.
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Old Posted Jan 3, 2009, 1:55 PM
Don B. Don B. is offline
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Good update on the Tucson projects.

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Old Posted Jan 5, 2009, 11:11 AM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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Two recently completed UofA buildings made an AIA list of Arizona's greatest architectural achievements:

The Meinel Optical Sciences Building and the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre also reflect the university's efforts in more sustainable construction
By Jeff Harrison, University Communications
January 9, 2008

It’s not just about red bricks any more. Two buildings at The University of Arizona are included in a short list of the most noteworthy structures in the state. The Meinel Optical Sciences Building and the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre, both recent additions to the UA campus, were included among Arizona’s 18 Greatest Architectural Achievements. The list was compiled and announced recently by the Arizona chapter of the American Institute of Architects, in conjunction with the national AIA’s 150th anniversary. Following a thread that connects the 18 finalists was a bit difficult, said Peter Dourlein, associate director of UA Facilities Design and Construction, who accepted the AIA awards in Phoenix.

The winners straddled the architectural spectrum, including Hoover Dam on the Colorado River, the 1,200-year-old White House Anasazi pueblo in Canyon de Chelly, Kierland Commons, an upscale commercial and residential project in Scottsdale, and the Spanish colonial San Xavier del Bac Mission near Tucson. More importantly, said Dourlein, the new buildings are a signal that the UA is moving beyond a century of red brick construction to building with more sustainable materials and practices.

Eller and Meinel, he said, likely made the Arizona AIA list because they already are award-winning buildings. The Stevie Eller Dance Theatre is both a performance site and a teaching studio for the School of Dance. The Meinel Building is the second addition to the College of Optical Sciences, originally was built in 1970. “Eller is all about movement,” Dourlein said of the dance facility. “It captures movement and embodies the whole idea of movement. The columns outside are dancing, and the skin of the building is turned inside out as it goes into the performance hall.” The alternating large and small columns, he said, represent male and female dancers. The building's exterior uses brick, color, copper and rusted steel. “People recognize that it’s good architecture, different and exciting and still sympathetic to its location,” Dourlein said.

Meinel, the first building in southern Arizona to win a national AIA award, uses its copper skin to shield its concrete sides from the sun. As the weather warms, ventilation created by air rising in the space between the skin and the walls helps to moderate the building's temperature. A glass facade on the north side lets in natural light. Interior light comes from three narrow light shafts, a paean to camera obscura, the first camera. Each shaft of light enters through the roof and stops at one floor, where a second hole lets in light to the floor below it, serving both floors with natural light, and adding the visual effect of the light shafts themselves.

The new campus architecture also reflects the new economics of construction, with higher costs for labor and materials. New buildings also incorporate the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design guidelines established by the U.S. Green Building Council. “We’ve actually looked back at buildings we did 15, 20 years ago and applied today’s LEED standards to them and did a calculation to see if they would qualify. With some exceptions, they all did,” Dourlein said. “There are some materials and practices used now that were not available back then.”

The new, post-red-brick architecture also sets the bar higher for the University and the community. One example Dourlein points to is the recently completed addition to the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, which he calls a laboratory for sustainability, with a green roof, shade, sun, photovoltaics and rain capture. Buildings, he said, have to be fun and creative, and still fit a budget and construction timetable. The Eller Dance Theatre “is a great piece of work for $9 million. Unheard of and a good deal, and one of the last bid projects given to the lowest bidder rather than on qualifications.

“That’s up to the design team, but the UA has done a great job of leading the design teams, directing and describing what we want to accomplish,” he said. “All of our project managers on these projects are architects or engineers. That’s our purpose. They could be facilitators or administrators, but they’re not. We want architects and engineers because we want them to have that kind of influence and have a bigger picture of the campus fabric. “Buildings have to do more than be a space; they have to inspire people,” Dourlein said. “The Stevie Eller Dance Theatre is a great recruitment tool. The School of Dance is getting great faculty and students because they want to come here, and not just because of the teaching. It’s also because of the great facility.”

The other buildings named to the list of the 18 All-time Greatest Architectural Achievements in Arizona are:

* Arcosanti, Cordes Junction
* Arizona Biltmore Hotel, Phoenix
* ASU Biodesign Institute, Tempe
* Burton Barr Central Library, Phoenix
* Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona
* Hoover Dam, Northwest Arizona
* Kierland Commons, Scottsdale
* Luhrs Tower, Phoenix
* Optima Camelview Village, Scottsdale
* Orpheum Theatre, Phoenix
* Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix
* Phoenix First Assembly Prayer Pavilion of Light, Phoenix
* San Xavier del Bac Mission, Tucson
* Taliesin West, Scottsdale
* Univision Channel 33, Phoenix
* White House Ruin, Canyon de Chelly

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Old Posted Jan 9, 2009, 2:58 AM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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Let's see...initially, the new arena operator was to be selected before the end of 2008, then it was mid-January, now it's mid-February--typical of Rio Nuevo's glacially-slow pace. However, with the state legislature threatening to yank funding for lack of progress, maybe the city will finally get moving:

TCC may pick operator for planned arena by mid-Feb.
Tucson Citizen

Tucson Convention Center officials meet Friday with the two finalists who want to operate the $130-million Tucson Arena planned for the south side of Congress Street just east of Interstate 10. An operator should be selected by mid-February, at about the same time a design-build team will be announced for the 12,500-seat arena, said Tommy Obermaier, TCC interim director.

Also, Obermaier received 10 proposals from "every one of the largest, most prestigious" arena builders, but the city's procurement code does not allow him to disclose publicly who submitted proposals until the project is awarded. Those 10 proposals were trimmed Wednesday to a short list of three design-build teams. Obermaier will meet with the three teams Jan. 29 and expects to pick a team by mid-February with design work potentially starting by the end of February. He estimates design work will take 18 months and construction will take 18 months. He's shooting to open the arena in fall 2012.

The design-build team will work with established parameters such as 12,500 seats, 22 suites, an ice floor to accommodate hockey and facilities to handle modern-day touring events such as rock concerts and circuses, and to do it all with $130 million in Rio Nuevo bond funds. The arena operator will collaborate with the design team to make sure the design is functional, Obermaier said.
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Old Posted Jan 11, 2009, 8:44 PM
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The housing slump, the lending credit crunch and a dispute over a public easement have derailed one of metro Tucson's high-end residential developments, where lot prices started at $1.25M:

Some construction is under way at Saguaro Ranch in the Tortolita Mountains northwest of Tucson, but that is more the exception right now given the luxury project's financial difficulties. Some properties face foreclosure, and a trustee notice, the first step in the foreclosure process, has been filed for Saguaro Ranch's office.
(photo: Jim Davis)

Luxury-home project is now a tunnel to nowhere
By Josh Brodesky

Saguaro Ranch pitched itself as the most-exclusive luxury development to ever hit Southern Arizona. But as the housing market has plummeted, triggering a deep recession, Saguaro Ranch appears to be no different from many other recent housing developments: unfinished and facing financial trouble. A trustee notice, the first step in the foreclosure process, has been filed for Saguaro Ranch's office, which sits just outside the development near West Moore Road and North Thornydale about 20 miles northwest of Downtown Tucson. The development's Web site, www.saguaroranch.net, is down. And the developer has been working to refinance a $50 million development loan that was to mature in December, court documents show.

Set in the pristine Tortolita Mountains in the town of Marana, Saguaro Ranch was supposed to be the next big thing: a development so exclusive its residents would come and go through a 676-foot-long tunnel that developer Stephen Phinny had blasted through a mountain. Lots alone started at $1.25 million, and plans called for 180 home sites on 1,035 acres. Homes would average around $3.5 million. But the development has been slow to take off. There are only a few homes there, and a handful of properties face foreclosure, including one owned by former pro hockey star Paul Ranheim.

Although Saguaro Ranch garnered plenty of excitement a few years ago when it was first taking shape, most of the attention it has received lately is for its dispute over whether the public can use an easement that cuts through the exclusive development and connects nearby residents to Pima County's Tortolita Mountain Park. Neither Phinny nor attorneys representing Saguaro Ranch responded to interview requests made by phone, e-mail and in a visit to the development's office. "It was such an audacious project when you think about it. Just the fact that they put in a tunnel to make the grand entrance," Marana Town Attorney Frank Cassidy said. "I was surprised that there were financial issues. It seemed like it was a very well-capitalized project up front. Any project which has a tunnel as its main feature gives you the impression of a project that is very well-capitalized."

Financial difficulties
Back in January 2006, Saguaro Ranch received a $50 million loan from New Jersey-based Kennedy Funding, a private lender, to develop its second and third phases, as well as a guest ranch and resort amenities. Phinny, the grandson of Daniel F. Gerber, founder of the Gerber Products Co., had already poured $50 million into Saguaro Ranch, having acquired the land in 2000. "This is the best residential subdivision we have seen, not just in Arizona or in the Southwest, but the entire country," a Kennedy Funding press release announcing the loan said.

A number of high-end builders were looking to get in on the ground floor. Custom-home builder Paul Hubble, of Living Spaces, said he considered buying a lot in Saguaro Ranch a few years ago but couldn't work out a deal with Phinny. Lots were either being sold for $1 million each, or in packs of six at a lower rate. It was too much risk for a small custom builder, but Hubble said he was tempted to buy a lot at the time because of Saguaro Ranch's reputation. "It would put you on the map for a custom builder in Tucson," Hubble said.

Since that time a few houses, including Phinny's, and the upscale McClintock's Restaurant have been built, but Saguaro Ranch has yet to develop its second or third phases, much less the resort amenities originally promised. Meanwhile, Phinny's divorce documents show the $50 million loan was set to mature last month, and he was working to have it refinanced with another lender. "Every lender thus far has required Stephen to personally guarantee its loans, and the contemplated new lender is no exception," reads an e-mail, included in the court file, that was sent in August by Joe Tarver, in-house counsel for Saguaro Ranch. "Up to now, none of the lenders has required Stephen to pledge his ownership interest in Saguaro Ranch, but it's conceivable that some lender in the future might require him to do so."

Court documents also show that the slowdown, coupled with the emergence of other upscale Marana developments, particularly the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, took a toll on the development. "Stephen has recently had to borrow and advance substantial sums to Saguaro Ranch, and especially in 2008, given the slowdown in sales in light of the slump in the real estate market," Tarver wrote in an e-mail in the court file. Messages left with Tarver for comment were not returned. And in an affidavit from October 2007, Saguaro Ranch's controller, William Romancho, said Phinny was concerned about competition from the nearby Stone Canyon development and the Ritz-Carlton possibly undercutting the luxury market in a tough recession. While the conventional wisdom is that a certain level of wealth is recession-proof, statistics from the Tucson Association of Realtors suggest the recession affected the luxury- home market. In November, there were 358 homes listed for at least a million dollars and four sold. But in November 2006, when the market was strong, there were 293 homes listed for at least a million dollars and 10 sold.

Environmental lure
One of the big draws for Saguaro Ranch was its homes would have nominal environmental impact, and the few houses that have been built there blend seamlessly into the desert landscape. "I just thought it was really awesome," said Marana Mayor Ed Honea. "It's so respectful. It's not a golf community, so they are not going in and clearing a bunch of land." Indeed, in a 2004 Arizona Daily Star article, Phinny talked about requiring workers to take a 40-minute class on responsible development and how any construction workers who relocated a Gila monster would receive framed photos of themselves with the lizard. "You get one of these big, burly guys driving a truck. He sees a desert tortoise and gets out and moves him," Phinny said at the time. "That won't happen in too many places, but it will happen here." To show the workers he appreciated their efforts, Phinny said he made lunch for them each week. "So we fix some lunch and talk to them about what's going on and where the project is heading," Phinny said in 2004. "If they know I'll go the extra mile for them, they'll do that for me."

But all of the alleged unpaid bills with contractors have left a much different impression on Paul Amanti, owner of Amanti Electric Co., who filed a mechanic's lien in October for $28,133 for work he says he did on McClintock's Restaurant. "It's all lip service. It's all PR because they want to sell lots. They want to sell real estate. On the other hand they are screwing all the guys up there who are making this thing happen," Amanti said. "These guys don't care about the Tucson subcontractors."

An exclusive community
While Saguaro Ranch is set in pristine desert, the values of the homes and the financing behind the project are tied to its exclusivity, which is why Saguaro Ranch's dispute over a public easement that cuts through it is so crucial to the development's future. It's hard to market your community as exclusive if the public can just walk right through it. The easement — a rocky dirt road that officials say was used for utilities — essentially curves around the development like a horseshoe, at times cutting through parts of Saguaro Ranch while connecting nearby homes to Pima County's Tortolita Mountain Park. Phinny wants the road to be private, saying it now leads to a private development and no longer serves a public purpose. But nearby residents, who have long used the road as a walking and horseback-riding path, say it should remain open to the public.

The dispute, which is being worked out in court, has gotten ugly as Saguaro Ranch workers have placed boulders at entryways to the road and recently parked a backhoe at one end of the easement to keep out the public. "No trespassing" signs have been placed along the road, including at the entrance to the Tortolita Mountain Park, which is county property. McClintock's Restaurant and the development's septic have been built over the easement, too. Theresa Chamberlain, a nearby resident who walks the dirt road regularly and owns 20 adjacent acres, sued Saguaro Ranch over the easement, and her attorney Brian Laird said documents show Saguaro Ranch knew the easement was public but went ahead with development anyway. "I believe the law is very clear on that matter. Those buildings (McClintock's and the septic) have to be torn down. There is no other remedy." Laird said.

While the dispute over the easement plays out in court, Marana's Town Council will decide whether to abandon the public's right to it — a point that Laird said could also end up in appeals court for some time. Marana town officials are optimistic Saguaro Ranch will come together in the end. "I still have hope that it will work," said Cassidy, the town attorney. "That once Saguaro Ranch gets past some of these issues, that it will actually take off because it is such a remarkable development."
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Old Posted Jan 12, 2009, 6:44 PM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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Two apartment buildings, five and six stories, will be built above the Depot Plaza garage once it is finished in June:

This huge hole near the Ronstadt Transit Center will become the Depot Plaza underground
parking garage when construction is completed, which is expected to be in June.
(photo: Xavier Gallegos)

Big hole east of Ronstadt Transit Center starting to take shape
Tucson Citizen

The 30-foot-deep hole east of the Ronstadt Transit Center, 215 E. Congress St., is starting to take shape as the Depot Plaza garage, especially since a 180-foot crane appeared on site Dec. 29. The crane is delivering concrete for the garage foundation work at and will stay in place as construction starts in June on the new Martin Luther King Jr. Apartments, said Fran LaSala, assistant to City Manager Mike Hein.

Ground was broken at the end of June for the 281-space, two-level garage. Work so far has entailed digging the 242-by-246-foot hole and drilling nearly 100 concrete pylons 70 feet into the ground to provide the foundation for the garage and two high-rises that will be built atop the garage, LaSala said. In about two weeks, concrete sprayed with pressurized hoses - a process called shotcrete - will be applied to the outer walls, he said. As soon as the garage is finished, the city Community Services Department plans to start building the new MLK Apartments on top of the west end of the garage. The six-story 68-unit public housing tower will be for low-income elderly and the disabled. "We go vertical right away on the new MLK. We need to be done by September 2010," said Ann Vargas, the department's project supervisor.

Also, Williams & Dame Development/Peach Properties intends to build a five-story, 60- to 80-unit apartment structure atop the east end of the garage as soon as the parking structure is done. But that start date potentially could change, said Ron Schwabe, owner of Peach Properties. Williams & Dame/Peach is part of the new Downtown Tucson Development Co., which also includes financier Scott Stiteler, a co-owner with Don Martin of the Rialto Block, and developer Jim Campbell, who wants to develop a Plaza Centro retail-dining complex just east of the Rialto Theatre. This group is negotiating a development agreement with the city to develop 75 downtown acres, which could change plans for Depot Plaza, Schwabe said.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2009, 1:22 AM
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On May 1, a narrower, more pedestrian-friendly Scott Avenue will debut, featuring new lighting, parking, wide sidewalks, benches, trees and potted plants--all courtesy of Rio Nuevo:

Drawings show streetscapes for Scott Avenue. They are by Wheat Scarf Associates, landscape architects.
(photo: Xavier Gallegos)

Sidewalk work begins downtown for tree-lined pedestrian haven
Tucson Citizen

Sidewalks will be torn up this week on Scott Avenue south of Congress Street as the demolition phase continues to convert the downtown street into a tree-lined pedestrian haven. The street leading to the Temple of Music and Art has been largely blocked off to vehicle traffic since early December as Archer Western Contractors has been ripping up the street to replace the water line, said Fran LaSala, assistant to City Manager Mike Hein.

The new street surface will narrow from 48 feet curb to curb to 31 to 40 feet, depending on how much parking goes in each stretch of street, LaSala said. Conversely, the sidewalk area will be widened from a width varying from 6 to 10 feet to about 25 feet. The pedestrian band will include an 8-foot-wide sidewalk, flanked on both sides by eight- to 10-foot strips of trees and potted plants along with period light posts lighting the way and occasional benches allowing for rests. "There will be continuous shading up and down the street (from Broadway to the Temple)," said Lisa Ribes, designer at Wheat Scharf Associates, the Tucson landscape architecture firm that designed the new Scott Avenue streetscape. In a few places, the sidewalk will widen to 25 feet to form gathering places or little plazas, LaSala said.

The $4.1 million streetscape work, funded by Rio Nuevo tax increment financing, should be finished by May 1. Archer Western will then move to Congress and Broadway to rip up those streets to move and replace utilities lines and install streetcar tracks from Fifth Avenue to Interstate 10. "We should get steel in the ground by midsummer," said Doug Post, Archer Western's senior project manager. The Congress/Broadway and Scott work are both part of a $37 million downtown infrastructure project.
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Old Posted Jan 14, 2009, 9:24 PM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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With no new freeways in the RTA's plan, Tucson will be widening numerous major arterials across the city, including this five-year, $166M expansion of Grant Road:

City OKs alignment for $166M Grant Road widening
Move comes despite negative comments at council meeting

Tucson Citizen

The City Council approved the footprint of a sweeping widening of Grant Road on Tuesday despite the objection of many who live and work along the busy east-west artery. After a public hearing during which most of a dozen or so people spoke against the project, the council approved the alignment 6-1. The details of the project, including how much land property owners may lose, will be developed in the design phase that now starts. Only Ward 5 Councilman Steve Leal voted against the alignment, citing his fear that deciding might be premature based on the opposition. "Once you do this you can never go back," Leal said before the vote.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2013 and last five years on the $166 million Regional Transportation Authority project, which is due for total completion in 2026. The work will take Grant Road from two lanes to three in each direction from Oracle Road to Swan Road. The current alignment is not the same as previous attempts to widen Grant, said city Transportation Department Director Jim Glock. "This project differs from previous projects in that listening was the first step," he said.

The project has been vetted in scores of public meetings and focus groups, neighborhood by neighborhood along the length of the proposed work. Every affected property owner has been offered individual meetings with planners. Glock called the amount of public input "unprecedented." Ward 6 Councilwoman Nina Trasoff agreed. "I've never seen a process like this that was so open and so inclusive," she said.

John Wakefield, owner of Artistry in Glass, 3423 E. Grant, believes the project will drive rents out of reach for small businesses because torn-down storefronts would be replaced by new buildings with higher rent. "It's going to cause carnage in the small-business community. These businesses are not going to be able to survive," he told the council. Wakefield's property will be taken for the project. He will retire rather than try to reopen, he said.

Construction will happen in stages along the project, meaning the impact on property owners also will come in stages. The project now goes to engineers, who over the next six months will draw detailed plans, allowing property owners to see exactly how much of their land the widening will swallow. Most property acquisition will start in 2010, though property owners can apply for quicker buyouts for medical, financial or other hardship, Glock said.
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Old Posted Jan 15, 2009, 8:51 PM
kaneui kaneui is offline
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The Fox Theatre, touted as the crown jewel of Downtown
revitalization, reopened New Year's Eve 2005.
(photo: James S. Wood)

City assumes operation of cash-strapped Fox Theatre
By Rob O'Dell

The city has taken over the day-to-day operation of the Fox Theatre after its foundation board laid off all its employees this week to stave off shutting down because the theater is nearly out of money. City officials say they have not "taken over" the Fox, which has been touted as the crown jewel of the Rio Nuevo Downtown revitalization effort. Instead, the city will "loan" workers to keep the theater open, after the Fox's employees' last day, on Feb. 9. There is no timeline for how long the city will run the theater. But officials insist the Fox Theatre Foundation will resume control after it creates a better fundraising operation.

"Yesterday the executive committee (of the Fox) decided to let go all of its employees," Rich Singer, the interim director of the Fox, said Wednesday. "We're throwing some staffers over there temporarily to keep the doors open." Singer said this was a "stopgap" measure to keep the theater open so sometime in the future the foundation can run it again. He said the theater would have completely run out of money and shut down in six weeks without intervention because it was almost out of cash. The theater has two full-time and four part-time employees.

Singer said there will be little to no cost to taxpayers to pick up those positions because the Tucson Convention Center employees assigned to the Fox will still be able to do their regular jobs as well. Singer himself was already on loan from the TCC, moved there in November to replace the two theater directors who quit in the space of six months.

Fox Theatre Foundation Board President Ellie Patterson did not return phone calls Wednesday. Singer suggested three or fewer city employees could run the theater on show nights, with the city's concession company overseeing the concessions and giving the city a cut of the profits. "A good portion of those positions are salaried, so the cost is nothing," Singer said.

It's important the city not take actual possession of the theater because part of the money for the restoration came from $2.6 million in tax credits from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which the city would have to repay immediately. Cities are not eligible to benefit from the credits. Singer said laying off the foundation employees gives the foundation a financial buffer to be able to cover its next installment toward repaying the credits. The tax credits "still exist, and all the companies involved in the tax credits still exist," he said.

Councilwoman Nina Trasoff, who chairs the council's Rio Nuevo subcommittee, emphatically denied the city is taking over. She said the Fox board is in the process of rebuilding itself and its fundraising ability. She also stressed that it was the foundation's board that made the decision to lay off the employees. But she could not answer whether the board would have laid off the employees had the city not offered to loan replacements to keep the theater open.

The move to take over the day-to-day operations of the Fox could not come at worse time for the city, said in-fill developer Richard Studwell, a longtime critic of Rio Nuevo. Studwell noted that the Legislature is poised to suspend or cancel Rio Nuevo's half-billion-dollar tax increment financing district because of a huge state budget deficit and Rio Nuevo's lack of progress. He said the city's all-but-takeover of one of Rio Nuevo's most trumpeted projects won't reflect well at the Legislature. Trasoff, however, insisted the city running the Fox's operations is not a blow to Downtown or Rio Nuevo. "The Fox will stay open. If the Fox would be closing, that would be a blow," Trasoff said.

The financial situation that forced the city's takeover of operations also raises questions about how the foundation will repay the $5.6 million loan the city gave to the Fox Theatre in 2005 to help finish renovations and get the theater open. The theater foundation board requested the loan after its fundraising efforts fell flat. Rio Nuevo also gave $3.5 million as a grant to help repair and refurbish the theater.

Bruce Ash, a local landowner who is also a Rio Nuevo critic, said the Fox never booked enough acts to be able to repay the city loan. He said it's disingenuous to tell taxpayers they aren't now footing the bills for the Fox Theatre's operation and loans. "It seems as though there was never a chance of that loan being paid back," Ash said. "What a shame."

Last edited by kaneui; Jan 16, 2009 at 7:14 AM.
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