Scott Avenue Ribbon Cutting

Rio Nuevo Board Advances Caterpillar’s Tucson Mining Center, Supports New Restaurant on Toole Avenue- November 3, 2017

The Rio Nuevo Board this week unanimously agreed to a sale/leaseback incentive program in order to assist developers in activating property at 35 East Toole, in the Warehouse District, as a new restaurant and beverage establishment.

The new concept will be anchored and managed by Zach Fenton, the founder of the extremely successful Reilly Craft Pizza restaurant. Rio Nuevo will not advance any cash to the developers.

The Board also unanimously approved $19 million to initiate construction of Caterpillar’s Tucson Mining Center building. Sundt Construction advised the Board that the site work is done and the project is on time and on budget, targeting a March 2019 completion.

This contract is the third of four that will total approximately $43 million, all of which is being financed with private sector dollars, not state funds.

In related action, the Board authorized the City of Tucson to utilize the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District’s existing agreement with Sundt to remediate the landfill on City-owned parcels adjacent to the southern and western boundaries of the Caterpillar Tucson Mining Center. This approach will maximize the remediation benefit that can be accomplished with the public funds authorized by the Tucson City Council in August.

The Board further approved the Intergovernmental Agreement among the City, the Regional Transportation Authority and Rio Nuevo that will allow the District to take possession of the surplus properties acquired by the City as part of the Broadway widening project. The Board plans to partner with private developers to reactivate properties along Broadway as retail.

The District’s independent auditors presented the Board with an unqualified audit for fiscal 2017 and acknowledged that the District’s transparency and web posting of expenses makes Rio Nuevo an easy organization to audit because every check written is posted to the website.

Finally, the Board unanimously continued the current slate of officers for another two-year term:  Fletcher McCusker, Chairman; Mark Irvin, Secretary; and Chris Sheafe, Treasurer.

The creation of the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District was approved by Tucson voters in 1999, along with an appointed Board, to invest state tax dollars in public and public/private projects to create a vibrant Tucson core. For every dollar the Board invests, the community reaps $10 of construction activity with projects like the AC Hotel Tucson by Marriott, the Arena, Greyhound, the Mercado Annex, City Park, the Marist project and Caterpillar. For more information, visit http://rionuevo.org.

Rio Nuevo Board Authorizes $43M in Financing for Caterpillar’s Tucson Mining Center- September 27, 2017

The Rio Nuevo Board this week unanimously approved a motion to authorize its executive officers to finalize and execute the $43 million loan package issued by Rio Nuevo to finance the construction of Caterpillar’s Tucson Mining Center.

The entire $43 million plus interest will be passed on to Caterpillar by the terms of a multi-year lease. At its regular board meeting Tuesday, the Board approved the next phase of construction for the Tucson Mining Center totaling approximately $7.4 million dollars for the foundation work to begin November 1, 2017. Sundt Construction reported that the project is on time and on budget.
The Board also:

  • Approved the final terms of an agreement with Flores Concepts to reinvigorate three downtown properties.
  • Authorized the hiring of a project manager for improvements to Ochoa Street as part of the Cathedral Square project.
The creation of the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District was approved by Tucson voters in 1999, along with an appointed Board, to invest state tax dollars in public and public/private projects to create a vibrant Tucson core. For every dollar the Board invests, the community reaps $10 of construction activity with projects like the AC Hotel Tucson by Marriott, the Arena, Greyhound, the Mercado Annex, City Park, the Marist project and Caterpillar. For more information, visit http://rionuevo.org.

Wig-O-Rama

Rio Nuevo Advances Three Downtown Hotel Projects, including Hotel Arizona- August 24, 2017

The Rio Nuevo Board this week approved a plan to facilitate the reopening of the Hotel Arizona while also advancing two other hotel projects: The Moxy at the Depot Plaza and The Caliber Hotel at the Tucson Convention Center.

The Board’s incentives are very similar for each project and include the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District’s portion of a state sales-tax rebate program for each property.

The Board’s actions occurred at its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday and could add as many as 560 hotel beds downtown, with 430 beds adjacent to the Tucson Convention Center, home of the Tucson Roadrunners ice hockey team.

“The effort to get the Hotel Arizona reopened has been a major focus of the Rio Nuevo Board for more than six years,” said Board Secretary Mark Irvin. “This 300-plus-room hotel, with 30,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, is adjacent to the Tucson Convention Center – the Rio Nuevo District’s primary component – and is a key to its success.”

According to the proposal by Hotel Arizona’s owner HSL Properties, HSL and its investors will invest $20 million to renovate the hotel, which has been closed since 2012. HSL anticipates reopening the project as a Hilton-branded hotel by January 2019, in time for the Tucson Gem Show.

Rio Nuevo will acquire title to the property and lease it back to HSL for 25 years.

Board member Edmund Marquez called the action “a big deal.”

“I think we are the largest city with a convention center and no hotel,” he said. “This is a defining moment for Tucson and downtown.”

In other action, the Board approved intergovernmental agreements with the City to efficiently utilize public funds by remediating landfill from City owned parcels adjacent to the Caterpillar project and by extending Avenida del Convento at City expense all while utilizing the already mobilized skills of Sundt Construction.

The creation of the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District was approved by Tucson voters in 1999, along with an appointed Board, to invest state tax dollars in public and public/private projects to create a vibrant Tucson core. For every dollar the Board invests, the community reaps $10 of construction activity with projects like the AC Hotel Tucson by Marriott, the Arena, Greyhound, the Mercado Annex, City Park, the Marist project and Caterpillar. For more information, visit http://rionuevo.org.

Hotel Arizona1

Cat2

Caterpillar

Caterpillar Inc. and Rio Nuevo Release Plans for Tucson Mining Center- August 9, 2017

Caterpillar Inc. and Rio Nuevo today released design renderings of Caterpillar’s new 150,000 square‐foot Tucson Mining Center to be located in the Mercado District in downtown Tucson. The
Tucson Mining Center, being built by the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District, will be occupied by about 600 company engineers, product development, and support positions working on the next generation of mining equipment, vehicles, and technology. It is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019.

SmithGroupJJR of Phoenix in collaboration with WSM Architects of Tucson designed the three‐level building to blend into the desert environment and to represent the Native American history of the land, identified as Tucson’s Origins. Representatives from Rio Nuevo, SmithGroupJJR + WSM, and Sundt Construction have been meeting regularly with neighbors and historians to create a site plan and design that will become one of the Southwest’s most recognized buildings.

The building site is northeast of A Mountain and Mission Garden, and is bounded on the north by Cushing Street, on the east by the Santa Cruz River and The Loop shared‐use path, and on the west by an extension of Avenida del Convento Street still to be built. The modern structure will be visible to motorists on Interstate 10 and Congress Street.

“Caterpillar is excited to take this next step, and we appreciate the strong partnership and support we’ve received from all members of the team. This will be a site that will make us all proud, fitting well into the community and helping show the world some of what Tucson has to offer. When finished, it will be a cutting edge and modern office space where our team will collaborate, design, and innovate solutions that drive customer success around the world.” —Jean Savage, Caterpillar Vice President for Surface Mining & Technology

“Rio Nuevo is honored to be part of the Caterpillar family and will forever be grateful to the company, not only for coming to Tucson, but for selecting this historic site. SmithGroupJJR + WSM
have done an extraordinary job designing a world class building.” —Fletcher McCusker, Chairman of the Rio Nuevo Board

“I want to congratulate Caterpillar on working so well with the city and its new neighbors. I’m excited by this building design and how well it fits with the neighborhood and I very much look
forward to the groundbreaking.” —Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, City of Tucson

“I’m happy to welcome Caterpillar to Tucson’s westside, an area rich in history and culture. This project will bring significant investment to the west end of downtown, and serve as a catalyst for
more smart and sustainable development that benefits our community.” —Vice Mayor Regina Romero, City of Tucson

“Caterpillar is truly a forward‐thinking company with an amazing culture. It has been the privilege of SmithGroupJJR + WSM to collaborate with and create a design solution that will support and
enhance their business strategy. We thank Rio Nuevo for the opportunity to deliver an architecture that is appropriate for Caterpillar’s future work environment, while respecting this important and historic Tucson Site.” —SmithGroupJJR + WSM Design Team

Rio Nuevo Approves Partnership with Flores Family Business to Facilitate Control of Three Downtown Properties- July 26, 2017

The Rio Nuevo Board this week unanimously approved investing as much as $250,000 with Ray Flores of Flores Concepts, which plans to assume control of one shuttered nightclub and one operating club, along with an adjacent vacant building.

The Board convened its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday to discuss a potential agreement with Flores Concepts, the financing for the construction of Caterpillar’s Tucson Mining Center, and other business.

The Flores family, the force behind El Charro Café, Charro Steak, Sir Veza, and the Stillwell House, has negotiated an agreement to buy out the lease interest of the H2O Discotec at 61 E. Congress St., Zen Rock nightclub at 121 E. Congress, and the former Betty Gay building at 125 E. Congress. Flores Concepts intends to renovate, rebrand and reopen all three establishments.

H2O and Zen Rock were part of the first wave of food and beverage establishments on Congress in 2010 and helped establish downtown as a destination. Other more popular venues have opened, and H2O and Zen Rock have not evolved. H2O is closed.

The Board authorized the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District’s executive officers to negotiate and finalize a loan of up to $250,000 to Flores, the repayment of which would bear interest and be secured by a pledge of assets and a guaranty. Flores estimated that new sales tax generated by the Flores businesses could be as much as $260,000 annually, which could provide as much as a 100 percent annual return on the Rio Nuevo investment. In addition to making its own $250,000 initial investment, Flores Concepts will fund all the tenant improvement capital and working capital to revive the three properties.

In other business, District attorneys presented the schedule for the $43 million lease revenue bonds designed to fund the Caterpillar Mining Center project.

The Board also authorized a Request for Proposal to be issued in conjunction with the development of Pima County’s parking lot at 77 E. Broadway, between Scott Avenue and 6th Avenue and north of the Tucson Electric Power headquarters. The District will seek competitive proposals offering to develop a high-rise, mixed-use project that would include retail, parking and Class A office space. The District has an option to lease or buy the property from Pima County and, consistent with the District’s current public/private partnership investments, will look for a private sector partner to develop the project.

The RFP release will be posted on the Rio Nuevo website, http://rionuevo.org.

The Board also unanimously authorized the submission of a new Planned Area Development for the area around the Tucson Convention Center in order to accommodate a new 125-bed convention center hotel proposed by Caliber Hospitality.

The creation of the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District was approved by Tucson voters in 1999, along with an appointed Board, to invest state tax dollars in public and public/private projects to create a vibrant Tucson core. For every dollar the Board invests, the community reaps $10 of construction activity with projects like the AC Hotel Tucson by Marriott, the Arena, Greyhound, the Mercado Annex, City Park, the Marist project and Caterpillar. For more information, visit http://rionuevo.org

Rio Nuevo Approves Caterpillar Financing Package, 2017-2018 District Budget- June 23, 2017

On Tuesday June 20th the Rio Nuevo Board accepted the final language for the $43 million financing package component of the Caterpillar Surface Mining & Technology Division headquarters. On Thursday, June 23rd the final Notice to Proceed for the initial stage of construction was issued.

The Board convened its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday to review the 2017-2018 Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District budget and to move forward with negotiations with Caterpillar for the headquarters project being built at the base of A Mountain.

Sundt Construction is expected to begin site preparation on Monday, June 26.

The Board unanimously approved the budget for the year ending June 30, 2018. The budget projects revenue of $15,720,225 and expenses of $ $18,541,000. Expenses include $4.9 million for Caterpillar site preparation work.

The $2.8 million deficit will be covered by the District’s cash on hand, long planned as part of the Caterpillar project.

The creation of the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District was approved by Tucson voters in 1999, along with an appointed Board, to invest state tax dollars in public and public/private projects to create a vibrant Tucson core. For every dollar the Board invests, the community reaps $10 of construction activity with projects like the AC Hotel Tucson by Marriott, the Arena, Greyhound, the Mercado Annex, City Park, the Marist project and Caterpillar. For more information, visit http://rionuevo.org.

 

 

123 S. Stone Avenue

Rio Nuevo Approves Caterpillar Lease, Issues Notices to Proceed with Construction- June 16, 2017

The Rio Nuevo Board this week unanimously authorized its chairman and secretary to sign the lease, when complete, with Caterpillar’s Surface Mining & Technologies (SM&T) division. The Board also issued Notices to Proceed that will allow Sundt Construction to start on the $43 million SM&T division headquarters project being built at the base of A Mountain.

The Board convened a special meeting Monday to review the Caterpillar lease because construction on the project needed to begin within a week to ensure that Caterpillar would have a certificate of occupancy by March 1, 2019, a deadline set by Caterpillar in the draft lease.

Under the draft 25-year lease, Rio Nuevo will issue the bonds for the construction project and Caterpillar will pay the principal, interest and costs. Interest will be capped at 3 percent for the first 10 years.

In addition, Rio Nuevo has acquired title to the property for the building for $7 million and will remediate the landfill at the site at a cost of $4.8 million.

The creation of the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District was approved by Tucson voters in 1999, along with an appointed Board, to invest state tax dollars in public and public/private projects to create a vibrant Tucson core. For every dollar the Board invests, the community reaps $10 of construction activity with projects like the AC Hotel Tucson by Marriott, the Arena, Greyhound, the Mercado Annex, City Park, the Marist project and Caterpillar. For more information, visit http://rionuevo.org.

Special Board Meeting Scheduled to Move Forward on Caterpillar Project- June 9, 2017

A special board meeting has been scheduled for Monday, June 12, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. to discuss the Caterpillar project.  See Agenda http://rionuevo.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/June-12-2017-Rio-Nuevo-Special-Board-Meeting-Agenda-1.pdf for more information.

Rio Nuevo Advances Downtown CVS, Bianco Eatery, TCC Hotel- June 2, 2017

The Rio Nuevo Board of Directors moved forward this week with partnerships that plan to bring a drug store and a Bianco eatery back to downtown Tucson.

At its meeting Tuesday, May 30, the Board unanimously approved rebating site‐specific sales tax to the Ron Schwabe/Marcel Dabdoub developer group for their projects at 123 S. Stone and in the East Congress Street block from the former Chicago Store at South Sixth Avenue to Wig‐O‐Rama at South Scott Avenue.

Schwabe/Dabdoub is in negotiation with the CVS pharmacy/drug store chain to occupy the Chicago Store. Downtown hasn’t had a drug store since 2003.

Schwabe/Dabdoub has a letter of intent from Chris Bianco for the first floor of 123 S. Stone. Bianco closed his popular Pizzeria Bianco in September 2016 after operating it for more than two years.

The developer group is also talking to The Loft Cinema about locating a theater in the East Congress Street block.

Rio Nuevo is funded by state sales tax generated in the Rio Nuevo Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District that stretches from west of Interstate 10 through downtown and along Broadway to El Con Mall and Park Place. Instead of supporting the Schwabe/Dabdoub projects with cash, the Board agreed to rebate its share of state sales tax from those projects to the developers.

The Board also unanimously approved the site for a new 125‐room hotel on the grounds of the Tucson Convention Center. Representatives of Caliber Hospitality of Scottsdale proposed to build the hotel on the southeast corner of the convention center in what they and the board described as an underutilized space. The location would give hotel patrons direct access to the convention center. Board representatives agreed to meet with City of Tucson officials to discuss ways to increase parking in the area.

In other business, the Board:

  • Unanimously agreed to support the Catholic Diocese of Tucson’s remodel of the historic cathedral square by contributing $1 million to the $17 million project, which will include a café/coffee shop that is expected to generate sales tax income.
  • Postponed the approval of $6.4 million of site preparation work for a Caterpillar division headquarters being built on the west side of downtown and offered instead to hold a special meeting when the Rio Nuevo/Caterpillar lease is signed.
The creation of the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District was approved by Tucson voters in 1999, along with an appointed Board, to invest state tax dollars in public and public/private projects to create a vibrant Tucson core. For every dollar the Board invests, the community reaps $10 of construction activity with projects like the AC Hotel Tucson by Marriott, the Arena, Greyhound, the Mercado Annex, City Park, the Marist project and Caterpillar. For more information, visit http://rionuevo.org.

 

Rio Nuevo Advances Downtown Hotel and Retail-Restaurant Block- May 1, 2017

The Rio Nuevo Board of Directors took steps last week to advance the development of a hotel and nearby retail and restaurant block in downtown Tucson.

At its meeting Tuesday, April 25, the Board unanimously approved rebating site‐specific sales tax to the developer of a Marriott Moxy Hotel on 5th Avenue and Toole and the “200 Block” of East Congress Street.  Rio Nuevo will rebate sales tax generated both by the hotel and by the new businesses of the “200 Block” to the developers. The Board commissioned an independent economic analysis of the two projects and will review the results before signing off on final approval of the agreements. Approval is also subject to agreement by the City of Tucson.

Scott Stiteler is developing both the Marriott boutique hotel above the Depot Garage just west of Hotel Congress and the “200 Block.” Stiteler is also nearing completion of the AC Marriott Hotel at Broadway and 5th Avenue. Rio Nuevo is also rebating sales tax that would have been collected from that project.

“This takes us closer to seeing three major additions to our thriving downtown,” said Rio Nuevo Board Chairman Fletcher McCusker. “We’ll have two innovative hotels within a few blocks of each other and, with a re‐energized ‘200 Block,’ there will be a new retail and restaurant center in between them.” The “200 Block” encompasses the south side of Congress Street from 5th Avenue west to Arizona Avenue.

The Board also reaffirmed its plan to partner with private developers, where appropriate, to repurpose remnants of properties acquired by the City of Tucson in its effort to widen two miles of Broadway Boulevard between Euclid Avenue and Country Club Road. Rio Nuevo’s efforts are driven by the desire both to replace the sales tax revenue lost as a result of the expansion of Broadway and to enhance the appeal of the entire area with new retail and restaurant activity, all while working closely with the City and the Regional Transportation Authority. The Board has also retained New York‐based Project for Public Spaces to provide input into its involvement with these roadway properties.

The creation of the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District was approved by Tucson voters in 1999, along with an appointed Board, to invest state tax dollars in public and public/private projects to create a vibrant Tucson core. For every dollar the Board invests, the community reaps $10 of construction activity with projects like the AC Hotel Tucson by Marriott, the Arena, Greyhound, the Mercado Annex, City Park, the Marist project and Caterpillar. For more information, visit http://rionuevo.org.

 

Rio Nuevo Approval Brings Two New Hotels Downtown- March 1, 2017

Adding to Downtown Tucson’s continued rapid growth, the Rio Nuevo Board provided major assistance Tuesday to two new proposed downtown hotels – creating an agreement that will allow both developers to move forward quickly with their projects.

Even before the AC Marriott being built at Broadway and 5th Avenue opens, Marriott has committed to a second hotel just a block away with the same development team. Scott Stiteler announced a Moxy Hotel, which will be located above the Depot Garage just west of Hotel Congress.

Another sign that national interest in Downtown Tucson’s vibrant evolution continues to grow, Caliber Hospitality, based in Scottsdale, plans to build a 125‐bed hotel in the east parking lot of the recently remodeled Tucson Convention Center.

The Rio Nuevo Board at its meeting Tuesday, February 28, approved term sheets that would provide for both hotel developers to be rebated their portions of the state sales tax (TIF) that Rio Nuevo receives. “We‘re making the difference,” said Rio Nuevo Chairman Fletcher McCusker. “Bridging the financial gap for both hotels makes the plans work and can bring these exciting new facilities to our growing downtown.”  Additional coordination with the City of Tucson will be needed to finalize both hotels.

“Tucson is definitely on the national radar,” said McCusker, following the Board’s meeting on Tuesday at which the board approved the two proposals. “With the creativity shown by Rio Nuevo in participating in deal structures through rebates, gap financing, equity participation, build/ lease and infrastructure support, we have become a huge partner in a variety of developments in addition to hotels:  retail and restaurant, corporate headquarters, bus terminals, concert venues, entertainment halls and residential. We are hitting on all cylinders with a mission to finish our downtown in five years and substantially increase the tax base.”

The Moxy describes itself as a “free‐spirited” hotel and is geared to the millennial traveler with smart phone room access, a 24‐hour bar, and a reputation as a hotel with attitude. Tucson is evolving into a city like New Orleans, San Francisco, New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago – an elite place among urban, hip and walkable downtowns.

Caliber’s development also includes a new parking garage to serve the hotel and downtown and increases available parking for TCC events.

“Downtown Tucson is currently home to 65 restaurants, 2,200 new apartment units, two of the most successful concert venues in the United States, sold‐out arena shows, and more of everything coming,” McCusker said. “It is a great time to be involved with our downtown and the Rio Nuevo Board has found unique and creative ways to help fund these developments.”

The creation of the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District was approved by Tucson voters in 1999, along with an appointed Board, to invest state tax dollars in public and public/private projects to create a vibrant Tucson core. For every dollar the Board invests, the community reaps approximately $10 of construction activity with projects like the AC Hotel Tucson by Marriott, The Arena, Greyhound, The Mercado Annex, City Park, The Marist project, and Caterpillar. For more information, visit http://rionuevo.org

Marist College2

Marist College1

MSA Annex

The Rio Nuevo Board would like to welcome you to the Official Web Site for the Rio Nuevo downtown redevelopment and revitalization district.

© 2017 RNMFD. All rights reserved.