The Rio Nuevo Board heard plans for $60 million in improvements to the Tucson Convention Center. TCC officials listed improvements and upgrades needed for the TCC complex. The board will meet with stakeholders and city officials to help prioritize the requests.
Glenn Grabski, general manager of SMG, the company that operates the TCC, said the planned improvements would increase convention revenue by “100 percent,” because in the past Tucson has seen virtually no association or convention business.
The first part of the project, replacing the arena’s ice plant and floor, is underway with the new ice plant expected to be running by the end of October 2019. The board voted to increase the authorization for the ice rink and plant to $3.1 million to cover additional items including new safety features and exhaust fans.
The board voted to invest up to $150,000 in a new coworking space at 149 N. Stone.
The project is designed to allow freelancers, start-up companies and remote workers to share office space at the southwest corner of North Stone Avenue and East Alameda Street. The building, which is owned by the City of Tucson, has been vacant for four years.
The board voted 5-1 to invest $50,000 in the project and match up to another $100,000 any additional money raised by Common Workspace partners. The investment is pending final approval of the lease by the Tucson City Council on June 4.
Co-owner Dillon Walker said he’s optimistic that this can serve as a new home for the current 70 tenants of Connect Coworking, which is closing in June. Those workers spend an average of $30 per day downtown, according to research by Rio Nuevo. That adds up to more than $750,000 a year.