The Rio Nuevo Board reflected on projects launched and accomplished in 2017 at its December meeting.

Projects underway and accomplishments summarized by Board Chairman Fletcher McCusker at the meeting Tuesday included:

  • AC Marriott Hotel (“It’s open and doing well,” McCusker said.)
  • The Moxy Hotel
  • The Mercado Annex (expected to open in January)
  • Cathedral Square
  • Scott Avenue Streetscape improvements, including new café sidewalk seating
  • Brings (Owls Nest)
  • Arizona Hotel (Hilton)

McCusker also reported that the Tucson City Council has approved the zoning for the Tucson Convention Center Hotel, a 130-bed boutique hotel to be built adjacent to the exhibition hall, funded entirely by private sector dollars.

“Any direction you look downtown you will see a Rio Nuevo at Work sign,” McCusker said.

McCusker noted that the December Trend Report featured a front-page story on Rio Nuevo’s best year ever.

He also acknowledged that the Board hopes to award the 75 East Broadway project to a developer in January, perhaps the biggest project ever undertaken in downtown Tucson.

“Our partnership model is working,” he said. “We are still showing ten times leverage” – that is, 10 private dollars invested for every one dollar of Rio Nuevo’s sales tax revenue invested.

Phil Swaim, project manager for the Caterpillar Tucson Mining Center project, reported that the site preparation is complete and that the foundation, plumbing and electrical work is in progress. Caterpillar’s move-in date is still planned for March 2019. The Board asked that the Caterpillar camera on site go live at so that the public can watch the progress.

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