The Rio Nuevo Board unanimously voted to restructure its incentives for the Hilton Hotel at Cathedral Square project that will bring nearly 200 more hotel rooms to downtown.
At Fayth Hospitality Group’s request, the board reduced the tax rebate cap in the agreement in exchange for funds to help pay to move utilities that are near the project.
The project, at South Stone Avenue and East Ochoa Street, will include a 75-room Hampton Inn and a 123-room extended-stay Home2. Fayth Hospitalities’ Greg Fay said they hope to begin construction this summer and have the project completed in 16 to 18 months.
The board voted to confirm its financial-incentive package for an employer that could bring as many as 350 new jobs to Tucson.
The incentive package includes reimbursing the parking fees for 150 downtown parking spaces for five years, for the next five years paying half those fees and reimbursing the firm’s rent for six months on the 60,000 square feet of office space they would need. The rent subsidies would not exceed $24.50 per square foot.
Board Chair Fletcher McCusker reiterated one of the goals of the Rio Nuevo district is to activate the vacant storefronts on East Congress Street. He said the board would welcome feedback or ideas to help fill vacancies from the Snake Bridge to the Fox Theatre.
“We’re going to be talking to building owners, tenants and prospective tenants to do something to make certain that every storefront on Congress is activated,” McCusker said
The board unanimously agreed to move forward with providing incentives to a bar/restaurant development at 117 N. Sixth Avenue.
The board approved a lease of up to 25 years and a rebate of incremental site-specific sales taxes for the 1,700-square-foot location at North Sixth Avenue and East Pennington Street.
Zach Fenton, of ZFI Holdings, told the board that the owner, who wished to remain anonymous, has two other very successful restaurant/bar operations in Tucson.
“He’s a ‘downtowner.’ He understands the market very well. I think it’s going to be a fun concept for downtown,” Fenton said.