October 1, 2014

Rio Nuevo Advances TCC Projects

The Rio Nuevo Board agreed to help the City of Tucson renovate the TCC kitchen facility by allowing the City to add such renovation to the current Rio Nuevo TCC Arena project contract.  Once Concord Construction has completed the Arena renovation, scheduled for mid-December, the Board agreed to authorize Concord to renovate the TCC kitchen at the City’s expense.

The Board heard and viewed the TCC Arena renovation progress, which is on time and on budget.  SMG, the TCC’s new private management firm, introduced themselves after agreeing to help sponsor the Arena’s grand re-opening concert January 3, 2015.  KHYT radio has also signed on as a co-sponsor and corporate sponsors are buying blocks of tickets to give to local charities. SMG will work to invite booking executives, agents and talent managers to visit the Arena in concert format to view the new sound and lights, new seats, new breezeway entrance, new concessions and new bathrooms.  SMG will also be handling the food services now for the TCC complex.

The Board heard proposals from the January 8th Memorial Foundation seeking assistance in funding the new memorial downtown.  Pima County has offered space in the Roy Place designed old county courthouse and the City has committed $30,000 of support to the project.  The Foundation asked for $75,000 primarily to support the design competition for the memorial grounds, which the presenters believe will attract thousands of visitors to downtown. The Board tabled the discussion until the next meeting and asked the Foundation to provide additional information regarding the anticipated budget, other supporters and expected visitors.

The Downtown Tucson Partnership presented its view of how to best utilize the District’s $750,000 streetscape commitment in the global Settlement Agreement with the City. After discussion, the Board tabled the issue and asked the presenters for further data on what businesses will benefit and to review the other streetscape projects slated for downtown.

The Fox Theatre Foundation presented a report showing dramatic improvement in Fox Theatre revenue and income over the last several years.  Unfortunately the District derives no benefit from its significant investment in the Fox Theater due to the 2006 arrangement with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Board asked the Foundation to present a proposal to the Board on how the District could benefit from removing the Trust from the operating structure of the Fox Theatre.

The Board approved additional funding for The WLB Group to perform soil analysis on the so-called Westside Parcel, which is located at the base of A Mountain.  This parcel is a former landfill and still emitting methane gas.  Some area residents have expressed a desire to re-plant desert vegetation on the site, which may not be possible given the landfill and methane situation.  District engineers will report back on the landfill depth and gas emissions at the site.

District attorneys advised the Board that the response from the District regarding the Arena Lot RFP protest should be released Friday.