The Rio Nuevo Board voted unanimously Tuesday to move forward with three important projects:

    • Assistance to businesses affected by the Broadway widening.
    • The proposed construction of one of downtown’s tallest buildings on the parking lot northwest of Broadway and 6th Avenue
    • Remediation of a landfill at the base of “A” Mountain near the future Caterpillar Tucson Mining Center.

At its regular monthly meeting, the Board agreed to direct its executive officers and counsel to execute an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the City of Tucson and the Regional Transportation Authority that would allow Rio Nuevo to assist businesses affected by the Broadway widening between Country Club Road and Euclid Avenue.

Board Chairman Fletcher McCusker said the City of Tucson is using RTA funds to acquire 40 properties that will lose parking, right of way or other critical space as a result of the voter-approved Broadway widening RTA project. The IGA authorizes the City to convey title of surplus properties to Rio Nuevo, which will then work with developers and existing or prospective tenants to rebuild and/or repurpose the properties. The properties will then be leased, returned to the tax rolls and ultimately sold with the proceeds going to the RTA.

75 E. Broadway

The Board also authorized its executive officers to approve a development agreement with JE Dunn Construction for a 20-story building with 250,000 square feet of office space, 40,000 square feet of retail space and parking for 500-600 cars at Broadway and 6th Avenue.

Pima County, which owns the lot, agreed in September 2016 to lease or sell it to the project developer. JE Dunn responded to a Rio Nuevo Request for Proposals issued in September 2017 and was the highest rated respondent.

The development agreement with JE Dunn would establish a 120-day period during which Rio Nuevo would obtain the necessary pre-construction clearances and surveys for the site and JE Dunn would assess its ability to proceed with construction of the building.

Todd Freed, vice president of construction for JE Dunn Construction, assured the Board that JE Dunn “very much can, very much wants to” construct the building and is “excited” about this opportunity in Tucson.

A-Mountain Landfill Remediation

The Board also unanimously agreed to continue conversations with the Tohono O’odham Tribal Council about the remediation and possible development of a 27-acre landfill at the foot of “A” Mountain that is believed to be of historical and cultural significance.

McCusker delivered a progress report on other Rio Nuevo projects as the meeting got underway.

  • Sundt Construction is expected to begin masonry and steel construction for the Caterpillar Tucson Mining Center this week. The bike path along the Santa Cruz River east of the center site is also expected to reopen this week.
  • City Park, a Bourn Companies dining/entertainment/office project at 40 E. Congress St., is expected to open in June. Hexagon Mining has added 10,000 square feet to the space it will use for 200 employees and its North American headquarters. The first floor food hall is 100 percent leased, McCusker said.
  • The AC Hotel by Marriott at 151 E. Broadway was 100 percent booked when McCusker visited recently.
  • The 125-bed hotel planned by Caliber Hospitality in the east parking lot of the recently remodeled Tucson Convention Center (TCC) has obtained its zoning permit.
  • The TCC was booked for 330 of the past year’s 365 days. More than 523,000 people attended events there, generating an economic impact of $15 million per year. The Tucson Roadrunners hockey team, which plays at the TCC, is ranked second in the American Hockey League.

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