Developer Scott Stiteler presented his plans for the entire block at 340 N. Sixth Avenue and 7th Street. Phase One is an $8M investment by Stiteler’s team to fully renovate the Corbett Building. This renovation will include an “old school” burger joint, a beer garden, five pickleball courts, and 188 parking spots. Stiteler also has plans to renovate and improve what he is calling “Corbett Lane,” the street to the south of the building. The goal is to increase connectivity of all types, include better lighting, planters, and more.
The second and third phases contemplate a new 10-story hotel and 15-story apartment complex with an investment from Stiteler of over $180M. “There isn’t anyone with that kind of scale contributing to downtown right now,” said Chairman Fletcher McCusker. Rio Nuevo agreed to a GPLET lease, tax rebate of approximately $5M and a $500K cash contribution to launch the first phase.
Developers Zeus Sainz, Jesus Mario Ramirez, and Paul Mendoza are looking to create a mystical & exciting environment, inspired by their trips to Mexico. They have developed a menu unique to downtown and are wanting to invest in the people of Tucson. With a $1M remodel budget for the former store adjacent to the Chicago Store at 128 E. Congress, Rio Nuevo agreed to invest $300K to accelerate the opening of the new Latin fusion venue.
Rio Nuevo approved a $125K allocation to activate “pop-up” retail in the vacant Rialto Block properties at Congress & 5th Avenue. Up to 150 small retail operators will be able to lease space as small as 100 square feet, generating an estimated $1.1M a year in new revenue. This pop-up retail allows emerging online brands and businesses access to a brick-and-mortar store to connect differently with customers, as well as gives local retailers an opportunity to move into downtown with less commitment.
El Presidio District
After a two-year delay due to the pandemic, the Rio Nuevo Board authorized an investment of up to $500K to activate the public spaces improvement plan for the El Presidio District downtown. The goal of these improvements is to beautify the block, using planters, local art, tables, chairs, etc. to invite people into the space. Rio Nuevo plans to re-engage the original stakeholder groups and City of Tucson Department of Transportation and Mobility to see how quickly the placemaking projects can begin.
Valet Parking 7th Avenue and Toole Location
Chairman McCusker presented a trial plan to initiate two valet parking stations downtown, funded by Rio Nuevo on an hourly basis. Valet will cost $6 per car and would be an efficient way to continue to manage parking in downtown. Valet revenue would offset the costs of staffing the valet stations, which will be located at 7th Avenue and Toole and 5th Street and Broadway. The Board unanimously approved a six-month trial run.
Additionally, the Board authorized a solicitation to locate a private sector partner for the so-called “Country Home block,” on the southside of Broadway, within the Sunshine Mile. Bidders will be invited to suggest public/private partnership proposals for that block. The Solicitation will be posted to the Rio Nuevo website.
The Board approved a $125K investment to be the title sponsor for the 2022 Dusk Festival, a November music and art festival downtown that generates over $12M a year in economic benefit to downtown Tucson.
Rio Nuevo authorized an additional $100K toward the construction of a rooftop bar at Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink, a project approved almost a year ago but became delayed due to rising construction costs.