Rio Nuevo Considers Refinancing Its Bond Debt Organization: Rio Nuevo District Board

Attorneys for the Rio Nuevo District presented a proposal that could refinance the $80,000,000 2008 General Obligation Bonds issued by the city controlled Rio Nuevo board during one of the worst bond markets in recent memory. Interest rates have dropped dramatically and with an improved credit rating District bond advisors believe Rio Nuevo could save approximately $500,000 a year by taking advantage of lower rates. Following a motion made by long term board member Jeff Hill the board unanimously directed counsel to prepare the necessary resolution for the next meeting.

District board members will also meet with the City of Tucson leadership to discuss a $20,000,000 Certificate of Participation dedicated to the renovation of the Tucson Convention Center. The city would have to agree to increased rent in order to fund a Certificate of Participation.

Attorneys also advised the board that the new agreement with the Fox Theatre Foundation has been signed by all parties. The Foundation is now Rio Nuevo’s tenant and the National Trust for Historic Preservation is no longer involved. Rio Nuevo can place up to five members on the Fox board and placed several restrictions on the Foundation that require Rio Nuevo approval: such as entering into debt, changing the mission, major renovation and the hiring and firing of the executive director.

The Board also unanimously approved a tri-party agreement specifying the terms of the Greyhound Terminal re-location in order to allow Allan Norville to close on the purchase of the so called Arena Lot. Rio Nuevo will receive $5,600,000 for the parcel and has agreed with the buyer as to the scope of the project, which will include a new hotel, parking, residential and commercial development on the 8.5 acre parcel.

The Board also unanimously approved a temporary revocable easement around the Mission Garden so that the Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace can enhance the area surrounding the Mission Garden development.

Newly appointed member Edmund Marquez attended his first meeting along with the Governor’s recently re-affirmed appointments of Jeff Hill and Janie Cox. Fletcher McCusker and Chris Sheafe are President of the Senate appointees and Mark Irvin and Cody Ritchie were appointed by the Speaker of the House.

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