Rio Nuevo Finalizes Sale of Rialto Theatre

At its April 22, 2015 meeting, the Rio Nuevo District Board unanimously agreed to complete the sale of the Rialto Theatre to the Rialto Foundation for $1,300,000; more than its appraised value. The Board intends to repurpose those funds into other downtown projects, hopefully leveraging the sales proceeds with other private developers.

In other action, the Board unanimously directed its counsel and executive officers to complete the First Amendment to the Ground Lease and Loan Modification agreement with the Fox Theatre Foundation in accordance with the terms currently before the Foundation. Those terms include governance restrictions on the Foundation’s actions until its $2,900,000 debt to the District has been paid. The parties have already agreed to several restrictions, including prohibiting the Foundation from (1) changing its CEO until January 1, 2019, (2) forming or acquiring an entity for which any the Foundation will serve as the sole or controlling member, (3) approving the sale or transfer of a substantial portion of the Foundation’s assets, (4) making material changes in most of the Foundation’s governing documents, or (5) incurring substantial additional debt. The parties have also agreed that the District will appoint five members to the Foundation’s Board of Directors and will have the right to inspect the Foundations’ financial records. Finally, the Foundation will make a bi-annual presentation to the District on its present and projected financial conditions and answer the District’s questions. The remaining issues and details of the arrangement are under discussion.

In response to comments of patrons, the Board also approved $166,000 to install handrails on the steep steps into the Tucson Convention Center Arena. Although these handrails are not required by the ADA, the Board felt the handrails were an important safety feature. The TCC Arena project is now complete and totaled just under $8,000,000 with this final addition. The Arena remodel has won both the local and state Public Works Project of the Year and is up for the National Public Works Project as a result.

The District Board authorized an $86,000 amendment to its contract with Swaim Associates, Ltd. to help design and estimate Phase II of the TCC remodel, focused now on the meeting rooms, exhibition space and remaining bathrooms.