May 29, 2014

Rio Nuevo Releases Requests for Proposals for the “Arena Lot”

As part of the global settlement of lawsuits with the City of Tucson the Rio Nuevo District battled for and eventually received the deed to the 8.5 acre parcel along the freeway between Congress and Granada. The District in now preparing to partner with a private developer to develop this eastern gateway to downtown and has released a request for proposals inviting private developers to propose a purchase or lease of the parcel and to submit ideas for its development.

The full RFP can be viewed at www.rionuevo.org. Proposals are due June 30.

“New legislation allows us to engage in development other than a hotel and we believe this parcel, adjacent to the modern streetcar, can be a key development for downtown” said Fletcher McCusker, Chairman. ” We invite innovative, mixed use development and, as part our recent partnership strategy, look forward to partnering with others to activate this valuable downtown lot.”

The District board has committed to arrange for 1,200 parking spaces on the Arena Lot in order for the adjacent private developer Nor-Gen to develop its entire property without setting aside any space for parking.

Nor-Gen is planning a 120,000 square foot exhibition hall, funded entirely by private dollars, which is intended as permanent space for the Gem Show and other downtown events, enhancing the use of the District owned Tucson Convention Center.

District leadership has committed to use its available lands and available funds to spur private and multi-jurisdictional development. Proposals will be evaluated by the entire Rio Nuevo board with the hope of selecting a project this summer. The Greyhound Bus Terminal, currently located on the site, would have one year to relocate ( at City expense) after a development plan has been approved by Development Services.