Rio Nuevo shared the good news that the Sunshine Mile Overlay has been unanimously approved by the City of Tucson Mayor & Council.
A few short days thereafter the Rio Nuevo Board instructed its attorneys to issue the solicitations necessary to identify one or more developers for the Solot Plaza Block and The Freidman Block.
Working with the City and the RTA, Rio Nuevo has saved approximately 50 properties threatened by the Broadway widening and will now work with private developers to repurpose these properties. When finalized the solicitations will be posted to the Rio Nuevo website.
Local Event Support
The COVID-19 pandemic eviscerated Rio Nuevo’s ability to support the Arizona Bowl, DUSK Festival, El Tour de Tucson, the Tucson Jazz Festival & 2nd Saturdays; the so-called “Big Five” downtown Tucson events.
Kym Adair with the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl made a presentation to the Board highlighting this year’s events in and around the football game which will be held again on New Year’s Eve.
Adair shared with Rio Nuevo that since they now have a major sponsor in Barstool Sports, they do not need any financial assistance from Rio Nuevo and asked the Board to extend those dollars to other local events that are in need.
The Board then discussed the requests they have received for financial assistance from the remaining members of the Big Five. In so doing the Board reviewed what was provided financially to these events in FY2020 and unanimously voted to fund them at the same levels this fiscal year.
  • $150,000 for El Tour de Tucson
  • $75,000 for 2nd Saturdays when they resume in 2022
  • $35,000 for DUSK Festival
  • $25,000 for Tucson Jazz Festival
The Board also unanimously agreed to set aside $100,000 in their marketing budget to be used for supporting smaller events in the District.
Volvo/Welcome Diner Site Updates
Sloane McFarland with Welcome Diner made a presentation to the Board on the development of the “Volvo Site” which sits directly east of the current diner location on Broadway.
Mr.McFarland explained that his group is exploring options for the development of this site that could include, multi-family and /or a hotel. They are finalizing the mixed-use balance of the site and then will begin identifying partners. Finalizing this new development is still several years away.
TCC Updates
The TCC upgrades continue on budget and on schedule. The Music Hall is complete and has already hosted a concert.
The Lot C garage, located west of the Music Hall, is moving forward after delays caused by heavy rains. The new lot is expected to be complete in April 2022.
Historic Plazas located throughout the TCC campus are opening again, including the historic Ekbo fountains which are now flowing.
The new meeting rooms remain on schedule for completion in early January 2022 and upgrades to the Leo Rich Theatre have begun and include new carpeting & upgrades to the restrooms and lobby.
The board unanimously approved advancing $1.3 million to continue these and related TCC improvements.

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