The Rio Nuevo Board unanimously approved the 2023 budget for their fiscal year July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023. The Board expects its sales tax revenue base to be approximately $1.25 million per month, making it close to historical collections.

The Board acknowledged they hope to have approximately $3 million to invest in downtown projects in Fiscal Year 23, following the completion of the TCC renovations.

Blue Front Restaurant

After the announcement that 1055 Brewing would be moving out of its space on Congress, the Board agreed to spend $300,000 to assist Patricia Schwabe, the operator of the restaurant Penca, with the remodel and management of the former 1055 restaurant. This assures that the space will continue to serve the community and also retain the former 1055 Brewing employees.

The new concept will be a lunch, happy hour, and dinner concept and Schwabe is naming the new restaurant after a former tenant of the space in 1914, Blue Front.


The Board also offered to consider helping the owners of the Boxyard on 4th Avenue launch a similar operation at 6th Avenue and Broadway, which will require a significant amount of utility work to enable development on that corner. More detailed plans for the container venue will be heard in June.

Top Chef Season Finale Comes to Tucson

The Rio Nuevo Board has approved numerous food and beverage assistance projects in the last several weeks including: Tabu, La Chingada, Cruda, Ceres, The Neighborhood, Highwire, The Citizen Hotel, Sand Reckoner Winery, The Cadence, BATA and Love Burger.

These establishments join The Delta, The Monica, Ezbachi, El Mezquite, and Perche No in activating nearly 60 restaurants in downtown, which is rapidly becoming the food destination of Tucson.

This was further embellished when Chairman McCusker discussed Rio Nuevo’s role in helping to bring the Bravo Network’s “Top Chef” food show to Tucson for the season finale. Acknowledging Tucson’s status as an international City of Gastronomy, the series will visit the iconic El Charro, as well as Mission Garden and other area restaurants. Chairman McCusker said during the meeting “If you want to open a restaurant in downtown Tucson, come see us, we will help you.”

Cadence Apartments

The Board approved the incentives for The Cadence converting from student housing to market-rate apartments with ground-floor food and beverage.

Related Projects

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