Downtown Tucson development returns to pre-pandemic levels


TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) — Rio Nuevo’s board of directors says pre-pandemic sales tax revenue has returned and calls for downtown construction are stronger than ever.

“I think not only have we survived, but it’s clear to me that we’re likely to thrive,” board chairman Fletcher McCusker said at the start of the March 23 meeting.

McCusker says interest in building downtown is higher than ever.

“We see hoteliers, one or two a week, we see multi-family developers, we see restaurant owners,” he said.

While the board sees a plethora of new ideas asking for help, some larger and older proposed developments will also see new life.

75 E. Broadway, a 19-story business and commercial development is close to closing a deal after two failed deals in recent years.

The Ronstadt transit center has been on the verge of a facelift for almost seven years. The developer says it’s in the design phase and could break ground before the end of the year.

Two new hotels have been built at the Tucson Convention Center. The TCC underwent a $100 million expansion. The La Placita Village has been replaced by The Flin, a luxury apartment complex.

Smaller projects like The Citizen Hotel will receive a half-million Rio Nuevo dollar infusion to complete construction.

Other projects like a new events center on 6th, an expansion of the Highwire restaurant and the construction of Arizona Avenue are all under consideration.

“Fasten your seat belts,” McCusker said. “We’re going to be really busy next year, two years.”

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