Major Redevelopment of Cathedral Square Downtown Tucson Moves Ahead

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Cathedral Square Project 450x250
Rendering New Cathedral Square, Tucson Diocese

A major $45 million redevelopment project in Downtown Tucson will save the historic Marist College and demolish two other buildings to make way for the new Cathedral Square.

With a vote of 7-0, Tucson Mayor and Council approved the demolition of Parish Hall which sits just to the north of Saint Augustine Cathedral, and is 100-years-old. The Catholic Diocese of Tucson owns the building and uses the space for offices and banquets, but the old hall is almost not usable any more.

The plan approved is to replace the historic Parish Hall building on West Ochoa Street with a four-story building, including a banquet hall and offices.

The Mayor and Council also approved demolishing the two-story Bishop Moreno Pastoral Center offices at 111 S Church, at the southeast corner of West Broadway and South Church Avenue, to make way for a seven-story low-income senior apartments building, having a project cost of $24.5 million.

The diocese sold 111 S Church Avenue to FSL Padre Kino Village, LP for $2.5 million ($115 PSF) recently for construction of a 75-unit affordable senior housing building for those 62 years old and older in the seven-story structure.

Foundation for Senior Living (FSL) is the same group restoring the Marist College building at 64 West Ochoa Street that will house eight additional affordable housing units for a total of 83-units approved for affordable housing.

The Rio Nuevo Board recently approved a $350,000 investment in the senior housing project designed to help save the historic Marist College building and transform it which was key to bringing the project together.

“It gives us the points we need to give us a better chance of low-income housing tax credits,” said Stephen Hastings who works for Foundation for Senior Living (FSL).

Bishop Gerald Kicanas of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson said there will be many meetings with city officials to finalize design plans for the new diocesan offices.

He said major private donors and a possible loan will pay for construction of the new diocese offices which could cost between $12 million and $17 million, depending on the final design.

Across the street, developers are in discussion for another apartment complex on the site of La Placita Village, at 110 S. Church Ave. at Broadway.

There is no timeline set yet for demolition and construction to begin.

To learn more, see RED Comp #3782.