The Rio Nuevo District announced today that Nor-Generations, LLC the prevailing bidder, has closed its purchase of and will develop the 8.5 acres along Congress and I-10, know as the Arena Lot; so named due to the ill-fated plans of the former Rio Nuevo organization to build an arena there.
The District sold the property for $5.6 million ($15.12 PSF) which will be re-purposed for other downtown development. As a conditions of the dale the purchaser agree to objectively verifiable development benchmarks with liquidated damages for failure to meet those benchmarks. Plans for the site include permanent gem show space, a new flagship hotel, parking, and other mixed uses, all funded with private sector dollars.
The temporary Greyhound bus terminal on the Arena Lot became a sticking point but that was resolved last week when the District agreed to step-in and to assume the City’s “rights, duties, and obligations” of its lease to Greyhound.
The District Board is already working with Greyhound to locate and to provide permanent location that suits Greyhound’s needs and by so doing further revitalizing downtown Tucson.
“This is a win for the entire community”, said Fletcher McCusker, who was recently re-elected to serve two more years as the District Board’s Chairman. “Not only do we secure the gem show, we add a new hotel within walking distance to the TCC, increase the parking on the Westside and thereby activate restaurants and other tax producing business within the TIF boundary.”
The first, AC Hotel, has broken ground at 5th Avenue and Broadway. In additions, the District Board is actively pursuing the possibility of a private\public retail on the far Westside, and is hoping to finalize one of two more hotel properties.