Rio Nuevo Moves Swiftly to Relocate the Greyhound Terminal

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Rio Nuevo LogoTo make room for the development of the Arena Lot, the Board voted to move forward with funding land acquisition and construction costs of up to $1.7 million to build and lease back to Greyhound a new terminal.

Last month the Board took over the City’s lease to Greyhound in order to facilitate Nor-Generation’s purchase of the Arena Lot which will soon house a new flagship downtown hotel.

The Board also unanimously agreed to support the City’s ownership of a new drainage system that diverts water runoff from the Tucson Convention Center and parking lots into a culvert system that follows Granada Avenue to the Santa Cruz River drainage.  This will allow the parcels to the west of the TCC to maximize on-site development and parking.

Before either of these actions can advance, the Board must notify both the governor and the legislature, obtain concurrence of the City of Tucson, and approve the necessary final agreements.

Rio Nuevo’s auditors presented an unqualified audit to the Board reflecting a net income for the District of more than $3.6 million. The auditors congratulated the Board for the third consecutive unqualified audit, complimented the Board’s staff and stated that because the District books and records were so well prepared the auditors had elected not to charge the full previously negotiated fee.

The Board also authorized the expenditure of $44,000 for a Denver-based brownfield expert firm to review the A-Mountain landfill and make recommendations as to how development can go forward.

Don Bourn, the developer of the “Thrifty Block” property, reported to the Board that he has remodeled the Annex adjacent to the Thrifty Block and moved his Bourn Companies, LLC to the Annex where it now shares the space with Smart Things, the home monitoring company that is owned by Samsung. Mr. Bourn then presented his new project concept. The new concept is called City Park. Once completed, City Park will cover the entire area between the Indian Trading Post and the Annex on Congress with a mixed use development including offices, restaurants and residential space.  This concept nearly doubled the size of the project by eliminating all onsite parking. The District Board unanimously approved the changes to the project.

In other action, the Board unanimously agreed to be a $20,000 sponsor of the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl downtown party scheduled for the night before the December 29th college football bowl game at Arizona stadium.  It is expected that 15,000- 20,000 out of state fans will be in Tucson for the bowl game and that the District sponsored downtown party will drive patrons into District restaurants, venues and clubs.  The economic impact of the new bowl game is estimated to be over $22,000,000.

Finally, the District appointed two members to represent Rio Nuevo on the Fox Theatre Foundation Board. Local business leaders Bruce Dusenberry and David Volk have agreed to serve and were nominated to represent Rio Nuevo’s interest in the Fox Theatre.

The Mercado Annex and Mission Garden agenda items were tabled until November