Rio Nuevo Advances Downtown Projects, Expands Sunshine Mile

The Rio Nuevo Board shared some important developments from its most recent meeting, starting with a positive update from Chairman Fletcher McCusker.

McCusker said that Rio Nuevo is back to pre-pandemic sales tax revenue and the requests for new construction in downtown are stronger than ever. “We are seeing one-to-two hotel operators per week along with multi-family developers and restaurateurs,” he said. “Besides the requests for new development, the board is also seeing movement on older proposed developments that have been on hold. 

“Buckle your seat belts. We are really going to be busy in the next year, two years,” he said.

More updates from the Rio Nuevo board meeting:

The Rio Nuevo board unanimously voted to invest in the Citizen Hotel , a 10-room, boutique hotel that renovated the 113 year-old Tucson Daily Citizen Building at 82 S. Stone Avenue. The $500,000 commitment included an 18-month rent subsidy to bring Sand-Reckoner Vineyards to the project. Sand-Reckoner, a local winemaker with vines in Willcox will occupy the basement as a winery, wine tasting venue and retail space.

The board unanimously authorized the executive officers to complete negotiations with HighWire on Arizona Avenue to open a new restaurant and event space. This space will be adjacent to their very successful cocktail lounge with entrances off Arizona Avenue, the alleyway immediately east of the property. Rio Nuevo tabled a $230,000 request to enhance and improve the adjacent portion of Arizona Avenue.

The board authorized counsel to complete leases in order to activate the Rio Nuevo-owned property adjacent to the Presidio Museum, located on Church Avenue, now that the renovation of the property is complete.

Finally, the board authorized counsel to prepare the documents required to solicit private sector partners for the Solot Plaza Block and the Friedman Block, located in the Sunshine Mile District along the newly widened Broadway Boulevard.

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