Board of Directors, Pima County Industrial Development Authority
What are some of the ways you have seen collaboration between the various economic development partners improve over the last several years?
The Pima IDA has been working to build a better community since 1972. There are many, many local projects that have had excellent collaboration among governmental entities, local for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations. Some of the more recent notable partnerships include the following:
- The Pima IDA issued bonds to develop the “Center of Hope Apartments” at 4554 S. Palo Verde Road in Tucson. The project consists of 100 units that provide housing for low-income tenants. HS Lopez Family Foundation, La Frontera Center, Family Housing Resources, Federal Reserve Bank and the Pima IDA all collaborated on the financial framework to complete this project that now serves many underserved residents in this community.
- Tucson Medical Center was approved for revenue bonds by the Pima IDA that were used to finance the costs of construction, improvement and equipping of healthcare and related facilities located at their main campus, southeast Tucson, and 35 acres in northwest Tucson. These are planned patient centric projects that will improve our community’s healthcare choices and increase business development.
- Southern Arizona Land Trust is developing Belnor Vista, a 125-acre parcel which is planned for mixed use live/work/play, multi-modal development. This exciting new mixed-use project is located in the rapidly growing southwest market of Tucson and will provide economic and employment opportunities for Pima County residents and will be a wonderful place to live, work and enjoy activities.
- El Tour de Tucson, The Pima IDA extended the loan that they had previously made to Perimeter Cycling, to assist them with the financial aspects of failing to hold an El Tour event during COVID.
What are some of the issues that you think need more or better collaboration and how would you begin to address those?
As needs grow for affordable housing across all income ranges, new approaches allow for unique public-private partnerships dedicated to middle income and workforce housing. How do we get homebuyers over the finish line? In today’s roller coaster market with rising home prices and higher mortgage rates, we need to seek innovation and deliver right-fit homeownership programs.
We must continue to identify the community and federal resources that will create a path forward for the workforce and middle-income housing, as well as loan and economic development opportunities.
To what do you attribute some of the improvements in collaboration between the various entities involved in the region’s economic development?
Post-Covid, we are starting to see more interactions among people which has spurred on collaboration aspects. I also think more people are open to new and innovative ideas and areas of expansion and collaboration that we did not see previously. The focus from local entities like Sun Corridor Inc., Rio Nuevo and Pima County have also brought new patrons to the downtown Tucson area and new businesses throughout Pima County.