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cdsuofa
Jun 8, 2013, 6:45 AM
I don't know that Florida and Arizona are the only 2 states that can have these events over the winter. I'm sure California could, and I'd bet south Texas can too. I don't follow any racing really, so I don't know what the season is like anyway, if they even do F-1 racing over the winter. Also, I don't know about racing teams staying in RVs. I know a lot of NASCAR fans do this, parking in the infield, but I doubt F-1 fans from Europe would want to do the same.
Ok Im sure parts of other states are capable at times in the winter of having good weather. Southern AZ and Florida ARE utilized for their warm winter months by sports(Spring Training, Arizona fall league, the first Golf tournaments of the year, NASCAR, Im sure theres more). My point is Tucson has the potential to exploit the economics of sports more than other cities of the same size. I agree that FC Tucson is looking very promising and should be continued to be invested in, in fact I was a little disappointed with the stadium they are building them, I thought a cheap easy way to add seating would be with a grass berm around the field but I guess theyve left plenty of room for expansion. I would just like to see Tucson not fail miserably in this area as they have for the past 20 years. I doubt many F-1 fans from Europe will be making the trip to Tucson to see a race but if they do they clearly have enough money to rent a car and stay in a hotel 20 minutes away(example: Hilton @ Broadway and Pantano)

aznate27
Jun 8, 2013, 2:06 PM
From what I read, it sounds like they may be announcing a few projects in the coming months.

The streetcar is key to downtown Tucson development; so is paying for its annual operation (http://tucsoncitizen.com/mark-evans/archives/832/)

by Mark B. Evans on Jun. 07, 2013, under Politics Tucson Citizen

....His brief presentation on how downtown revitalization is going was eye opening. In the past five years, governments – the city, county, state, feds and Rio Nuevo – have spent nearly $600 million on downtown infrastructure and buildings.

That investment has resulted in about $250 million in private investment downtown – new office towers, renovated historic blocks, dozens of new restaurants – and Keith said another $100 million is expected for the coming year. Keith said there could be as much as another $1 to 2 billion of private investment downtown over the next 10 years and another $2 billion or so in the areas bordering downtown – the university area and west of I-10, primarily.

Downtown streets are now lined with some of the best restaurants in town and 40-some events and festivals draw nearly 1 million people a year downtown.

A few thousand UA students will start living downtown next year and several thousand new apartments and condominiums are either under construction or in the advanced planning stage....(full article at link)

Ritarancher
Jun 8, 2013, 5:31 PM
An Formula One racing track in Tucson, um if it is what I think it is then we need to be completed building it ASAP! And billions in downtown redevelopment? Well that's just great!! But doing the math, most of the projects we are aware of only add up to about 950 million so hopefully a 500 foot tower or two slipped under our radar

Ritarancher
Jun 8, 2013, 7:38 PM
http://azstarnet.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/ac85f2e3-fd25-5207-915d-bd65f647952d.html

So it seems that the city has found a way to not have to deal with golf courses anymore. Saving, and even earning some money here.

cdsuofa
Jun 10, 2013, 12:35 PM
I hope the street car can finally teach the City a lesson about investing in infrastructure/public building to spurr economic growth. Because they really friggin suck at it.

aznate27
Jun 11, 2013, 4:26 PM
This was listed today under the Tucson real estate:Commercial sales, leases in the Arizona Daily Star.

• Tucson Retail LLC of Toronto, Canada, bought vacant land at The Bridges, near Park Avenue and Interstate 10, for $1.7 million, cash. The seller was Fullerton Tucson Kino Parkway LLC, also of Toronto.

Not sure if this is new or what was listed in the news recently?

ppdd
Jun 11, 2013, 4:34 PM
I hope the street car can finally teach the City a lesson about investing in infrastructure/public building to spurr economic growth. Because they really friggin suck at it.

I totally agree with this, and it's important to note that NO public transportation system makes a profit. I'm all for minimizing the losses, but the people that lose their minds because the system has to be subsidized are really missing the big picture. If it cost the city $5 million a year to create a booming urban corridor, that's a great investment. We just don't see infrastructure as an economic development issue here, and it's stifling.

Ritarancher
Jun 12, 2013, 5:25 PM
So I was doing some surfing on the Internet and found out that no skyscraper in the country can be over 2000 feet tall because it's at risk of a plane 35,000 feet high hitting it. Not only tht but the FCC has also banned buildings over that height. That's why the tallest building here, sears tower, was built 40 years ago. I call BS to that height limit. I'm not saying we should build tht tall everywhere just where it makes sense like in Miami,New York and Chicago. I hate our buildings being shorter than those in the middle east or china.

Patrick S
Jun 12, 2013, 10:01 PM
So I was doing some surfing on the Internet and found out that no skyscraper in the country can be over 2000 feet tall because it's at risk of a plane 35,000 feet high hitting it. Not only tht but the FCC has also banned buildings over that height. That's why the tallest building here, sears tower, was built 40 years ago. I call BS to that height limit. I'm not saying we should build tht tall everywhere just where it makes sense like in Miami,New York and Chicago. I hate our buildings being shorter than those in the middle east or china.
The Sears Tower is now the Willis Tower and it's not the tallest in America anymore. That would be the new world trade tower in New York City. I think it's called Freedom Tower.

farmerk
Jun 12, 2013, 10:30 PM
So I was doing some surfing on the Internet and found out that no skyscraper in the country can be over 2000 feet tall because it's at risk of a plane 35,000 feet high hitting it. Not only tht but the FCC has also banned buildings over that height. That's why the tallest building here, sears tower, was built 40 years ago. I call BS to that height limit. I'm not saying we should build tht tall everywhere just where it makes sense like in Miami,New York and Chicago. I hate our buildings being shorter than those in the middle east or china.

That's troubling. I remember reading from the internet sometime ago that the retiring baby boomers are a threat to progress in the U.S due to their resistance to change.

With regards to Councilperson Romero, I doubt she will get re-elected if she decides to run again for city council after her El Rio/GCU mistake. From what I remember, her opponent from her last election won 40 percent of the vote (ward 1)...she's Green Party who barely spent more than $1000 on her election campaign. People where ticked off of the slow progress in her ward from what I've decipher.

Formula 1 racetrack in Tucson wasn't the first time it was proposed in Pima. I wouldn't mind having one here in Tucson/Pima. I'd rather have a racetrack than a golf course. I'm giving El Rio another 3 years of life. Thereafter, hopefully another development such as a catholic university would be proposed (oops! I forgot the catholic church is guilty of the genocide of native americans in the Americas so I guess that's a no go .... sarcasm). Battery or solar powered Formula 1 vehicles would be interesting and new.

Ritarancher
Jun 13, 2013, 1:45 AM
The Sears Tower is now the Willis Tower and it's not the tallest in America anymore. That would be the new world trade tower in New York City. I think it's called Freedom Tower.

Technically the new world trade center is taller than the Willis tower but only because of its antenna. That's how height is measured, by antenna. I call BS to that whole system though. IMO the tallest tower is still the Willis tower. It doesn't make sense to include the antenna in the height if a skyscraper.

Patrick S
Jun 13, 2013, 5:49 AM
Technically the new world trade center is taller than the Willis tower but only because of its antenna. That's how height is measured, by antenna. I call BS to that whole system though. IMO the tallest tower is still the Willis tower. It doesn't make sense to include the antenna in the height if a skyscraper.
I agree. And being from Illinois (albeit the southern part) I'll take the Willis Tower as the tallest building in North America any day.

bthom3000
Jun 13, 2013, 3:59 PM
From what i understand, the antenna on the Willis tower doesn't count for its total height. That's why the Petronas towers in Kuala Lumpur beat out the then Sears Tower for tallest building because their spires were part of the "initial design intent" of the building and the Sears Tower antenna were not. That is also why the Freedom Tower's antenna was counted in its total height of 1776ft.
I wish they'd do it by height occupiable floor. That seems like a better way to go about judging which building is taller.

Technically the new world trade center is taller than the Willis tower but only because of its antenna. That's how height is measured, by antenna. I call BS to that whole system though. IMO the tallest tower is still the Willis tower. It doesn't make sense to include the antenna in the height if a skyscraper.

Qwijib0
Jun 13, 2013, 10:10 PM
car #1 is done, now being tested in oregon according to the streetcar twitter feed

http://i.imgur.com/MVs1qTz.jpg

cdsuofa
Jun 13, 2013, 11:30 PM
Car looks nice. Too bad the system wont be running for the start of the school year, as im sure Cadence had hoped. The way its going the start of next years fall semester is a better target.

Locofresh55
Jun 14, 2013, 12:07 AM
car #1 is done, now being tested in oregon according to the streetcar twitter feed

http://i.imgur.com/MVs1qTz.jpg


I gotta say, I like the color scheme they used for Sun Link and Sun Tran. We got away from the typical southwest color scheme. The color scheme makes it look more urban IMO. I was worried that they would go with a purple and turquoise mixed in with some yellow and orange scheme. Not saying it is bad, but a good color scheme will make the ride somewhat more enjoyable.


Living in Tokyo, I see a big variety of trains and for the most part, the trains here are awesome but there are a few where I look at them and think, "what were they thinking with the color scheme". Just saying, it matters more than you might think.

ProfessorMole
Jun 14, 2013, 5:54 PM
Read through some of the files for the Pima Bond Meeting this morning. A couple interesting things caught my eye based on the discussions that have been going lately.

There is a proposal in to convert Rillito Downs into more soccer fields.

There is 10.8M in for the Tech Park for access improvements.

All kinds of other stuff in the link below if you want to drudge through a couple hundred pages of stuff. :cheers:

Pima Bond Project Report (http://www.bonds.pima.gov/future/Correspondence/2013/bd-future-bond-election-peoject-updates-resubmit-new-5-17-2013-FULL-REPORT.pdf)

farmerk
Jun 17, 2013, 9:09 PM
car #1 is done, now being tested in oregon according to the streetcar twitter feed

http://i.imgur.com/MVs1qTz.jpg

Nice. Looks much nicer without the front bumper. Hopefully, the next generation of streetcars would look like this :

http://transit.toronto.on.ca/archives/data/images/050604_light_rail_200.jpg

nickw252
Jun 18, 2013, 12:23 AM
Technically the new world trade center is taller than the Willis tower but only because of its antenna. That's how height is measured, by antenna. I call BS to that whole system though. IMO the tallest tower is still the Willis tower. It doesn't make sense to include the antenna in the height if a skyscraper.

See:

http://www.ctbuh.org/TallBuildings/HeightStatistics/Criteria/tabid/446/language/en-GB/Default.aspx

southtucsonboy77
Jun 19, 2013, 3:04 PM
Streetcar ready for riders next summer (http://azstarnet.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/streetcar-ready-for-riders-next-summer/article_16feaec0-8c40-5015-8f16-d2216a5f486d.html)

The most interesting part of this link was not the news about the streetcar, but the following article discussing the sale of City of Tucson property off of Speedway and Tyndale and relocating the Direct Center for Independence. This is next door to the Hub and Level.

A private dorm developer has offered to purchase the property, but the City decided to put it out to bid and see what other offers are out there. That's a smart move...for the fact that you'll have West University and other conspiracy theorists thinking a behind-the-scene deal was made.

My small concern is that would/could it be too soon to build another private dorm development?

clintjreed
Jun 19, 2013, 8:49 PM
Great news for another restaurant opening downtown...

http://www.downtowntucson.org/2013/06/good-things-take-root-downtown-at-good-oak-bar/

farmerk
Jun 19, 2013, 9:33 PM
Streetcar ready for riders next summer (http://azstarnet.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/streetcar-ready-for-riders-next-summer/article_16feaec0-8c40-5015-8f16-d2216a5f486d.html)

The most interesting part of this link was not the news about the streetcar, but the following article discussing the sale of City of Tucson property off of Speedway and Tyndale and relocating the Direct Center for Independence. This is next door to the Hub and Level.

A private dorm developer has offered to purchase the property, but the City decided to put it out to bid and see what other offers are out there. That's a smart move...for the fact that you'll have West University and other conspiracy theorists thinking a behind-the-scene deal was made.

My small concern is that would/could it be too soon to build another private dorm development?

I personally wouldn't care if it's another student housing as long as it's at least 10 floors. Looks like the trend or standard in Tucson is 10 floors minimum for building construction. I have this feeling that Tucson will soon have a 20+ floor building. :fingerscrossed:

Ted Lyons
Jun 19, 2013, 11:11 PM
Streetcar ready for riders next summer (http://azstarnet.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/streetcar-ready-for-riders-next-summer/article_16feaec0-8c40-5015-8f16-d2216a5f486d.html)

The most interesting part of this link was not the news about the streetcar, but the following article discussing the sale of City of Tucson property off of Speedway and Tyndale and relocating the Direct Center for Independence. This is next door to the Hub and Level.

A private dorm developer has offered to purchase the property, but the City decided to put it out to bid and see what other offers are out there. That's a smart move...for the fact that you'll have West University and other conspiracy theorists thinking a behind-the-scene deal was made.

My small concern is that would/could it be too soon to build another private dorm development?

Yeah. That was a smart move by the city. Chances are the same developer will buy the property anyway. The City Council also recommended approval of the liquor license for Hudson Restaurant at 4th and 9th last night. Hopefully, that means construction on that building will get going soon as I believe all the other permits had previously been approved.

Ritarancher
Jun 20, 2013, 6:56 AM
Then i found the zoning rules for the Main Gate District. Looks like they plan to get a lot of new development in there.
http://i42.tinypic.com/dowigy.jpg

i also got a link to the company that is in charge of the Main Gate District Planning. Nothing I've found on their website yet, but i assume they will update soon. http://www.shepleybulfinch.com/ and here is the document http://www.tucsonaz.gov/SIREPub/cache/2/3775429C2C20CE43925100C33333337373374554544557/425402003212012025327648.pdf
[/QUOTE]

If this image gives us any indication of what the height will be of a building on Tyndall and Speedway it says it will be 6 stories and about 84 feet tall. That means about 14 feet per floor. Or if it includes a parking garage the heights of the floors will be different. I once hated the height limits but I've accepted them now. Level is the tallest building that area needs,I'd be fine with a 200 footer there, anyway the area was designed for the tallest buildings to be in the centerish and the smaller on the outside. I like it. Even if it's small, you can't beat a well crafted skyline. The demand for the lots is also a great effect of the streetcar. IF the lot of Tyndall and speedway goes to auction it would be like asking "who is willing to pay the most for land that can only have a 6 story building on it" and thanks to the streetcar, people are willing to bid for that land and the property value goes up. West University should be thanking the city for their new property value increases that are coming very soon. The more we build the more the value goes up.

bleunick
Jun 20, 2013, 3:15 PM
Im pretty sure the property they are putting out to bid is actually the one represented in grey on that "allowable height map," which would allow for 12 stories not 6...

Ritarancher
Jun 22, 2013, 7:51 AM
Im pretty sure the property they are putting out to bid is actually the one represented in grey on that "allowable height map," which would allow for 12 stories not 6...

oops, I didn't think when I wrote that and sorry to anqrew for the quote not working and crediting you

Ted Lyons
Jun 23, 2013, 4:41 AM
I drove by The Junction student housing site in Iron Horse today and it looks like grading has been going on for a little while. Equipment was parked on the site and some construction company banners were posted on the fence.

ComplotDesigner
Jun 23, 2013, 9:52 PM
One East Broadway (06-21-13)

http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/5461/sbul.jpg

Ted Lyons
Jun 24, 2013, 1:54 AM
Forgot to post this the other day, but here's a shot from the garage near my office of Level and Hub. I think the elevator shaft at Hub is at the 7th floor right now.

http://i.imgur.com/wbQdWIz.jpg?2

Ritarancher
Jun 24, 2013, 3:54 AM
Forgot to post this the other day, but here's a shot from the garage near my office of Level and Hub. I think the elevator shaft at Hub is at the 7th floor right now.

http://i.imgur.com/wbQdWIz.jpg?2

Wow, level is one of the greatest towers in the city. And the 1 east broadway is noticeable from the freeway but we'd need it to be just two stories taller to improve the skyline. I can't wait for Park Avenue and Hub, hopefully an apartment can be built across from level.. As a city we need to get out of our traditional apartments and start to build up

Patrick S
Jun 24, 2013, 6:08 AM
Forgot to post this the other day, but here's a shot from the garage near my office of Level and Hub. I think the elevator shaft at Hub is at the 7th floor right now.

http://i.imgur.com/wbQdWIz.jpg?2
I check out the camera for the Hub every morning and every night. I've been trying to count the floors of the elevator shaft, and you can barely see the holes on the side for each floor. I was thinking it looked like it was on the 7th right now too.

Ted Lyons
Jun 24, 2013, 1:50 PM
In re the student housing projects, I think the project on Park is above ground level now. At least it looks that way from beyond the fence.

farmerk
Jun 24, 2013, 9:10 PM
Im pretty sure the property they are putting out to bid is actually the one represented in grey on that "allowable height map," which would allow for 12 stories not 6...

Thanks for that correction. 12 stories is better than 6, IMHO.

btw, I passed by the old Armory Park Apts downtown and they have at least the top 3 floors 'glassed' . So much excitement happening downtown and the UA ...

ProfessorMole
Jun 25, 2013, 11:11 PM
Love the photo from downtown. I see Hub out my window at work and they're moving up quickly. Also looks like more activity at the bottom the past couple days, so might see the first floor show up soon.

Talking a little further north, it looks like there's finally movement on starting the second half of the Marana Marketplace just south of Orange Grove and Thornydale. Special Inspection Certificate from the 11th looks like a Conn's (http://www.conns.com) will be the first thing going in.

Property Search Permits: 6080 Thornydale (http://www.tucsonaz.gov/PRO/Command?command=InitialProcess&mode=All+Permits+for+this+Address&calledFromJsp=AddressDisplay&street_no=6080&street_direction=N&street_name=THORNYDALE+RD&SearchButton=6080%A0N%A0THORNYDALE%A0RD%A0%A085741)

Ritarancher
Jun 26, 2013, 1:05 AM
I read on inside Tucson business that the passages of tucson is "back I business" but The article was 2 paragraphs long and not very descriptive of what was going on. They also mentioned that've website is down for the center. It seems as though the Tucson economy is back to what it was before the recession. Just not our home values. Anyway, I thought the center was neary 10 million square feet of stores. That would make it the largest mall on our planet. However, I'm concerned with the fact that we don't really need this much space. It'd be a dead mall like the elcon was. But I guess I'm for it we need to beat china in something, the've got the largest mall, larger skyscrapers, better education and a faster growing economy.

Patrick S
Jun 26, 2013, 6:13 AM
I read on inside Tucson business that the passages of tucson is "back I business" but The article was 2 paragraphs long and not very descriptive of what was going on. They also mentioned that've website is down for the center. It seems as though the Tucson economy is back to what it was before the recession. Just not our home values. Anyway, I thought the center was neary 10 million square feet of stores. That would make it the largest mall on our planet. However, I'm concerned with the fact that we don't really need this much space. It'd be a dead mall like the elcon was. But I guess I'm for it we need to beat china in something, the've got the largest mall, larger skyscrapers, better education and a faster growing economy.
This article from last week from Inside Tucson Business.com says the plan was for 6.2 million square feet of retail, the property is back in default, and the website for the property is no longer active.

400-acre mixed-use development in Vail is back in foreclosure (http://www.insidetucsonbusiness.com/news/acre-mixed-use-development-in-vail-is-back-in-foreclosure/article_0cac736a-d460-11e2-99d7-001a4bcf887a.html)

A nearly 400 acre mixed-used project called The Passages of Tucson that had been planned near Vail is once again on the foreclosure auction block after defaulting a second time on a $7 million loan.

The nine parcels north of Interstate 10 and west of State Route 83, the Sonoita Highway, were first noticed for a trustee’s sale in December 2010 but was postponed in March 2011 as the developers and lenders attempted to work out an agreement.

The latest foreclosure notice lists the same two entities that were original trustors when the loan was recorded in January 2006; Mountain View Investments LLC and Arizona Marketing Building LLC, both affiliates of Hoffman Development Inc., Burnsville, Minn. Robert Hoffman was a principal in the development of the Mall of America, a 2.8 million square-foot mall in Bloomington, Minn., that ranks as the largest in the U.S.

The Passages of Tucson was envisioned to include 6.2 million square feet of retail and commercial space that could include hotels and a medical facility. Plans also called for eight residential clusters, called villages, totaling about 2,400 housing units.

Construction was projected to begin in 2009 and take until about 2020 to complete. While some infrastructure improvements, such as sewer lines, have been designed and laid out, there has been no construction. The Passages of Tucson website is no longer active.

Patrick S
Jun 26, 2013, 4:51 PM
Norville, Rio Nuevo open talks on building downtown hotel (http://azstarnet.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/norville-rio-nuevo-open-talks-on-building-downtown-hotel/article_fa802c97-a58e-52b5-9ecd-59d0ca094464.html)
PROPERTY OWNER ALSO PLANS EXHIBITION SPACE NEAR TCC

Downtown property owner Allan Norville is taking another swing at building a new downtown hotel and exhibition center.

The Rio Nuevo board voted unanimously Monday night to open negotiations with Norville for the joint development of an up-to-250-room hotel and an exhibition hall across from the Tucson Convention Center, on the west side of Granada Avenue.

The talks mark the latest attempt by Norville to build a hotel on his property near the Tucson Convention Center.

Norville, who owns nearly all the private property between the TCC and Interstate 10, has been offering hotel and exhibition hall proposals since 1995. But none has progressed beyond the planning stage.

Still, Rio Nuevo Chairman Fletcher McCusker believes this latest attempt deserves a chance.

"This could be a significant opportunity for the community and Rio Nuevo," McCusker said at Monday's board meeting.

The plan is to jointly develop Rio Nuevo's 8.5-acre property where the current Greyhound Depot sits and the adjacent land owned by Norville's company Nor-Generations LLC, much of which is now used for parking or temporary exhibit halls for the Tucson Gem & Mineral Shows.

Together the two parcels could be the site for:

• a 140-250 room hotel;

• an exhibition hall;

• a parking garage for 1,200 vehicles;

• a mixed-use area with homes, shops, restaurants and access to the new streetcar line.

Details vague

Although McCusker and board members Alberto Moore and Chris Sheafe have been involved in "extensive conversations" with Norville about the hotel idea, few specifics exist on costs or if any national hotel chains are interested.

"Right now, it's all conceptual," McCusker said. "It's really early. We just want to have the discussions to see what's (doable)."

Norville was out of town and could not be reached for comment.

McCusker said he hopes to have more details on the project by the board's July meeting.

Norville's past proposals:

• In 1995 Norville had plans for a hotel and 60,000-square-foot exhibit hall, but was thwarted when the federal government condemned a third of the site for a new courthouse.

• In 2005 similar plans were rejected by the city because they conflicted with a now-defunct city plan for a public plaza that would have taken another piece of his property.

• In 2007, he responded to a Rio Nuevo solicitation for hotel proposals with plans for a 450-room hotel for $101 million with a future add-on of 300 rooms for $111 million, but lost out to another bidder, whose contract was subsequently cancelled by Rio Nuevo.

• Early last year Norville was privately invited to make another hotel pitch to city and Rio Nuevo officials behind closed doors, but that plan got bogged down in controversy over the secret session and the fight between the city and Rio Nuevo over financial issues.

Under the draft terms adopted Monday, Norville would be responsible for developing a hotel and exhibit hall. Rio Nuevo would fix a drainage issue that the TCC property creates, build a new intersection at South Granada Avenue and Cushing Street, construct, or find someone to construct, a 1,200-space parking lot, and develop a space for retail, dining, residential and pedestrian uses all within easy access to the streetcar line.

But everything's still in the nascent stages. All the board has done is authorized talks. Any agreement must return to the board for approval. Even then it wouldn't be final since the City Council must sign off an any deal.

A new hotel could induce the Gem Show to keep its annual event in Tucson.

Many have fretted the lack of a downtown hotel could cause the annual gathering of gem shows to leave the area someday.

But a new hotel and hall could decrease the likelihood Tucson's most profitable event bolts for another location, Moore said during Monday's meeting.

Norville's property is currently used for the shows as a site for large tents that serve as temporary exhibition space.

With Norville's track record though, some are taking a wait-and-see approach before prepping for any ribbon-cutting ceremony.

"Mr. Norville's plan could be something very beneficial to the area," said Councilman Paul Cunningham. "But he's been talking about this for a long time, so we'll wait and see if it comes to fruition."

If Rio Nuevo does eventually approve a deal, the district must give Greyhound one year's notice, and the city will be on the hook for relocation costs.

On StarNet: See artist's renderings of a proposed $7.8 million renovation of the Tucson Convention Center at azstarnet.com/gallery

"Mr. Norville's plan could be something very beneficial to the area. But he's been talking about this for a long time, so we'll wait and see if it comes to fruition."

Paul Cunningham, Tucson city councilman

Ted Lyons
Jun 26, 2013, 6:23 PM
I like how Cunningham blames the lack of development on Norville when his ideas have been stifled twice by eminent domain issues, once because another project was chosen over his, and finally because the city bowed to public pressure over the closed-door meeting. None of those problems were caused by Norville, so we don' really know how realistic his development ideas are.

aznate27
Jun 26, 2013, 11:42 PM
I like how Cunningham blames the lack of development on Norville when his ideas have been stifled twice by eminent domain issues, once because another project was chosen over his, and finally because the city bowed to public pressure over the closed-door meeting. None of those problems were caused by Norville, so we don' really know how realistic his development ideas are.

EXACTLY!!! If it wasn't for the blunders of the city the damn hotel would have already been built by now! The fact that their blaming Norville just shows that the city can't take responsibility for their own actions.

southtucsonboy77
Jun 27, 2013, 6:43 PM
Just doing some generic conceptuals in my head...but if the Norville hotel does get developed...with the number of rooms they mentioned...it could be a 7-12 story building. Someone can correct me here.

If they think vertical, and incorporate the exhibit space under the rooms rather than adjacent, then it can go 1 to 2 stories higher. If they can finally reach the 10-story benchmark for downtown, that would be huge in my book (I've lowered my standard the last 10 years).

Patrick S
Jun 27, 2013, 7:48 PM
Just doing some generic conceptuals in my head...but if the Norville hotel does get developed...with the number of rooms they mentioned...it could be a 7-12 story building. Someone can correct me here.

If they think vertical, and incorporate the exhibit space under the rooms rather than adjacent, then it can go 1 to 2 stories higher. If they can finally reach the 10-story benchmark for downtown, that would be huge in my book (I've lowered my standard the last 10 years).
We have seen some "taller" buildings being built downtown the last couple years, but you'd think if they can go 10+ stories near campus then they can certainly do it downtown.

ProfessorMole
Jun 27, 2013, 10:39 PM
Nice shot on the Level facebook page from the roof looking at campus. You also get just a smidge of the Park Ave construction at the bottom.

Level Roof Photo (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=409939499121659&l=6f554c96be)

farmerk
Jun 28, 2013, 1:21 AM
Nice shot on the Level facebook page from the roof looking at campus. You also get just a smidge of the Park Ave construction at the bottom.

Level Roof Photo (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=409939499121659&l=6f554c96be)

Nice shot.

I wouldn't care less who builds what downtown as long as it's tall and nice. However, local developers don't have a good track record building tall and nice buildings downtown. I'd love to see a 20+ floor luxury condo/apt downtown. A city of a million should have at least one .. or two ... or three luxury condo/apt high rises downtown :D

aznate27
Jun 28, 2013, 11:59 PM
Nice shot.

I wouldn't care less who builds what downtown as long as it's tall and nice. However, local developers don't have a good track record building tall and nice buildings downtown. I'd love to see a 20+ floor luxury condo/apt downtown. A city of a million should have at least one .. or two ... or three luxury condo/apt high rises downtown :D

It's less about population, and more about market. Tucson barely has a market for apartments downtown yet alone a skycraper of condos. Unless this city sees a huge economic boon soon, 20+ storey condo buildings won't be built anytime soon. I think between 10 and 12 stories is more realistic in the near future. Man I hope I'm wrong;)

Ritarancher
Jun 29, 2013, 6:12 AM
I've been thinking about the streetcar... I know the benefits it gave us, basically paying itself off. It's just I'm starting to doubt it. It's NOT a mass transit system. It's more of a ride to the U of A from wherever you come from and it seems like the benefits of it are limited to Student Housing,resturants and senior housing with some other apartment urbaners. Stand alone it seems weak and the benefits are not paying the city off for the 200 million they spent. I can see a huge benefit if we make a light rail, real mass transit, but have a nice station where you can get off the light rail and you get immediently on the street car that can help. What also can help is if the light rail has two tracks, one on broadway and another down kino/airport/Raytheon. The kino track should also lead to another stretcar down by the airport/raytheon. I know that the city is pushing developers to bring work down there. I don't know how much that would cost but anything under 600 million would make that project worthy. Hopefully the south side would benefit from the rail and be less "undesirable"

farmerk
Jun 29, 2013, 6:24 PM
It's less about population, and more about market. Tucson barely has a market for apartments downtown yet alone a skycraper of condos. Unless this city sees a huge economic boon soon, 20+ storey condo buildings won't be built anytime soon. I think between 10 and 12 stories is more realistic in the near future. Man I hope I'm wrong;)

There's a lot of surprises lately. Who knows?! :)

There's been several attempts to build luxury whatever downtown within the last decades only to be turned down by Tucson's famous anti-growth/business culture . Still have remnants of that with CouncilBabe Romero rejecting GCU at El Rio Golf. I've been hearing rumors last few years that high rise condo(s) are in the works ... that's where my confidence lies that those types of buildings will be built. I believe the COT plan is build student and low income housing for the disabled and elderly, then market rate housing and lastly luxury housing downtown.

I agree, it's gonna have to be at least 10 floors. But who knows , maybe, 20+ plus.

farmerk
Jun 29, 2013, 6:29 PM
I've been thinking about the streetcar... I know the benefits it gave us, basically paying itself off. It's just I'm starting to doubt it. It's NOT a mass transit system. It's more of a ride to the U of A from wherever you come from and it seems like the benefits of it are limited to Student Housing,resturants and senior housing with some other apartment urbaners. Stand alone it seems weak and the benefits are not paying the city off for the 200 million they spent. I can see a huge benefit if we make a light rail, real mass transit, but have a nice station where you can get off the light rail and you get immediently on the street car that can help. What also can help is if the light rail has two tracks, one on broadway and another down kino/airport/Raytheon. The kino track should also lead to another stretcar down by the airport/raytheon. I know that the city is pushing developers to bring work down there. I don't know how much that would cost but anything under 600 million would make that project worthy. Hopefully the south side would benefit from the rail and be less "undesirable"

That streetcar has done wonders downtown already but yes, I agree , in the long run it would be a waste if it doesn't get extended beyond it's current length. I'm hoping they start extending it to Broadway then 6th Ave to airport.

Patrick S
Jun 30, 2013, 12:48 AM
That streetcar has done wonders downtown already but yes, I agree , in the long run it would be a waste if it doesn't get extended beyond it's current length. I'm hoping they start extending it to Broadway then 6th Ave to airport.

No, no, no. That would be a waste. Light-rail to the airport/Bridges/Kino Stadium/Raytheon & down Broadway is the only way to go. A modern-streetcar on city streets to the airport wouldn't work. It would take too long. It needs to be light-rail on dedicated lanes for those routes to be practical.

Thirsty
Jun 30, 2013, 3:54 AM
No, no, no. That would be a waste. Light-rail to the airport/Bridges/Kino Stadium/Raytheon & down Broadway is the only way to go. A modern-streetcar on city streets to the airport wouldn't work. It would take too long. It needs to be light-rail on dedicated lanes for those routes to be practical.

^This! Streetcars are defensible because of the development they bring, but it is just a bus without tires. People will drive downtown and use it to hop between the attractions it helped get built, and that is fantastic. But nobody with a car is riding more than a mile or two on something that gets stuck in traffic and stops every 100 yards. If we're gonna connect the suburban HUBs to downtown via rail it should be light-rail, elevated-rail or nothing.

Same goes for most of the FUBAR proposals for the PHX-TUC "high speed rail" Three stops max between the two downtowns, and keep the trip under 100 minutes. Otherwise, it is a ten billion dollar novelty.

Ritarancher
Jun 30, 2013, 2:50 PM
^This! Streetcars are defensible because of the development they bring, but it is just a bus without tires. People will drive downtown and use it to hop between the attractions it helped get built, and that is fantastic. But nobody with a car is riding more than a mile or two on something that gets stuck in traffic and stops every 100 yards. If we're gonna connect the suburban HUBs to downtown via rail it should be light-rail, elevated-rail or nothing.

Same goes for most of the FUBAR proposals for the PHX-TUC "high speed rail" Three stops max between the two downtowns, and keep the trip under 100 minutes. Otherwise, it is a ten billion dollar novelty.

One stop in casa grade max! I'd be fine with 2 stops in Phoenix at downtown and SkyHarbor and dowtownt Tucson and the airport here.

Patrick S
Jun 30, 2013, 7:01 PM
^This! Streetcars are defensible because of the development they bring, but it is just a bus without tires. People will drive downtown and use it to hop between the attractions it helped get built, and that is fantastic. But nobody with a car is riding more than a mile or two on something that gets stuck in traffic and stops every 100 yards. If we're gonna connect the suburban HUBs to downtown via rail it should be light-rail, elevated-rail or nothing.

Same goes for most of the FUBAR proposals for the PHX-TUC "high speed rail" Three stops max between the two downtowns, and keep the trip under 100 minutes. Otherwise, it is a ten billion dollar novelty.
Totally agree. I support the streetcar and think it is mainly responsible for the growth in and around downtown and the U of A (especially with student housing), but it's effectiveness as a transit system (especially mass transit) is limited. The route it will be serving is perfect for it, but for mass transit to the farther flung corners of the city and metro area we need a light-rail system.

Also, there's an article in the print edition (but not the on-line edition) of the AZ Daily Star about how the county is trying to get in on the I-11 (the proposed interstate from the Phoenix metro-area to Las Vegas) bandwagon. Their proposal is to move the interstate west of the Tucson Mountains and connect it to I-19, then to I-10 via the proposed Aerospace Parkway. Interesting idea and a good read if anyone gets the chance to read it.

Thirsty
Jun 30, 2013, 9:28 PM
Also, there's an article in the print edition (but not the on-line edition) of the AZ Daily Star about how the county is trying to get in on the I-11 (the proposed interstate from the Phoenix metro-area to Las Vegas) bandwagon. Their proposal is to move the interstate west of the Tucson Mountains and connect it to I-19, then to I-10 via the proposed Aerospace Parkway. Interesting idea and a good read if anyone gets the chance to read it.

This would effectively create the I-10 PHX/TUC bypass correct?

Ritarancher
Jun 30, 2013, 10:57 PM
This would effectively create the I-10 PHX/TUC bypass correct?
Gets us to where we need to go, VEGAS, creates jobs and makes a interstate ten bypass? Im on board, only if te tucson segment is 3 lanes.Well the Hotel owners should pitch in a little Since that's the main reason we go to Vegas. I guarantee you that Vegas will get more sales from AZ but more importantly, mexco

Patrick S
Jul 1, 2013, 3:59 AM
This would effectively create the I-10 PHX/TUC bypass correct?
The article essentially said this would be the case. They talked about how the measure for the I-10 bypass was defeated in 2007 because of environmental concerns. But, they also noted, that times have changed. The economy has crashed since then and there is hope that a better route, environmentally, could be found. They also mentioned that without making I-10 a double-decker freeway thru Tucson there is no more widening (beyond the existing 8 lanes) that could be created. The amount of traffic, especially trucking, that is expected in the future is going to hurt the economy because they won't use I-10 thru the city in the future. This would help alleviate those concerns. Also, the I-11, as currently envisioned, is expected to stop (on the southern end) at Casa Grande. This could potentially hurt the Port of Tucson and Tucson as a shipping hub in general, because Pinal County could become more attractive (they didn't mention the possible rail-yards proposed in Pinal County, but this could add to the attraction of that area for a shipping hub) at the detriment of Tucson. Basically, Pima County views this as a way to keep the region in the game and to make it more prosperous economically.

Ritarancher
Jul 1, 2013, 4:31 AM
The article essentially said this would be the case. They talked about how the measure for the I-10 bypass was defeated in 2007 because of environmental concerns. But, they also noted, that times have changed. The economy has crashed since then and there is hope that a better route, environmentally, could be found. They also mentioned that without making I-10 a double-decker freeway thru Tucson there is no more widening (beyond the existing 8 lanes) that could be created. The amount of traffic, especially trucking, that is expected in the future is going to hurt the economy because they won't use I-10 thru the city in the future. This would help alleviate those concerns. Also, the I-11, as currently envisioned, is expected to stop (on the southern end) at Casa Grande. This could potentially hurt the Port of Tucson and Tucson as a shipping hub in general, because Pinal County could become more attractive (they didn't mention the possible rail-yards proposed in Pinal County, but this could add to the attraction of that area for a shipping hub) at the detriment of Tucson. Basically, Pima County views this as a way to keep the region in the game and to make it more prosperous economically.

It pisses me off that Pinal county is more of a priority than Tucson. Why the f can't interstate 11 start in the city. Economy before environment.

Patrick S
Jul 1, 2013, 7:27 AM
It pisses me off that Pinal county is more of a priority than Tucson. Why the f can't interstate 11 start in the city. Economy before environment.
Pinal County is part of the Phoenix metro area as defined by the federal Census Dept. so that would be my guess why it is prioritized over Tucson, plus (old and possibly outdated) population estimates had the future population of that county as being more than Pima County (by around 2040-2050). As for environment vs. economy, I think we can have both. I don't wanna destroy the environment for the sake of short-term economic benefits that don't really help in the long-run (as I fear they will do back in my former home-state of Illinois in regards to the fracking boom that may soon start there), but I don't wanna pass up on true economic growth either. I think you can strike a balance and have both.

Anyway, here's the article from the AZ Daily Star:

Tucson may see another interstate (http://azstarnet.com/business/local/tucson-may-see-another-interstate/article_826cbc8a-059d-5e30-b25e-613adc5e6a7d.html)
COUNTY IS PROPOSING I-11 ROUTE AS PART OF MEXICO TRADE CORRIDOR
Gabriela Rico Arizona Daily Star

A new interstate could loop around Tucson's west side if local officials can marshal community support.

The southern end of the proposed Interstate 11, which would become part of the Canamex trade corridor, initially was to stop in Casa Grande.

The assumption was that Pima County's 2007 resolution opposing a bypass highway to accommodate freight trucks meant excluding Pima County.

That resolution stemmed from environmental concerns because the previously proposed routes ran through the Avra, San Pedro or Aravaipa valleys.

But the combination of an economic crisis, Mexico's booming manufacturing industry, renewed interest in creating a regional distribution hub and an environmentally friendly route could wipe out that opposition. At least that's what county officials are hoping as they prepare to present a proposed Interstate 11 route in Southern Arizona.

A draft of the proposed route was presented earlier this month to the Arizona-Mexico Commission.

Its 56-mile Pima County path would loop west, behind the Tucson Mountains and the San Xavier District of the Tohono O'odham Nation, then connect to I-19 near Sahuarita. From there, it would veer east as part of the proposed Aerospace Parkway on the city's southeast side and connect to I-10 near Rita Road, where the University of Arizona Tech Park, Port of Tucson and Target Fulfillment Center are located.

Southbound exports could travel I-19 to Mexico and - from the Port of Guaymas - to markets in Latin America, Europe and Asia.

Northbound imports could avert city traffic and connect from I-19 to the Port of Tucson or move to markets on the East Coast via I-10.

Citing "significant economic threats" from California and Texas to lure exports away from Arizona to their ports of entry, county officials told commission members the interstate could help retain our current flow of trade and encourage more.

Canada-to-mexico route

The Canamex Corridor, as defined by Congress in the 1995 National Highway Systems Designation Act, is a joint effort involving Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Utah and Montana.

It calls for the development of a continuous four-lane roadway from Mexico through the U.S. into Canada to facilitate trade among the three countries and minimize traffic and congestion. Interstates 10 and 19 are already designated segments of the Canamex Corridor.

"The current corridor is as good as it's going to get without double-decking it," John Moffatt, director of strategic planning for Pima County, said of the I-10 segment that runs through the city.

The federal government has spent about $500 million on the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales and the Hoover Bypass Bridge in Northern Arizona.

"And we have nothing in between," Moffatt said. "As trade activity increases we can't drive all that traffic right through the middle of town."

Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said the 2007 resolution by the Board of Supervisors opposing a bypass highway still stands, but "it stated that we continue to look for alternatives with minimal (environmental) impact."

He called it critical that a southern spur be part of the master plan for the new interstate.

The first draft of I-11 connects Las Vegas to Phoenix and continues south to Casa Grande, meaning distributors could find Pinal County more attractive because of the access to the corridor.

"The concept of Interstate 11 should be from Canada to Guaymas and not stop north of the Gila," Huckelberry said. "We cannot be left out of this."

He expects to send a formal proposal to the Pima Association of Governments this week.

PAG is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for the region and tasked with developing long-range transportation plans.

The association will host a meeting for the I-11 and Intermountain West Corridor Study in mid-July to focus on the potential Southern Arizona Connectivity Segment, it said in a written response to a Star query.

Should Pima County balk at the interstate, it could run through Yuma or Douglas to reach Mexico, the Intermountain West Corridor Study shows.

The study is a joint effort between Arizona and Nevada. Visit i11study.com for more information and updates.

No price or funding source has been identified for the project.

stronger Mexico ties

The buzz around the proposed interstate comes at a time when Arizona is pushing for strengthened relations with Mexico and increased logistics activity in the region.

The city of Tucson recently applied for a silence ordinance at four train crossings in the heart of the city to abate noise pollution, in anticipation of increased rail cargo rolling through town.

The city's general plan has added, "Increase economic partnerships with Mexico" "Promote Tucson as an international port and regional hub for business" and "Support the expansion of passenger and freight service" to its economic development policy.

Imagine Greater Tucson has identified distribution and logistics as a high-priority industry to recruit and will hold town halls in the fall to answer questions and address concerns from residents about the impact of increased trade activity.

And Gov. Jan Brewer, who in recent years only mentioned Mexico in the context of border security and drug trafficking, has embraced rebuilding economic relations.

Last year she established the Trade and Transportation Corridor Alliance to study trade opportunities and establishing global logistics in Arizona.

The governor also reinstated a position to promote international trade - a post that had been eliminated in 2008 due to the economic downturn.

In Pima County, Huckelberry would like to see the proposed parkway along Hughes Access Road become a magnet for the distribution industry.

Moffatt said the regional plan will be modeled after the successful GTR Global Industrial Aerospace Park in Jackson, Miss., which invested in the infrastructure to lure the industry.

Since 2003, the city, county and private sector have invested $100 million in infrastructure. In return, the region has received $3.4 billion in investments from the distribution and logistics industry, creating more than 4,000 new jobs.

Here's some links to a couple maps for the possible interstate:
http://azstarnet.com/interstate-map/image_e8365d52-e1c5-11e2-95cf-001a4bcf887a.html

http://azstarnet.com/interstate-map/image_ea9a5526-e1c5-11e2-9aea-001a4bcf887a.html

aznate27
Jul 1, 2013, 4:30 PM
It pisses me off that Pinal county is more of a priority than Tucson. Why the f can't interstate 11 start in the city. Economy before environment.

"Economy before the environment"???:koko: Without the environment there is no economy, DUH! IF you choose to ignore the impact of a project on it's environment, then you just screw the very economy your trying to create. Humans have ignored the environment for a hundred years, and now we face a worldwide catastrophe in climate change that threatens the global economy and BILLIONS of lives across the planet over the next one hundred years. Why do you think we have environmental impact studies for major projects around the globe?? So we don't F the planet up any more than we already have. It's the only home we humans got, better treat it with respect.

Ritarancher
Jul 2, 2013, 2:06 AM
"Economy before the environment"???:koko: Without the environment there is no economy, DUH! IF you choose to ignore the impact of a project on it's environment, then you just screw the very economy your trying to create. Humans have ignored the environment for a hundred years, and now we face a worldwide catastrophe in climate change that threatens the global economy and BILLIONS of lives across the planet over the next one hundred years. Why do you think we have environmental impact studies for major projects around the globe?? So we don't F the planet up any more than we already have. It's the only home we humans got, better treat it with respect.

Sorry, I'm vacation and should have specified that but ive just been using y iphone. I meant for that specific project. Knowing what I know, our environment is more than able to handle a freeway. Remember what I do for a living. Unless some idiot planned the original road right through the largest patch of saguaros in the desert or a large and important wash way. I don't spit on the environment but when it offers us something I think we should accept it, like the rosempnt mine. Its 2013 and we know how to balance both environment and economy but most developers DON'T want to combine both and most want to just be most profitable. However a roadway in the desert? That's not as damaging as it seems if you do it right

bleunick
Jul 2, 2013, 3:24 PM
Sorry, I'm vacation and should have specified that but ive just been using y iphone. I meant for that specific project. Knowing what I know, our environment is more than able to handle a freeway. Remember what I do for a living. Unless some idiot planned the original road right through the largest patch of saguaros in the desert or a large and important wash way. I don't spit on the environment but when it offers us something I think we should accept it, like the rosempnt mine. Its 2013 and we know how to balance both environment and economy but most developers DON'T want to combine both and most want to just be most profitable. However a roadway in the desert? That's not as damaging as it seems if you do it right

Im not sure I understand why there needs to be a Tucson bypass for I-11. The possible benefit of creating a freeway that just circles around the tucson mts just doesn't seem to make much sense to me. Can somebody please explain to me how this is a win for Tucson???

Also, theres a lot more to the environment than just saving saguaros and washes...

Patrick S
Jul 2, 2013, 4:40 PM
Im not sure I understand why there needs to be a Tucson bypass for I-11. The possible benefit of creating a freeway that just circles around the tucson mts just doesn't seem to make much sense to me. Can somebody please explain to me how this is a win for Tucson???

Also, theres a lot more to the environment than just saving saguaros and washes...
The thought (or so I gather from the article) is that for Tucson to be fully realized as an inland port and shipping center, the southern spur of I-11 needs to be built in Pima County.

From the article:
"He called it critical that a southern spur be part of the master plan for the new interstate.
The first draft of I-11 connects Las Vegas to Phoenix and continues south to Casa Grande, meaning distributors could find Pinal County more attractive because of the access to the corridor."

"Should Pima County balk at the interstate, it could run through Yuma or Douglas to reach Mexico, the Intermountain West Corridor Study shows."

- So, it seems that the concern is that shipping centers could be built in Pinal County instead of here. This could be further helped (as I mentioned, but not in the article) by the proposed rail-yards to be built in Pinal County. Also, the final quote talks about how the Canamex Corridor could be routed thru Yuma or Douglas into Mexico, which would be even worse for the region.

Also, for practical purposes, the article states of the 4-lanes in each direction thru Tucson, "'The current corridor is as good as it's going to get without double-decking it,' John Moffatt, director of strategic planning for Pima County, said of the I-10 segment that runs through the city." - So, in other words, there will be no more widening of I-10 thru the heart of the city. The article further says, "As trade activity increases we can't drive all that traffic right through the middle of town." - So, they're saying that car traffic will increase as the population increases and that trucking traffic will only increase. It will only get more difficult to drive thru the city on I-10 without the I-11 spur.

ppdd
Jul 3, 2013, 12:06 AM
A lot of this has to do with long term planning for the arizona population around 2050. Transportation projections put the I-10 corridor at 300% capacity, even with freeway expanded to something like 10 lanes. The stretch between Tucson and Phoenix becomes a nationwide freight bottleneck, pushing import commerce away from the Mariposa port of entry to other less congested areas.

Having I-10 as it is, with no bypass, puts the population at risk in the event of accidents or other road closures. If the city needed to evacuate for some reason, there's only one route. If there's an accident, freight going north backs up. If the road is at or way over capacity, the odds of accidents or closures goes up. There is no redundancy.

The route from Phoenix to Las Vegas is designated as I-11, but the routes above and below, if any, are totally in flux. Pima County has had an absolute no bypass policy that has created headaches for ADOT in planning, and now there are efforts to create wiggle room in that policy - it's a good exploration.

Ritarancher
Jul 4, 2013, 9:57 PM
A lot of this has to do with long term planning for the arizona population around 2050. Transportation projections put the I-10 corridor at 300% capacity, even with freeway expanded to something like 10 lanes. The stretch between Tucson and Phoenix becomes a nationwide freight bottleneck, pushing import commerce away from the Mariposa port of entry to other less congested areas.

Having I-10 as it is, with no bypass, puts the population at risk in the event of accidents or other road closures. If the city needed to evacuate for some reason, there's only one route. If there's an accident, freight going north backs up. If the road is at or way over capacity, the odds of accidents or closures goes up. There is no redundancy.

The route from Phoenix to Las Vegas is designated as I-11, but the routes above and below, if any, are totally in flux. Pima County has had an absolute no bypass policy that has created headaches for ADOT in planning, and now there are efforts to create wiggle room in that policy - it's a good exploration.

Interstate 11 is for multiple reasons including those listed above but it has some more benefits that were not listed,
Saguaro National Park, The Desert Museum and Old Tucson are probably the most popular attractions in the city. In order to get to these attractions tourist and city residents are forced to go through Ajo, an area in need of a facelift. With I-11 the travelers can go through a nicer area and arrive at their destination faster.
The new interstate also provides Vail to sahuarita travel. A much needed connection. With the road we are also open to new freeway possibilities, helping prevent a freeway less side of town, such as today's east side.

I am also impressed by the city or county's speed in making these plans.
http://www.pima.gov/Administration/transportation/AppXtender%20-%20CA_OUTCORR%20-%202013.pdf

This is a link of information that the county has pulled together in the last few days, Let me tell you the speed in which the county managed to make this seems impressive. This project might be the freeway we've always wanted and needed

southtucsonboy77
Jul 5, 2013, 4:57 PM
A proposed project should never be shot down due to ignorance...the I-11 proposal deserves more exploration due to its potential economic benefit to the Tucson region. The environmental impacts may or may not be too significant, but we won't know unless the NEPA process is initiated.

Shooting down something as important as this because a politician, an activist, or the Daily Star says its bad or negative is why our region is a joke. Inside Tucson Business has a good article on how some activists on the west-side are now regretful on how quick they were to shoot down the GCU proposal without understanding all the economic benefits. Are we gonna keep making that same mistake?


Grand Canyon University article (http://www.insidetucsonbusiness.com/opinion/editorials/good-news-about-grand-canyon-u/article_e0c14c04-df5d-11e2-9d42-0019bb2963f4.html)

southtucsonboy77
Jul 5, 2013, 5:55 PM
One more thought...like someone mentioned...the roadway itself may not have negative environmental impacts, but the land use adjacent to it may. Therefore, let's say this roadway is approved...measures have to be taken to assure that development is located at strategic points and is kept at a minimum and/or non-existent.

aznate27
Jul 8, 2013, 3:53 PM
I have been wanting something to happen to this corner forever! I'm hoping they end up putting a 5-7 story mixed use building. Maybe a hotel with shops. Giving height to that corner would look great with the new Aloft across the street.

'Gateway' retail center proposed for University of Arizona corner

Upscale complex would replace old buildings, and possibly be built as public-private venture

The University of Arizona may be adding some pizazz to a busy midtown corner that's showing its age.

Officials are considering a public-private venture to put an upscale retail-commercial complex at the northwest corner of East Speedway and North Campbell Avenue, part of a campus gateway area.

It would replace a pair of two-story block buildings that have stood there since the 1960s: the Babcock Apartments owned by the UA, and the privately owned Palm Shadows Apartments.

The corner would have "a much-improved visual appearance," if the project comes to pass, said Bob Smith, the UA's vice president for business affairs.

An added bonus: if things work out as UA hopes, "very little, if any, public funding" would be required, Smith said.

The university recently began talks with a private landowner who expressed interest in doing a joint project. Cost estimates are not available because the talks are still at an early stage.

"It would likely be at least one or two years before any of this would become a reality," Smith said.

The UA has drawn criticism from some supporters over the jumble of fast-food joints and aged buildings that ring some sections of campus.

Just south of the proposed new complex, for example, a Taco Bell borders a Wendy's, which is adjacent to the campus police headquarters.

The UA also is looking at another public-private project in the area: a student housing complex with a child-care center on a site north of East Mabel Street and east of North Park Avenue.

The site has several older UA buildings on it, including those formerly know as the Corleone Apartments.

If the new housing project goes ahead, it would be a "low-rise facility intended to transition effectively into the neighborhood," Smith said.

"The facility would be geared toward older professional and graduate students" affiliated with nearby programs in the UA's law, business, engineering and medical schools, he said.

The day-care center, to be leased by the UA and operated by the College of Education, "would meet a long-standing need for child care in the UA campus vicinity," said a recent report to the Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees the state's public universities.

The housing project also is still at the concept stage, Smith said.

Officials "must learn more about it before proceeding more seriously," he said.

Contact reporter Carol Ann Alaimo at calaimo@azstarnet.com or at 573-4138.

Ritarancher
Jul 8, 2013, 5:26 PM
I have been wanting something to happen to this corner forever! I'm hoping they end up putting a 5-7 story mixed use building. Maybe a hotel with shops. Giving height to that corner would look great with the new Aloft across the street.

'Gateway' retail center proposed for University of Arizona corner

Upscale complex would replace old buildings, and possibly be built as public-private venture



That sounds like a good plan to me. That intersection has already improved with the remodeling of the Sheraton. Actually, most of speedway has improved. I noticed that most car dealers are remodeling and there's some pretty interesting buildings with some cool neon lights and newer buildings or older buildings that were designed well and maintained over the years. The whole road is ok IMO. There's a few things that need fixing or replacement but overall it's a decent stretch of 20 miles

Ritarancher
Jul 8, 2013, 5:47 PM
I was driving on I-10 and noticed that the lot south of the sentinel plaza appears to have a foundation. That is labeled as Block E in this plan, http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a228/kaneui/MissionDistrictMasterplan.jpg Block E also appears to have space for multiple buildings. I don't know the relevancy of this plan, things might have changed, but I think we should be expecting a building over 5 stories, unless they're just placing a parking lot. It's hard to tell. I think the cement is closer to the river than the other spaces in E. I don't remember who posted it but I think I recall something about 10 story buildings next to the river. That sounds good but I am wondering how something that tall will fit with the theme of the area.
Anyway I looked it up to see what was happening and found nothing so I looked up West End Station to see if that's still happening and it seems that it is. I have no idea what it's going to look like but I think I've got a basic idea of the shape of the building.Another thing that I noticed is that the building that will be located in block F seems to have a constant design in all renderings of it so I think it's safe to assume what it's going to look like. http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a228/kaneui/MissionDistrictsign.jpg


Here's the website I found for west end and block F
http://www.loopnet.com/xNet/MainSite/Listing/Profile/Profile.aspx?LID=17328080
It has some renderings of the area but it's really confusing. Its a website to lease retail space in the building and has a floor plan of west end station but has renderings of the building in block F and not really any of west end station.

andrewsaturn
Jul 9, 2013, 12:49 AM
I have been wanting something to happen to this corner forever! I'm hoping they end up putting a 5-7 story mixed use building. Maybe a hotel with shops. Giving height to that corner would look great with the new Aloft across the street.

'Gateway' retail center proposed for University of Arizona corner

Upscale complex would replace old buildings, and possibly be built as public-private venture

The University of Arizona may be adding some pizazz to a busy midtown corner that's showing its age.

Officials are considering a public-private venture to put an upscale retail-commercial complex at the northwest corner of East Speedway and North Campbell Avenue, part of a campus gateway area.

It would replace a pair of two-story block buildings that have stood there since the 1960s: the Babcock Apartments owned by the UA, and the privately owned Palm Shadows Apartments.

The corner would have "a much-improved visual appearance," if the project comes to pass, said Bob Smith, the UA's vice president for business affairs.

An added bonus: if things work out as UA hopes, "very little, if any, public funding" would be required, Smith said.

The university recently began talks with a private landowner who expressed interest in doing a joint project. Cost estimates are not available because the talks are still at an early stage.

"It would likely be at least one or two years before any of this would become a reality," Smith said.

The UA has drawn criticism from some supporters over the jumble of fast-food joints and aged buildings that ring some sections of campus.

Just south of the proposed new complex, for example, a Taco Bell borders a Wendy's, which is adjacent to the campus police headquarters.

The UA also is looking at another public-private project in the area: a student housing complex with a child-care center on a site north of East Mabel Street and east of North Park Avenue.

The site has several older UA buildings on it, including those formerly know as the Corleone Apartments.

If the new housing project goes ahead, it would be a "low-rise facility intended to transition effectively into the neighborhood," Smith said.

"The facility would be geared toward older professional and graduate students" affiliated with nearby programs in the UA's law, business, engineering and medical schools, he said.

The day-care center, to be leased by the UA and operated by the College of Education, "would meet a long-standing need for child care in the UA campus vicinity," said a recent report to the Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees the state's public universities.

The housing project also is still at the concept stage, Smith said.

Officials "must learn more about it before proceeding more seriously," he said.

Contact reporter Carol Ann Alaimo at calaimo@azstarnet.com or at 573-4138.

I hope this gets designed and approved for this year so they could get started next year. Those buildings also houses the UofA second language department as well. I took Thai language classes a couple of years ago and it would be good if they found a place that's closer on campus. I would like to see a design concept in the near future.

AustinBear
Jul 9, 2013, 4:09 AM
Forgive me please, if this isn't exactly "development" related news, but it's something I see as a positive for Tucson. In a news release dated June 27th, the Tucson International Airport/Tucson Airport Authority announced that Alaska airlines is going to be starting a new nonstop flight from Tucson to Portland. Any good news is something to be welcomed. Support your local airport folks! :)

http://www.flytucson.com/articles/index.cfm?action=view&articleID=339&menuID=185

Ted Lyons
Jul 9, 2013, 4:11 AM
Forgive me please, if this isn't exactly "development" related news, but it's something I see as a positive for Tucson. In a news release dated June 27th, the Tucson International Airport/Tucson Airport Authority announced that Alaska airlines is going to be starting a new nonstop flight from Tucson to Portland. Any good news is something to be welcomed. Support your local airport folks! :)

http://www.flytucson.com/articles/index.cfm?action=view&articleID=339&menuID=185

I was pretty excited about this. Also, I was down at the airport on business a few weeks ago and saw that the solar canopy project in the parking lot is pretty far along.

bleunick
Jul 9, 2013, 3:16 PM
I have been wanting something to happen to this corner forever! I'm hoping they end up putting a 5-7 story mixed use building. Maybe a hotel with shops. Giving height to that corner would look great with the new Aloft across the street.

'Gateway' retail center proposed for University of Arizona corner

Upscale complex would replace old buildings, and possibly be built as public-private venture

The University of Arizona may be adding some pizazz to a busy midtown corner that's showing its age.

Officials are considering a public-private venture to put an upscale retail-commercial complex at the northwest corner of East Speedway and North Campbell Avenue, part of a campus gateway area.

It would replace a pair of two-story block buildings that have stood there since the 1960s: the Babcock Apartments owned by the UA, and the privately owned Palm Shadows Apartments.

The corner would have "a much-improved visual appearance," if the project comes to pass, said Bob Smith, the UA's vice president for business affairs.

An added bonus: if things work out as UA hopes, "very little, if any, public funding" would be required, Smith said.

The university recently began talks with a private landowner who expressed interest in doing a joint project. Cost estimates are not available because the talks are still at an early stage.

"It would likely be at least one or two years before any of this would become a reality," Smith said.

The UA has drawn criticism from some supporters over the jumble of fast-food joints and aged buildings that ring some sections of campus.

Just south of the proposed new complex, for example, a Taco Bell borders a Wendy's, which is adjacent to the campus police headquarters.

The UA also is looking at another public-private project in the area: a student housing complex with a child-care center on a site north of East Mabel Street and east of North Park Avenue.

The site has several older UA buildings on it, including those formerly know as the Corleone Apartments.

If the new housing project goes ahead, it would be a "low-rise facility intended to transition effectively into the neighborhood," Smith said.

"The facility would be geared toward older professional and graduate students" affiliated with nearby programs in the UA's law, business, engineering and medical schools, he said.

The day-care center, to be leased by the UA and operated by the College of Education, "would meet a long-standing need for child care in the UA campus vicinity," said a recent report to the Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees the state's public universities.

The housing project also is still at the concept stage, Smith said.

Officials "must learn more about it before proceeding more seriously," he said.

Contact reporter Carol Ann Alaimo at calaimo@azstarnet.com or at 573-4138.

I had heard about a year ago that Whole Foods was looking at that corner pretty closely. I think their plan was to move their current speedway location into their own larger building, and closer to the university to tap into the student market. Being adjacent to the eastern terminus of the streetcar, that property has huge potential. Im not sure what its current zoning is, but anything built under 4 stories at that location would be a shame...

Schaeffa
Jul 9, 2013, 11:33 PM
One step closer to the rail connection between Tucson and Phoenix!

3 routes suggested for Tucson-Phoenix train (http://azstarnet.com/news/state-and-regional/routes-suggested-for-tucson-phoenix-train/article_6cb28afc-e8e6-11e2-8b2b-0019bb2963f4.html)

Three possible routes for a proposed rail line between Tucson and Phoenix have been identified by the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The state agency made the announcement this afternoon, with three possible routes being identified following a series of public meetings over the best way to serve the needs of the state’s two largest metropolitan areas.

The three proposals — identified by ADOT by the colors green, red and orange routes — offer different paths between the two area. Two of the routes serve stops in the East Valley while the third largely follows Interstate 10. The southern half of the proposed rail lines are the same, sticking close to I-10 from Eloy to the southern portion of Tucson, ending at the airport.

ADOT officials expect to identify the final route by the end of the year.

Estimates for the final costs to design, build and maintain a rail line between Tucson and Phoenix could eventually cost taxpayers between $5 billion and $10 billion.

Funding for the proposal has yet to be determined, ADOT officials said on Tuesday.

Links to the three finalist routes:
Green Route (http://www.azdot.gov/passengerrail/pdf/Green_Alternative.pdf)
Red Route (http://www.azdot.gov/passengerrail/pdf/Red_Alternative.pdf)
Yellow Route (http://www.azdot.gov/passengerrail/pdf/Yellow_Alternative.pdf)
Orange Route (http://www.azdot.gov/passengerrail/pdf/Orange_Alternative.pdf)

EDIT: The red route was changed to the yellow route. It's another alternative in the Wast Valley instead of the west through Maricopa.

Ted Lyons
Jul 9, 2013, 11:44 PM
One step closer to the rail connection between Tucson and Phoenix!

3 routes suggested for Tucson-Phoenix train (http://azstarnet.com/news/state-and-regional/routes-suggested-for-tucson-phoenix-train/article_6cb28afc-e8e6-11e2-8b2b-0019bb2963f4.html)

Three possible routes for a proposed rail line between Tucson and Phoenix have been identified by the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The state agency made the announcement this afternoon, with three possible routes being identified following a series of public meetings over the best way to serve the needs of the state’s two largest metropolitan areas.

The three proposals — identified by ADOT by the colors green, red and orange routes — offer different paths between the two area. Two of the routes serve stops in the East Valley while the third largely follows Interstate 10. The southern half of the proposed rail lines are the same, sticking close to I-10 from Eloy to the southern portion of Tucson, ending at the airport.

ADOT officials expect to identify the final route by the end of the year.

Estimates for the final costs to design, build and maintain a rail line between Tucson and Phoenix could eventually cost taxpayers between $5 billion and $10 billion.

Funding for the proposal has yet to be determined, ADOT officials said on Tuesday.

Links to the three finalist routes:
Green Route (http://www.azdot.gov/passengerrail/pdf/Green_Alternative.pdf)
Red Route (http://www.azdot.gov/passengerrail/pdf/Red_Alternative.pdf)
Orange Route (http://www.azdot.gov/passengerrail/pdf/Orange_Alternative.pdf)

Nice to see all three options end at TIA. Still doubtful this will ever be completed but, if it is, you have to think the green line is the best bet. It offers the fastest time and likely the lowest cost.

EDIT - The green line also puts the onus on individual communities to connect to the network.

aznate27
Jul 10, 2013, 2:22 AM
One step closer to the rail connection between Tucson and Phoenix!

3 routes suggested for Tucson-Phoenix train (http://azstarnet.com/news/state-and-regional/routes-suggested-for-tucson-phoenix-train/article_6cb28afc-e8e6-11e2-8b2b-0019bb2963f4.html)

Three possible routes for a proposed rail line between Tucson and Phoenix have been identified by the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The state agency made the announcement this afternoon, with three possible routes being identified following a series of public meetings over the best way to serve the needs of the state’s two largest metropolitan areas.

The three proposals — identified by ADOT by the colors green, red and orange routes — offer different paths between the two area. Two of the routes serve stops in the East Valley while the third largely follows Interstate 10. The southern half of the proposed rail lines are the same, sticking close to I-10 from Eloy to the southern portion of Tucson, ending at the airport.

ADOT officials expect to identify the final route by the end of the year.

Estimates for the final costs to design, build and maintain a rail line between Tucson and Phoenix could eventually cost taxpayers between $5 billion and $10 billion.

Funding for the proposal has yet to be determined, ADOT officials said on Tuesday.

Links to the three finalist routes:
Green Route (http://www.azdot.gov/passengerrail/pdf/Green_Alternative.pdf)
Red Route (http://www.azdot.gov/passengerrail/pdf/Red_Alternative.pdf)
Orange Route (http://www.azdot.gov/passengerrail/pdf/Orange_Alternative.pdf)

92 MPH is the top speed?? The top speed should be 120 MPH. Why even build it at all? 73 minutes is just ridiculous. There are way too many stops. Why is there a stop in Eloy?? Just make them go to Casa Grande! The people who run this state have no vision.:hell:

Schaeffa
Jul 10, 2013, 2:55 AM
92 MPH is the top speed?? The top speed should be 120 MPH. Why even build it at all? 73 minutes is just ridiculous. There are way too many stops. Why is there a stop in Eloy?? Just make them go to Casa Grande! The people who run this state have no vision.:hell:

I was thinking the same thing about the number of stops. Why should they even bother building the train through Maricopa or Florence? Besides being terribly random destinations that most Arizonans have never even heard of, Amtrak already goes from Tucson to Maricopa, and I bet the ticketing rate is REALLY low. With the Valley doing a great job of expanding their light rail, a train from Tucson to Phoenix doesn't need to really have other stops in the Valley—just hop on the light rail in a transportation hub to get to Tempe or Mesa or whatever.
I'd like to see the green route with an increased speed, but I'd take a max of 90mph with the possibility of upgrading it down the line. (I'm not entirely sure how that process works, but I assume once the track is there, it isn't hard to increase the speed later with different engines.)

nickw252
Jul 10, 2013, 4:38 AM
92 MPH is the top speed?? The top speed should be 120 MPH. Why even build it at all? 73 minutes is just ridiculous. There are way too many stops. Why is there a stop in Eloy?? Just make them go to Casa Grande! The people who run this state have no vision.:hell:

92 is not the top speed, it is the AVERAGE speed including time stopped. The maximum speed would be in the 125 mph range.

http://www.kjzz.org/content/1307/adot-finalizes-three-proposed-routes-phoenix-tucson-commuter-rail-service

Ritarancher
Jul 10, 2013, 10:06 PM
92 is not the top speed, it is the AVERAGE speed including time stopped. The maximum speed would be in the 125 mph range.

http://www.kjzz.org/content/1307/adot-finalizes-three-proposed-routes-phoenix-tucson-commuter-rail-service

Why stop at all? There are two population centers are Tucson and Phoenix and we've got 5 million people living here. I'm okay with the stops in Phoenix and Tucson but Eloy and Casa Grande? I know the state wants people to live out there but why make the majority of the riders have to wait longer to get to their destination because of the 1% of riders in Casa Grande.
Anyway I can imagine our state in 20 years being on top of the rest. We're developing a whole new way to get around. I can see myself going on the Tucson light rail and going to the HSR and going to phoenix, getting on their light rail and going places. If we were to develop such a sophisticated rail system I would more than likely move from my current home into one along the rail. Although the tickets to board the train must be very expensive and would probably be very busy and have lots of riders. I don't know how that would work, there are no examples of high speed rails in the United States yet. But I am glad to know that Arizona might just be the first to have an HSR in the country, and even continent.

Qwijib0
Jul 10, 2013, 11:34 PM
Why stop at all? There are two population centers are Tucson and Phoenix and we've got 5 million people living here. I'm okay with the stops in Phoenix and Tucson but Eloy and Casa Grande? I know the state wants people to live out there but why make the majority of the riders have to wait longer to get to their destination because of the 1% of riders in Casa Grande.
Anyway I can imagine our state in 20 years being on top of the rest. We're developing a whole new way to get around. I can see myself going on the Tucson light rail and going to the HSR and going to phoenix, getting on their light rail and going places. If we were to develop such a sophisticated rail system I would more than likely move from my current home into one along the rail. Although the tickets to board the train must be very expensive and would probably be very busy and have lots of riders. I don't know how that would work, there are no examples of high speed rails in the United States yet. But I am glad to know that Arizona might just be the first to have an HSR in the country, and even continent.

The planning document already has two 'speeds', local and express. That means they are already considering multiple levels of service so I think a non-stopper isn't out of the question at some point if demand is there.

edit: a non-stop could get damn close to an hour too, once you remove a couple minutes dwell time from the middle station and decel/accel time from the estimated 73 minute travel time. "1 hour" is a pretty good marketing time.

Patrick S
Jul 11, 2013, 12:32 AM
Why stop at all? There are two population centers are Tucson and Phoenix and we've got 5 million people living here. I'm okay with the stops in Phoenix and Tucson but Eloy and Casa Grande? I know the state wants people to live out there but why make the majority of the riders have to wait longer to get to their destination because of the 1% of riders in Casa Grande.
Anyway I can imagine our state in 20 years being on top of the rest. We're developing a whole new way to get around. I can see myself going on the Tucson light rail and going to the HSR and going to phoenix, getting on their light rail and going places. If we were to develop such a sophisticated rail system I would more than likely move from my current home into one along the rail. Although the tickets to board the train must be very expensive and would probably be very busy and have lots of riders. I don't know how that would work, there are no examples of high speed rails in the United States yet. But I am glad to know that Arizona might just be the first to have an HSR in the country, and even continent.
California is likely to start constructing the first leg of their line this year, even as early as the end of the summer. (http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_23405434/california-high-speed-rail-approves-cheapest-firm-start) We are still years away from any construction start, as we haven't even started discussing how to pay for it. And, by the way, their lines are real HSR (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_High-Speed_Rail#Travel_times). The San Francisco to San Jose segment will only average 96mph, but from San Jose to LA it will average 170mph and from Sacramento to LA it will average 180mph.

kaneui
Jul 11, 2013, 7:40 AM
Before cleaning out my Tucson photo files, I decided to do one final update of my Tucson Development Projects list--enjoy!

hthomas
Jul 12, 2013, 3:14 AM
Hipsters and Arizona.
Two words you commonly don’t see in the same sentence.
For those of you who have been, Tucson, located roughly two hours southeast of Phoenix, has been a vibrant college town for decades. The city has the feel of Austin 40 years ago, but that vibe is slowly changing. The word is out, and Tucson is becoming a popular place to live and visit.
Before we embarked on our road trip to Tucson, Geoff, who has several musician friends in Tucson, told me that though cool, this southwest town with over 500,000 citizens is kind of sleepy. Imagine our surprise when we pulled up to the our hotel, the iconic Hotel Congress, and could barely make our way to the front desk! Hotel Congress, an old-timey lodge, popular music venue for local and touring acts and home to a gourmet diner (Cup Cafe), 20s themed hair salon (The Hive) and event hall (Copper Hall), has always been the epicenter of activity, but its popularity is only growing. The front patio, lobby, bar and stage were filled to the brim with hipsters, club kids, business folks and enthusiastic travelers (think Ace Hotel in Portland). We only found reprieve from the excitement after we landed in our room, but even then, our window was located over the bubbling patio. Tired from the trip, we opted to join the festivities the next night (there is something going on every night at Hotel Congress), and we blissfully fell asleep listening to the conversation and music down below.
Hotel Congress was built in 1919 and is famous for being John Dillinger’s holdout before he was captured. Forty rooms line the two-story brick building, and each room features vintage beds, a dresser, chair and Ed Hopper-esque paintings of the hotel itself. Hotel Congress is not for those looking to veg-out in a gigantic room with cable TV; the rooms are small, but pack a lot of character. And yes, you have to sit sideways to take a crap because the bathroom is so small, but that is part of the charm!

Hotel Congress
Hotel Congress is nestled in the triangle of Toole, Congress and 5th avenues, with a view of the railroad track (I took the train back to Austin and literally stumbled across the street to get on the train; lowest stress travel EVER). Within the train depot is Maynard’s, a locally-sourced market and kitchen featuring one of Tucson’s best wine selections. Our jam was Sparkroot, a vegetarian coffee shop located across from the hotel on 5th Avenue. I worked out of this cafe after Geoff left me in Tucson to continue his road trip to LA and destroyed a homemade blueberry lemonade and grilled cheese sandwich made with Spanish cheese, pickled onions and pesto!

Sparkroot
Within walking distance of the hotel is Tucson’s famous 4th Avenue, similar to, but not as large as Austin’s 6th Street. It is here I discovered Pop-Cycle, a boutique filled with Tucson made goods. Geoff and I fell in love with a series of patchwork stuffed animal busts, in particular a narwhal, as seen in this Rumpus article called “Vegetarian Taxidermy” (the store had a sign asking we do not take photos). On 4th, we also ate at a 100% solar-powered pizza shop, Brooklyn Pizza Company, located next door to a 100% solar-powered bar. These aren’t the only solar-powered businesses in Tucson and I was surprised to discover that the city has a strong solar power initiative!
Due to its small size, Tucson is a very walkable city. Our second night there, we walked eight miles, strolling between the city’s historic Presidio and Barrio neighborhoods. It is here you will spot some of the area’s beautiful adobe architecture. As stated from the Barrio Wikipedia page, mission and craftsman styles are represented. These neighborhoods will make your wanderlust levels shoot up to 11 (p.s. real estate is still inexpensive in these downtown ‘hoods AND several famous people quietly live here!).
Here is a collection of household doors I took in the Barrio:

Barrio, Tucson
And, of course, Tucson is known for it’s incredible nature, best appreciated outside the summer months. Though it was 105 degrees during our visit, that didn’t stop Geoff from driving us to the Saguaro National Park, one of the largest refuges of saguaros in the nation (these “cartoon” cacti are only found in Arizona, California and Northern Mexico). Located in the foothills of the city, you have the feeling of being transported to the middle of nowhere; the desert can have that effect on you. We saw wild javelinas, roadrunners and the park has had its fair share of snakes, mountain lions, coyotes and bobcats. This fact, and the fact that there was NO ONE else hiking, caused me to have a panic attack 5 minutes into our hike and we turned back 30 minutes later (full disclosure: I walked for 30 minutes pounding my chest and whispering “f this, f this, f this” and it was still a great hike!)
P.S. We’ll be back to Tucson in September to show our film Loves Her Gun at the Arizona Underground Film Festival!

Saguaro National Park
Where to Stay:
Hotel Congress (between $50-$100/night)
Where to Eat:
Sparkroot (coffee/vegetarian)
Cup Cafe (gourmet diner)
El Charro Cafe (Sonoran)
Umi Star (Asian-Mexican fusion)
Where to Visit:
Saguaro National Park ($10 per car)
The Barrio (free)
The Military Plane Graveyard a.k.a. “The Boneyard“ ($7)4th Avenue (free)

http://www.hipstercrite.com/2013/07/09/hipster-city-travel-tucson-arizona/

farmerk
Jul 12, 2013, 7:16 PM
No, no, no. That would be a waste. Light-rail to the airport/Bridges/Kino Stadium/Raytheon & down Broadway is the only way to go. A modern-streetcar on city streets to the airport wouldn't work. It would take too long. It needs to be light-rail on dedicated lanes for those routes to be practical.

You're right. Light rail is the way to go outside the 3.9 mile street car route. :tup:

Anyway, glad someone took a shot of this route (below). Can't wait for buildings to fill up this route. This is the type of development I want to see at least in central Tucson.

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a228/kaneui/a24d957d-9289-419d-93b8-fddbe0bca42c_zps2b681e7b.jpg

btw, I hope the mistake of GCU not able to relocate at El Rio Golf will be the last time Neighborhood Associations will ever get that powerful influence they enjoyed the last few decades. These guys make me SICK! Azstarnet is pretty much a nimby newspaper. I always revert to AZ Illustrated for some fell good news ... here's recent talk about cross town freeways in Tucson . (https://www.azpm.org/p/top-politics/2013/7/5/25262-az-illustrated-politics-friday-july-5-2013/)

ComplotDesigner
Jul 12, 2013, 9:03 PM
Sorry about the angle, but this is how is looking so far the soccer field on Cherry Ave. next to the UofA Rec Center.

http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/8588/8vm2.jpg

Ted Lyons
Jul 12, 2013, 9:28 PM
Sorry about the angle, but this is how is looking so far the soccer field on Cherry Ave. next to the UofA Rec Center.

http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/8588/8vm2.jpg

Wow. I drive by every day and didn't know turf had been laid already.

Ritarancher
Jul 13, 2013, 4:07 AM
Hipsters and Arizona.
Two words you commonly don’t see in the same sentence.
For those of you who have been, Tucson, located roughly two hours southeast of Phoenix, has been a vibrant college town for decades. The city has the feel of Austin 40 years ago, but that vibe is slowly changing. The word is out, and Tucson is becoming a popular place to live and visit.
Before we embarked on our road trip to Tucson, Geoff, who has several musician friends in Tucson, told me that though cool, this southwest town with over 500,000 citizens is kind of sleepy. Imagine our surprise when we pulled up to the our hotel, the iconic Hotel Congress, and could barely make our way to the front desk! Hotel Congress, an old-timey lodge, popular music venue for local and touring acts and home to a gourmet diner (Cup Cafe), 20s themed hair salon (The Hive) and event hall (Copper Hall), has always been the epicenter of activity, but its popularity is only growing. The front patio, lobby, bar and stage were filled to the brim with hipsters, club kids, business folks and enthusiastic travelers (think Ace Hotel in Portland). We only found reprieve from the excitement after we landed in our room, but even then, our window was located over the bubbling patio. Tired from the trip, we opted to join the festivities the next night (there is something going on every night at Hotel Congress), and we blissfully fell asleep listening to the conversation and music down below.
Hotel Congress was built in 1919 and is famous for being John Dillinger’s holdout before he was captured. Forty rooms line the two-story brick building, and each room features vintage beds, a dresser, chair and Ed Hopper-esque paintings of the hotel itself. Hotel Congress is not for those looking to veg-out in a gigantic room with cable TV; the rooms are small, but pack a lot of character. And yes, you have to sit sideways to take a crap because the bathroom is so small, but that is part of the charm!

Hotel Congress
Hotel Congress is nestled in the triangle of Toole, Congress and 5th avenues, with a view of the railroad track (I took the train back to Austin and literally stumbled across the street to get on the train; lowest stress travel EVER). Within the train depot is Maynard’s, a locally-sourced market and kitchen featuring one of Tucson’s best wine selections. Our jam was Sparkroot, a vegetarian coffee shop located across from the hotel on 5th Avenue. I worked out of this cafe after Geoff left me in Tucson to continue his road trip to LA and destroyed a homemade blueberry lemonade and grilled cheese sandwich made with Spanish cheese, pickled onions and pesto!

Sparkroot
Within walking distance of the hotel is Tucson’s famous 4th Avenue, similar to, but not as large as Austin’s 6th Street. It is here I discovered Pop-Cycle, a boutique filled with Tucson made goods. Geoff and I fell in love with a series of patchwork stuffed animal busts, in particular a narwhal, as seen in this Rumpus article called “Vegetarian Taxidermy” (the store had a sign asking we do not take photos). On 4th, we also ate at a 100% solar-powered pizza shop, Brooklyn Pizza Company, located next door to a 100% solar-powered bar. These aren’t the only solar-powered businesses in Tucson and I was surprised to discover that the city has a strong solar power initiative!
Due to its small size, Tucson is a very walkable city. Our second night there, we walked eight miles, strolling between the city’s historic Presidio and Barrio neighborhoods. It is here you will spot some of the area’s beautiful adobe architecture. As stated from the Barrio Wikipedia page, mission and craftsman styles are represented. These neighborhoods will make your wanderlust levels shoot up to 11 (p.s. real estate is still inexpensive in these downtown ‘hoods AND several famous people quietly live here!).
Here is a collection of household doors I took in the Barrio:

Barrio, Tucson
And, of course, Tucson is known for it’s incredible nature, best appreciated outside the summer months. Though it was 105 degrees during our visit, that didn’t stop Geoff from driving us to the Saguaro National Park, one of the largest refuges of saguaros in the nation (these “cartoon” cacti are only found in Arizona, California and Northern Mexico). Located in the foothills of the city, you have the feeling of being transported to the middle of nowhere; the desert can have that effect on you. We saw wild javelinas, roadrunners and the park has had its fair share of snakes, mountain lions, coyotes and bobcats. This fact, and the fact that there was NO ONE else hiking, caused me to have a panic attack 5 minutes into our hike and we turned back 30 minutes later (full disclosure: I walked for 30 minutes pounding my chest and whispering “f this, f this, f this” and it was still a great hike!)
P.S. We’ll be back to Tucson in September to show our film Loves Her Gun at the Arizona Underground Film Festival!

Saguaro National Park
Where to Stay:
Hotel Congress (between $50-$100/night)
Where to Eat:
Sparkroot (coffee/vegetarian)
Cup Cafe (gourmet diner)
El Charro Cafe (Sonoran)
Umi Star (Asian-Mexican fusion)
Where to Visit:
Saguaro National Park ($10 per car)
The Barrio (free)
The Military Plane Graveyard a.k.a. “The Boneyard“ ($7)4th Avenue (free)

http://www.hipstercrite.com/2013/07/09/hipster-city-travel-tucson-arizona/

A sleepy college town with more than 500,000 people. No we're not Flagstaff. We're not a college town or really a town at all. Sleepy? Nah not really I mean we're not the most fun place to live but there's almost always things happening. And we've got about 1,000,000 people so were about the size of Albuquerque or Dayton. Not to be mean but it sounds like the author of the article didn't really "go" to Tucson.

aznate27
Jul 15, 2013, 4:54 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the The Hub originally going to be 13 stories?? I'm not complaining about it being 14, but it seems they snuck in an extra story in there, which is cool. Also I think the changes they made for the Iron Horse development were good ones. It shows a good collaboration between residence and the developers. I think the final plan fits in well the area.

Student housing near University of Arizona is now on the (high) rise

Construction on the last of a trio of high-rise complexes for students in the heart of the city is now underway.

The Hub, 1011 N. Tyndall Ave., will have 590 bedrooms for rent.

And developers have also started clearing the land on another student-housing project in the historical Iron Horse Neighborhood. The Junction at Iron Horse, 504 E. Ninth St., will have 202 bedrooms.

Both are to open in the fall of 2014.

At 14 stories, The Hub is the third tower on the rise near the University of Arizona south of Park Avenue and Speedway. It will house 590 students.

Level, which will also be 14 stories, will house 586 students in 176 units. It is expected to open this fall.

The tower known as Park Avenue will have 165 units with 393 beds in 13 stories and open in the fall of 2014.

The Hub developers recently took out a $41 million commercial permit. A $12 million permit was also issued for the Iron Horse complex, Tucson permit data show.

Craig Gray, vice president of the Iron Horse Neighborhood Association, said residents worked closely with developers to make changes and preserve the historical feel of the area.

Concessions such as only building four stories, removing balconies that faced residential property, renovation of business signs in the neighborhood and building a basketball court were secured after a series of meetings with the new owners of the property.

Champaign, Ill.-based The Junction at Iron Horse LLC recently sold the vacant land for the project to HRB Tucson LLC of Chicago for $2 million, records from the Pima County Recorder's Office show.

Representatives of the new owners really worked with neighbors, Gray said, and have committed to having someone from the management company attend the monthly homeowners meetings.

"We were all pretty proud of ourselves," Gray said.

Some neighbors are still unhappy with the project, he said, but the decision was out of the neighborhood's hands.

Last year, the city of Tucson created a zoning overlay district to create density along the streetcar line, which permitted developments of up to 14 stories. Previously, the limit was four stories.

The new complexes are the latest student housing project in the city.

The Retreat, on 22nd Street between Park Avenue and Kino Parkway, is fully leased for its fall opening. It has 774 bedrooms.

The Cadence on Congress Street, also scheduled to open this fall, has 465 bedrooms.

Last year's opening of The District on 5th was the city's first private student-housing project in more than seven years.

DID YOU KNOW?

Developed beginning in 1890, Iron Horse is a recognized historic district located east of Fourth Avenue and north of Broadway. "In order to follow the 'one mile rule' established by the Southern Pacific Railroad, numerous railroad employees lived in this district in order to hear the whistle blow, calling them to work," the city of Tucson notes in its online guide to historic neighborhoods.

Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at grico@azstarnet.com or 573-4232

aznate27
Jul 15, 2013, 5:02 PM
I think the comment one reader said about combining private money with public is something the state needs to take seriously. I think it's the most realistic way to fund the project. The person who said we should buy more buses is an idiot!

Road runner: Readers question proposed Tucson-to-Phoenix train route

Joe Ferguson Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Readers filled email in-boxes and message boards and left voice mails after reading that the Arizona Department of Transportation was continuing to look at possible routes for a train between Tucson International Airport and Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

The estimated minimum price tag - $5 billion for the 120-mile line - meant for many readers that it was dead on arrival.

The cost of $41 million per mile would buy a lot of new buses, one person suggested. But that would not relieve congestion along the road between Tucson and Phoenix.

But how expensive is it? Consider the costs of widening Interstate 10 between Ruthrauff and Prince Road - ADOT will spend an estimated $76.2 million widening the segment of I-10 to four lanes in each direction and building a new bridge at the Prince Road exit.

The cost of any construction to widen I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix could easily be in the billions of dollars.

And inaction has its own price - congestion between the two metropolitan areas is only going to get worse in the coming decades without new transit options.

One reader, perhaps tongue in cheek, suggested low-cost airline service between Tucson and Phoenix. But the cost of airport parking is liable to make this solution a nonstarter.

Another reader suggested it was too early to label the $5 billion price tag as a taxpayer expense, suggesting the private sector might have an interest in fronting a portion of the cost in exchange for a stake in the transit system. For now, let's see who is willing to step to the plate once planners figure out how much the planned route will actually cost.

Several readers asked if ADOT was considering some kind of ferry system, allowing people to take their cars with them as they ride the train to Phoenix or Tucson.

ADOT spokeswoman Laura Douglas said she was unaware of any plans to ferry personal vehicles on the proposed train, but that the state agency is still taking a 30,000-foot view of the proposal, gathering input from the community rather than making specific plans on what the commuter system would eventually look like.

However, she said any train line would be tied into existing public transit systems, so a stop at the modern streetcar line in downtown Tucson isn't out of the question.

Douglas said she expects each stop would offer a number of secondary transit options - from bus lines to nearby rental car agencies.

For the moment, ADOT is monitoring social-media channels, message boards and news articles as it takes the next steps in designing a formal proposal.

The next step for the agency will be to narrow the list of possible routes from three to one.

Qwijib0
Jul 15, 2013, 6:04 PM
I think the comment one reader said about
However, she said any train line would be tied into existing public transit systems, so a stop at the modern streetcar line in downtown Tucson isn't out of the question.

Douglas said she expects each stop would offer a number of secondary transit options - from bus lines to nearby rental car agencies.


Connection to sunlink and metro plus a zipcar lot would make a car-ferry service irrelevant

Ted Lyons
Jul 16, 2013, 1:55 PM
Proposal for downtown Tucson hotel takes key step forward
RIO NUEVO BOARD TENTATIVELY 0KS $4.3M LOAN FOR POSSIBLE MARRIOTT

http://azstarnet.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/proposal-for-downtown-tucson-hotel-takes-key-step-forward/article_59cd1f3c-3e60-5ad7-8134-9f0de5baa7c8.html

Tucson moved one step closer to realizing a new downtown hotel Monday.

The Rio Nuevo board voted 4-1 to have its attorney draft a $4.3 million loan agreement with developer Scott Stiteler for a proposed Marriott hotel at Fifth Avenue and Broadway.

. . .

While the original site for the hotel was at Fifth Avenue and Congress, Stiteler, manager of Tucson Urban LLC, said with the type of Marriott proposed, the Broadway site behind the Hub restaurant was a better fit.

The hotel won't be your typical Marriott, at least for American visitors.

A few years ago, Marriott purchased an upscale chain of European hotels, said Scott McAllister, a vice-president of development with Marriott, and recently decided to bring the brand to American urban centers.

McAllister said the AC Hotel brand eschews "cookie-cutter" approaches and instead relies on upper-scale design motifs unique to each hotel.

If Marriott gives the green light to Tucson's hotel, it would become the fourth one approved. Stiteler said he expects a decision sometime in August.

The article also mentions a height of seven floors, which is one more than the previous proposal, IIRC.

southtucsonboy77
Jul 16, 2013, 3:26 PM
I like the switch in location...Broadway is receiving the attention it deserves. Aesthetically speaking, past Stone heading east it was always quite the embarrassment. Now I wonder what they are gonna do with the lot on 5th/Congress. As Mr. Lyons mentioned, 7 stories is an increase. I wonder how they are going to implement that 4 story garage...

ProfessorMole
Jul 16, 2013, 3:31 PM
Looking at those AC Hotels on Marriott's website (http://www.marriott.com/ac-hotels/travel.mi), they look pretty swanky. Might give that first push to get some of those nice mid to high rise condos that were discussed a few weeks back.

southtucsonboy77
Jul 16, 2013, 4:27 PM
http://azstarnet.com/sports/baseball/tucson-baseball-city-hopes-to-lure-triple-a-spring-teams/article_5f313399-8b2d-5312-94a9-57d8aebcdd70.html

"...The city could lure a new Triple-A team with a new ballpark. Financing the park could potentially be solved if a measure written by the Pima County Sports and Tourism Authority takes effect.

The proposal, which will go up for vote in 2014, could be a major turning point in getting professional baseball back to Tucson. The bill would add a 0.35 percent tax to rental cars and special events; money spent at restaurants and bars would be taxed 0.25 percent, and hotels 0.45 percent.

The taxes would generate about $15 million in the first year, Holmes said, "and as trade increases and the economy increases, it could generate enough funds to be able to spend on anything the citizens say they want to do for youth and amateur sports or Major League Baseball spring training."

The money could be used to lure more youth teams to Tucson, improve the burgeoning soccer industry or, Holmes said, to pursue a new stadium..."

The truth is, the REGION hopes to lure Triple A, not just the City. On the surface, I could care less about baseball spring training and Triple A. BUT, if the Sports and Tourism Authority do it right and put the facilities at a prime location (NOT Ajo Way or far far away from civilization or services) then it could be worth a shot. Somewhere along I-10 between Prince and Twin Peaks Road is where I would study. The major issue are the dookie plants that wreak a smelly havoc on the area. The benefits are there are hotels and restaurants off of Grant, Ina, and Cortaro Farms; there's a perception and reality that its closer to Phx; and the Tucson metro fans will warm up to that side of town way more than the dreary Ajo location.

Ted Lyons
Jul 16, 2013, 5:57 PM
Looking at those AC Hotels on Marriott's website (http://www.marriott.com/ac-hotels/travel.mi), they look pretty swanky. Might give that first push to get some of those nice mid to high rise condos that were discussed a few weeks back.

Looks like FORS is working on the design. https://www.facebook.com/FORSarchitecture/posts/10151467672591436

It's cool that a local firm is working on it.

Ted Lyons
Jul 16, 2013, 5:59 PM
http://azstarnet.com/sports/baseball/tucson-baseball-city-hopes-to-lure-triple-a-spring-teams/article_5f313399-8b2d-5312-94a9-57d8aebcdd70.html

"...The city could lure a new Triple-A team with a new ballpark. Financing the park could potentially be solved if a measure written by the Pima County Sports and Tourism Authority takes effect.

The proposal, which will go up for vote in 2014, could be a major turning point in getting professional baseball back to Tucson. The bill would add a 0.35 percent tax to rental cars and special events; money spent at restaurants and bars would be taxed 0.25 percent, and hotels 0.45 percent.

The taxes would generate about $15 million in the first year, Holmes said, "and as trade increases and the economy increases, it could generate enough funds to be able to spend on anything the citizens say they want to do for youth and amateur sports or Major League Baseball spring training."

The money could be used to lure more youth teams to Tucson, improve the burgeoning soccer industry or, Holmes said, to pursue a new stadium..."

The truth is, the REGION hopes to lure Triple A, not just the City. On the surface, I could care less about baseball spring training and Triple A. BUT, if the Sports and Tourism Authority do it right and put the facilities at a prime location (NOT Ajo Way or far far away from civilization or services) then it could be worth a shot. Somewhere along I-10 between Prince and Twin Peaks Road is where I would study. The major issue are the dookie plants that wreak a smelly havoc on the area. The benefits are there are hotels and restaurants off of Grant, Ina, and Cortaro Farms; there's a perception and reality that its closer to Phx; and the Tucson metro fans will warm up to that side of town way more than the dreary Ajo location.

Anything not near downtown is a waste of money. In fact, building a whole new baseball stadium sounds like a waste of money to me.

Ted Lyons
Jul 16, 2013, 6:06 PM
The people who own The Abbey and Jax are opening a new concept downtown in The Cadence.

http://tucsonfoodie.com/2013/07/16/abbey-jax-owner-brian-metzger-to-launch-gio-taco/

Metzger Family Restaurants has announced plans to open Gio Taco. Named for restaurateur Brian Metzger’s stepson Giovanni, the 2,400 square-foot, fast-casual restaurant will be located at 350 E. Congress Street on downtown Tucson’s East End, in the new Cadence development on the corner of E. Congress Street and S. Toole Avenue.

http://www.giotaco.com/home.html

southtucsonboy77
Jul 16, 2013, 7:10 PM
The people who own The Abbey and Jax are opening a new concept downtown in The Cadence.

http://tucsonfoodie.com/2013/07/16/abbey-jax-owner-brian-metzger-to-launch-gio-taco/



http://www.giotaco.com/home.html

I'm always amazed at some of the resouces you guys have at finding information and news. You guys make me look smart and in the "in crowd" when I talk to family and friends about development and openings.

A quick taco spot with some quality is definitely what east downtown needs...especially at night.

Ted Lyons
Jul 16, 2013, 7:37 PM
I'm always amazed at some of the resouces you guys have at finding information and news. You guys make me look smart and in the "in crowd" when I talk to family and friends about development and openings.

A quick taco spot with some quality is definitely what east downtown needs...especially at night.

Ha. I'm always scavenging for information on social media. I also think a fast casual Mexicanesque place will do well downtown. What's nice is this place will build a following before anything like Chipotle moves in.

ProfessorMole
Jul 16, 2013, 8:09 PM
Work is moving along diligently on the first floor at Hub. Can't really see from the photo, but the glass enclosing on bottom few floors of the southwest corner of Level are coming along as well.


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BPUhMaxCUAApMIh.jpg:large

Ted Lyons
Jul 16, 2013, 8:19 PM
Work is moving along diligently on the first floor at Hub. Can't really see from the photo, but the glass enclosing on bottom few floors of the southwest corner of Level are coming along as well.


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BPUhMaxCUAApMIh.jpg:large

Nice. I was up on the fourth floor of the garage literally ten minutes ago and thought about taking a pic but didn't.

ProfessorMole
Jul 17, 2013, 9:27 PM
The CVS at Main Gate is expected to open no later than August 30th and will be a little different than normal.

Daily Wildcat Article (www.wildcat.arizona.edu/article/2013/07/new-cvs-pharmacy-open-fall-semester-071713)

While on the opening subject, has anyone heard or been in contact with a person who got their move-in info from Level on July 8th? I'm curious what move-in date they were given.