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  • Supervisors OK Rio Nuevo economic development partnership

    Dec 14, 2016 | Read More News
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    sun linkThe Pima County Board of Supervisors Dec. 13 voted 4-0 to approve ground lease options for two county-owned downtown properties with the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District. The lease options are an effort to enlist Rio Nuevo as an economic development partner with the county to attract or retain employers to the downtown area.

    The vacant properties are 75 E. Broadway and 332 S. Freeway. Both are on the Sun Link streetcar line. The South Freeway property is the former Theresa Lee health clinic, which moved to a new location near Midvale Park south of Valencia Road. The Broadway property is a parking lot.

    “As we saw with the recent Caterpillar agreement, Rio Nuevo is less constrained by state law than the county when it comes to economic development incentives. Leasing these properties to Rio Nuevo will allow for more options for developing these properties and attracting employers to downtown,” County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said.

    Attracting or retaining high-wage primary employers and adding employment to downtown are both goals of the county’s Economic Development Plan. If the county and the facilities district reach an agreement, the ground leases would be at market rates, which according to recent appraisals could be as much as $140,000 a year for the South Freeway property and $163,000 a year for the Broadway property. Options to purchase the properties also are on the table.

    Both properties have zoning that could support large buildings; as much as 200,000 square feet for the South Freeway property and up to 345,000 square feet for the Broadway location.

     Rio Nuevo is expected to discuss the partnership with the county in the next few months.

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