Silverbell Background Information

HOPE VI is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program, which is designed to redevelop some of the country’s most troubled and isolated public housing developments. The City of Tucson Department of Community Services was awarded a $9,825,000 grant from HUD in 2004 to transform the former Martin Luther King public housing 96 unit building housing elderly and or disabled facility in downtown Tucson into two new developments. The goal of the program is not just to physically redevelop the public housing site, but to end the isolation of public housing residents by providing options to residents to remain in their community in a new development that is not exclusively comprised of public housing units or to move to mixed income communities.

The Silverbell Homes is the first part of this exciting project to complete construction. The City of Tucson contracted with Tofel Construction to build the twenty-eight fully accessible public housing town homes. Two more affordable rental town homes will also be built. This new community will be interspersed amongst 109 new market rate and 8 affordable homeownership single-family units developed by Pathway Developments, Inc. creating a new mixed income development.

Financing for the Silverbell public housing and affordable units is funded with a combination of HOPE VI funds, HOME funds, land sale proceeds, and Low Income Housing Tax Credits issued by the Arizona Department of Housing. Metropolitan Housing Corporation, a non-profit local agency formed to preserve low income housing, has partnered with the City of Tucson, the developer, and MMA as financial investor. The City of Tucson sold the 31-acre subdivision to Pathways and retained ownership of the 30 lots for the public housing and rental homes

The original Martin Luther King building located at 1 N. 5th Avenue and adjacent property will be developed in partnership with a private market developer, Depot Plaza Investors (DPI). The One North Fifth Avenue site will be redeveloped into a mixed use, mixed income, high density, pedestrian-oriented development with a public open space and an underground city owned parking lot.


  • The Martin Luther King building that fronts Congress Street was sold to the developer to renovate and provide 85 market rate and 11 affordable apartments along with 7000 square feet of commercial space. The name of the building has changed to One North Fifth.
  • The City of Tucson will build an underground parking garage north of this building to serve residents and retail customer’s downtown.
    • Above the new garage, the City of Tucson will construct a new residential building for use and operation as public housing for the elderly and or disabled. This building will be named the Martin Luther King Building. These sixty-eight one-bedroom units will all be fully accessible. The building will include community spaces and amenities.
    • Depot Plaza Investors will construct a new building parallel to the public housing complex with 3000 square feet of ground floor retail space along Fifth Avenue, approximately 69 residential market-rate units plus 11 affordable apartments.
    • Barrio Rustica at Silverbell
    • More pictures