Urban Land Institute Downtown Study

November 17-22, 2013

Sponsored by: City of Tucson (Lead Agency), Rio Nuevo, Holualoa Companies, Pima Association of Governments (PAG), Pima County, VisitTucson, Tucson Electric Power (TEP)

Tucson Panel Report

View ULI Panel Final Powerpoint Presentation pdf

Video of the Panel Report Out:

Report Out by the Urban Land Institute Part 1
Report Out by the Urban Land Institute Part 2
Report Out by the Urban Land Institute Part 3
Report Out by the Urban Land Institute Part 4

ULI Studies Downtown:

Communities around the world have asked ULI to convene Advisory Services panels to:

  • Get timely, candid, and unbiased input from expert land use professionals.
  • Kick-start critical conversations and move beyond deadlock.
  • Gain fresh insights and discover innovative solutions to the most complex real estate development challenges.

In a concentrated one-week effort, panels provide results. We work with local governments, private developers, community development corporations, and many other organizations to address the most challenging real estate and land use issues facing communities today.

Scope of Work for Tucson Panel

Purpose of the Panel
To prioritize and coordinate public and private investment on opportunity sites within the 500+ acre central/western portion of downtown Tucson, an area that includes many historic, cultural, and civic assets and will have a modern streetcar system running through it in the summer of 2014 (see map). The area encompasses the Congress St. entertainment district, multiple museum and performing arts facilities, the government and Convention Center complexes, and the adjoining west side area that is Tucson's historic and cultural birthplace.

In addition, there are many vacant and underdeveloped sites within the area and increasing interest (both public and private) in investment and development on these sites. It is important that these projects be prioritized and considered in a coordinated manner balancing current market demands and realities with previous planning efforts and long-term goals in order to create synergy, encourage private sector investment, and leverage limited public resources.

Scope Question

What type of development is recommended for the vacant and underdeveloped opportunity sites within this area with an emphasis on utilizing publicly-owned land and public resources/incentives to maximize and leverage private investment toward achievement of the following goals:

  • Recognize Tucson's birthplace by furthering the intent set forth in existing plans for the west side area, such as historic and cultural facilities and outdoor spaces.
  • Create an interesting, walkable, transit-oriented downtown with high quality development and public spaces.
  • Identify development opportunities that encourage and promote modern streetcar ridership while considering streetcar infrastructure (i.e. stop locations).
  • Enhance and connect the cultural and natural resource assets within and surrounding this area.
  • Activate the Tucson Convention Center, including its performance venues, convention facilities, outdoor spaces, and frontage along the streetcar route.
  • Pursue new economic opportunities capitalizing on the close proximity to the University of Arizona in order to create jobs and diversify the economy within this area.
  • Recognize, protect, and strengthen the unique historic neighborhoods and sites within and surrounding the area.
  • Encourage an appropriate balance of new housing and related services and amenities to attract additional residents to the area.
  • Identify the appropriate types, mix, and locations for retail, hotels, attractions, and other development to attract residents and visitors to the area.

Stakeholders, Panel, Staff

Results & Study Documents

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