NewsNet 01-26-15

DEMAND INCREASING FOR GEM SHOW SPACE - The annual Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase begins Saturday, and many hotel owners have converted more hotel rooms and courtyards into showrooms to help with the increased demand for space. Last year, the various gem shows brought $120 million into Tucson. That was a 20 percent increase from 2007, the last survey before the 2014 study. Read more from Tucson News Now.

STREETCAR MARKS SIX MONTH ANNIVERSARY - The Sun Link Tucson Streetcar first began carrying passengers on July 25, 2014 and has been shuttling them between the University of Arizona, Fourth Avenue, Downtown Tucson, and the Mercado District ever since. In that six months, about 645,000 people have used the streetcar. The high ridership spun off a guide for business and developers wanting to invest along the nearly four-mile line. Learn more about the Corridor Investment Guide, Opportunity Sites Web Map, and the Streetcar Land Use Planning Report from the Office of Integrated Planning.

TUCSON MOVES UP ON LIST OF TOP WORLDWIDE ECONOMIES - Tucson ranks 149th on a list of the top 300 largest metropolitan economies of the world, according to the Global MetroMonitor survey from Brookings. The rankings show Tucson jumped 53 spots from the last report in 2012, but the new study says Tucson has not fully recovered from the recession. City rankings are determined by overall gross domestic product and per-capita employment rates. Macau, China was the world’s top-performing metro area last year. Read more from Arizona Public Media.

TRAFFIC IMPROVEMENTS DOWNTOWN LEAD TO TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF INTERSECTION - As part of the project to finalize the two-way conversion of Sixth Avenue, from Seventh Street to Broadway Boulevard, crews from Southern Arizona Paving and Construction Co., under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), will remove the sewer bypass pumps and bypass lines from the Sixth Avenue and Toole Avenue intersection. The work will require the closure of the intersection, tonight only, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The overall project includes adding new traffic signals, sidewalks, and ADA accessible ramps at the intersections of Sixth Avenue and Toole Avenue, and Sixth Avenue and Pennington Street. It also includes new pavement, striping and signage along Sixth Avenue, from Toole Avenue to Broadway Boulevard. The work is being funded by the Federal Transit Administration. Read more from TDOT.

ENJOY FOOD TRUCKS TOMORROW DOWNTOWN - If you work or have business in Downton Tucson tomorrow, you have another option for lunch. Food trucks will be lined up at Veinte De Agusto Park (Church Avenue, between Congress Street and Broadway Boulevard) from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Five food trucks will be raising money for 51homes, a nonprofit dedicated to providing housing units for Tucson's homeless veterans.