Adaptive Reuse

The Adaptive Reuse Toolkit provides a streamlined approach to bringing new uses to existing and historic structures.



The City of Tucson launched its Adaptive Reuse Pilot Program in 2017 to encourage reinvestment throughout the City in the form of adaptive reuse of existing buildings. The program draws on supporting research (“Older, Smaller, Better in Tucson”) and successful programs in other cities, particularly Phoenix’s Adaptive Reuse Program, to provide a suite of incentives and code relief tools for the reuse of existing buildings in Tucson.

Link to Dec 6, 2016 Mayor and Council Memorandum describing the Adaptive Reuse Pilot Program

Link to "Older Smaller Better in Tucson: Measuring how the character of buildings and blocks influences urban vitality in a Southwestern City"


How it Works

Projects identified as Adaptive Reuse benefit from:

  • Dedicated Lead Planner to facilitate project development
  • Project-specific checklist
  • Application of available building code and zoning process relief tools for: parking, setbacks, density, height, landscaping, screening
  • Staff assistance with developing an Individual Parking Plan
  • Concurrent processes for development review and zoning relief
  • Allowance for change of use following less-restrictive standards if new use is allowed by zoning
  • Sidewalk modifications
  • Change of use without improvements
  • Building height modifications
  • Economic incentives may be available for projects located within redevelopment districts

Eligible Projects:

  • Reuse of an existing structure for a new purpose
  • Resulting use of the building will be commercial in nature (business, multi-family residential, or mixed use)
  • Existing structure was permitted prior to 2000
  • Project will not cause the building to be delisted or ineligible for the National Register of Historic Places
  • Project will provide a community benefit and acceptable use (excluded uses include pawn shops, adult businesses, and student housing/group dwellings)

For more information or to discuss a potential adaptive reuse project, please contact:  Nicholas Ross, Lead Planner   (520)837-4029


Adaptive Reuse Toolkit

These tools can help expedite the process of converting an existing building to accommodate a new use. Contact PDSD to discuss your project further and determine which tools could apply.


Examples of Adaptive Reuse projects in Tucson:

Cirrus Visual

From Industrial to Office

Tools Used:

The following modifications were made using the Infill Incentive District (IID):

  • Reduction of required parking
  • Replacement of required screen wall with canopy trees
  • Modification of sold waste container requirements
  • Elimination of the sidewalk scupper at existing rain drain
  • Reduction of west sidewalk width



Illegal Pete's

From Residential to Restaurant

Tools Used:

The following modifications were made using the Main Gate Urban Overlay District (UOD):

  • Reduction of required parking
  • Reduction of required setbacks

(Image Credit:

5 Points Market and Restaurant

Tools Used:

  • Reduction of required parking through an Individual Parking Plan (IPP)
Image result for 5 points market and restaurant tucson

ATL Wings

From Automotive Repair to Restaurant

Tools Used:

  • Landscape modification within a Historic Preservation Zone (HPZ) per UDC sections 7.6.4.C.4.e and 7.6.5.G.3.
  • Off-site parking modification



Other Notable Tucson Adaptive Reuse Projects:

  • Monterey Court
  • Ice House Lofts
  • Graze
  • Mister Car Wash (both locations)
  • Thunder Canyon Brewery
  • King Warehouse
  • Crossfit Milo
  • HardVolume Crossfit
  • Public Brewhouse
  • Crooked Tooth Brewing Co.
  • Royal Room
  • Anello
  • Barrio Brewery
  • MOCA
  • Jewish History Museum
  • Lindy's
  • The Barn
  • Isabella's Ice Cream
  • Teen Project
  • The Brings Building

For Information, Contact:  Nicholas Ross, Lead Planner   (520)837-4029