By Gabriela Rico for Arizona Daily Star
After more than seven years of discussions with and concessions to area stakeholders, local developers are moving forward with a project that will bring new apartments, office space and retail to Tucson’s Fourth Avenue and University Boulevard.
The development, dubbed The Trinity, will sit on two sides of Trinity Presbyterian Church, 400 E. University Blvd., on excess land the church is selling.
The first phase of the project will be construction of a three-story office building along University Boulevard, between the church and Time Market, said Randi Dorman, with R+R Develop. She and her husband, architect Rob Paulus, are developing the project along with Bourn Cos.
The second phase will be a four-story residential building, south of the church on Fourth Avenue with 58 market-rate apartments, ground-floor retail and sidewalk dining. That space is currently occupied by a structure, also owned by the church, that is not being used or historic. It will be demolished.
The project will include a pocket park along Fourth Avenue.
“The impact of revitalization has been profound,” Dorman said. “When people can bump into each other and exchange ideas it is more impactful than when we have urban sprawl.”
Given the pushback from area residents and merchants about new construction on Fourth Avenue, Trinity developers turned to neighbors for ideas about design right from the start and elicited their help in getting one more story of height, bringing it to 50 feet, for the apartment complex.
“We had 19 neighborhood meetings,” Dorman said. “We’re very sensitive and have developed the plan all along with them.”
The church’s congregation was especially active, she said.
Bucky Lovejoy, chairman of the long-range development committee for Trinity Presbyterian Church, said the pastors and congregation put out a request-for-proposals in 2011 to see what ideas would come about if the church sold the excess land that it no longer used.
Four developers responded and the church chose R+R and Bourn because of their reputation.
The sale for the parcel on University Boulevard is scheduled to close April 30 and developers plan to break ground in the fall, with construction expected to take between 12 and 18 months.
Read more at Arizona Daily Star.
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