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Council OKs GPLET for Tucson Food Hall

The first floor would include approximately 15 retail and restaurant vendors in dedicated kiosks with shared seating. Credit: Arizona Daily Star

By Joe Ferguson for Arizona Daily Star

The Tucson City Council has signed off on a tax incentive to help local developer Don Bourn build a five-story building that will feature a food hall and bowling alley in downtown Tucson.

The property tax reduction for the City Park development would cost various taxing districts, including the city of Tucson, an estimated $1.2M over eight years. The city would directly lose an estimated $110K.

However, an outside consultant hired by Rio Nuevo suggests the new development would generate $8.9M over the same period in direct sales tax revenues.

The agreement, known as a Government Property Lease Excise Tax, is actually through the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District. Rio Nuevo has a 25-year lease with Bourn for the property.

The first floor of the proposed City Park development, to be built on an empty lot on Congress Street between Scott and Stone avenues, would include approximately 15 retail and restaurant vendors in dedicated kiosks with shared seating.

The Rio Nuevo board agreed earlier this year to loan Bourn $2.6M to help complete financing for his long-stalled project.

The City Park project, once complete, will create the equivalent of 143 full-time jobs, according to a city memo.

Approximately 90 of those jobs are tied to the food court and entertainment hall, while the remainder are office jobs. Construction of the structure will create 100 temporary jobs.

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