By Becky Pallack for Arizona Daily Star
The Rio Nuevo board agreed to give one more last chance to a hotel developer in downtown Tucson.
Nor-Generations has until the end of September to close on the purchase of 8.5 acres of Rio Nuevo-owned land, or the board will consider the deal dead.
The whole thing hinges on the city agreeing to speed up the process of relocating the temporary Greyhound bus depot that’s located on the site. But the city doesn’t agree with the accelerated schedule.
Last year, Rio Nuevo asked for bids to buy and develop the 8.5-acre undeveloped site between Interstate 10 and the Tucson Convention Center.
After a controversial procurement process, the board chose developer Allan Norville, manager of Nor-Generations.
His bid included paying Rio Nuevo $5.6M for the land. Norville owns an adjacent 10 acres and has offered various hotel and exhibition hall proposals for the site for the past 20 years.
This plan would bring a hotel, exhibition hall, apartments and museums.
The board signed a contract with Norville in January. Since then, Norville has paid for environmental site assessments, preliminary development plans and a hotel franchise agreement.
Rio Nuevo gave him 120 days to close on the property, and then gave him a series of extensions. The closing date was to have been July 27, and the deal was technically terminated on that date, although talks have continued.
The latest extension — which the board said will be the last — was granted Tuesday and gives Norville until the end of September.
If he meets the deadline, he then has six months to submit a development plan to the city.
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