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Rio Nuevo Approves $65M TCC Renovation Plan

Courtesy of Rio Nuevo

Source: Rio Nuevo

At an August 13th special meeting, the Rio Nuevo Board of Directors unanimously approved a $65M improvement plan for the Tucson Convention Center and surrounding campus, including the Tucson Music Hall, Leo Rich Theater and the Eckbo Plaza and Fountain. Rio Nuevo officials will now solicit bids and select a contractor for the project.

The board also voted to proceed with a $126M financing plan that will earmark about $70M for the renovations and any contingency costs that could emerge, and refinance nearly $48M in debt for the Rio Nuevo district. The funds will also establish an $8M debt service reserve.

The TCC renovation plan is 20 years in the making. Rio Nuevo was created in 1999 with a mission to revitalize downtown Tucson, including the Convention Center, which was built in 1971.

“This is a great day,” said Board Chair Fletcher McCusker. “It’s been a long time coming.”

The list of planned improvements includes:

Current commitments – $8.5M

  • Ice Plant – Full replacement of Arena Ice Floor and Ice Plant, $3.2M
  • Lot A Garage – 300-space parking garage in parking Lot A, $5.2M
  • Parking Expansion – 45 additional spaces on site, $45K

Convention Center priorities – $14.7M

  • TCC – Renovation of Convention spaces and existing meeting rooms, $7.6M
  • Arena – Lighting upgrades, $220K
  • Site – Streetscape and Connections – Required UDC compliance for accessibility and screening, $2.5M
  • Eckbo Historic Landscape Restoration – Upper Plaza to complete Church Streetscape upgrades, $1.9M
  • Technology Enhancements – High speed data infrastructure throughout, $2.5M

Meeting room expansion – $9.2M

  • Convention Center Meeting Room Addition – West Entrance and 18KSF of Meeting Rooms adjacent to Ball Room and South Ex Hall, $9.2M

Entertainment priorities – $26.9M

  • Lot C Garage – 500 stalls in Parking Lot C, $11.4M
  • Music Hall Renovation – Renovation including restrooms, lobby, production lighting/sound, and new seating, $6.6M
  • Music Hall Upgrades – Outdoor event patio and interior VIP area, $780K
  • Leo Rich Renovation – Renovation including restrooms, lobby, production lighting/sound, and new seating, $2M
  • Eckbo Historic Landscape Restoration – Central Plaza and North Walkway, $6.1M

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