News Ticker

Tucson Rio Nuevo Building Tile Crumbling

By Darren DaRonco for the Arizona Daily Star

City Attorney Mike Rankin confirmed that the six-story apartment building at East Congress Street and North Fifth Avenue is experiencing a “big issue with the floor tiles,” and the cost to fix the issue could extend into the seven figures.
Photo Credit: David Sanders/Arizona Daily Star

Just two years after the new $23M Martin Luther King Jr. Apartments went up downtown, the complex is facing $1M-plus in crumbling floor tiles.

Exactly why the floors are failing after such a short time is not clear. What is clear is neither the builder, the designer nor the city wants to take the hit for fixing them, so it appears one of the jewels of the Rio Nuevo downtown redevelopment project is headed for litigation.

“Clearly, there are defects either in the installation or in the design, which is causing the tile to fail and requiring their replacement,” Rankin said. But neither the architect, Nelsen Partners, nor the contractor, Lloyd Construction, is willing to take responsibility for the defect.

Since an agreement couldn’t be reached, Rankin said, the city must now consider its options as it tries to remedy the situation.

Because of the complex nature of the issue, and an understaffed attorney’s office, Rankin said the city has hired an outside attorney to assist on the case.

While there is a closed-door executive session this week to discuss this issue with the mayor and City Council, Rankin said he is going to ask for it to be delayed until June 26 because the outside counsel will not be available.

“In the real world, people sit down and settle it,” city council member Steve Kozachik said. “That’s the way we should resolve this – where everybody admits to having a little bit of feet of clay, instead of having some judge fix it.”

Read more at AZStarNet