TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - You can’t miss the bright, neon lights of the Welcome Diner off Broadway Boulevard.
Plans are in the early stages for a new development next to the diner, sharing the block off Broadway between Tyndall Avenue and Park Avenue. The project, named Welcome Broadway, could include a hotel, shops and outdoor space.
Sloane Mcfarland, Principal of the Welcome Broadway Group, shared his vision with a room full of people during a public meeting Tuesday night.
Mcfarland continued to reference the Mercado District, off I-10 and Congress Street, as part of his vision for a friendly, to residents and neighbors.
“It engages the public, engages the past and the future and all those elements and kinda makes room for everybody, in a part of town that’s a little bit different," said Mcfarland.
Mcfarland shared layouts with the room for the plot of land, known by many as the former Broadway Volvo site. The ideas for the space include a hotel, that could be roughly 130 rooms, retail space that could be smalls shops, bakeries and more, as well as a courtyard or outdoor space for farmers markets or events. Multi-family housing may also be part of the plan, but there is no decision yet on if the residential units would be leased or sold.
What the property will not include: student-housing, big box stores, billboards or gas stations. The ‘Planned Area Development’ or PAD prohibits the developer from building those units.
While interested in new development in Tucson, one business owner was concerned about the proposals, so far.
“I’m concerned that any large development that is not sensitive to the needs of the neighborhood would in fact be a problem," said Matthew Goodwin, CEO of Betts Printing Company.
The business sits right off Park Avenue, which would edge the development. Goodwin worried about some of the ideas shared that would get rid of McKey Street, an alley that he said will hinder his deliveries.
There development group said there is another neighborhood meeting scheduled in July and public hearings with city officials are expected this fall.