Construction expected to begin next month for new development on Fourth Ave

Construction expected to begin next month for new development on Fourth Ave
Local business owners are happy to have their voices heard over plans for a new housing complex on Historic Fourth Avenue. (Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tucson’s Historic Fourth Avenue is getting a new look starting with construction next month.

That’s when demolition is expected to begin at The Flycatcher, a bar and music venue that closed it’s doors nearly a year ago on the corner of Fourth Avenue and 6th Street.

In place of the local favorite will be a seven-story housing complex with retail space. The development, named “Union on Sixth,” will be the tallest building in the area.

Greystar Real Estate Partners, the company that took over the development from EdR, told KOLD News 13 Monday the goal is to begin work sometime in July.

Greystar, the company that took over the project from EdR, said the construction and development team's goal is to begin work sometime in July. (Source: EdR)
Greystar, the company that took over the project from EdR, said the construction and development team's goal is to begin work sometime in July. (Source: EdR)

“We suffered through the streetcar construction. That was really, really painful for a lot of us on Fourth, so we are kind of a little shell shocked,” said DeeDee Koenen.

Koenen is the co-owner of PopCycle, a shop just across the street from where the construction will soon begin. She is also a member of the Historic Fourth Avenue Coalition, formed by local business, non-profits and neighborhood associations to keep the ‘flavor’ of 4th Avenue alive.

“Make sure that the avenue is still inviting, that people still want to come down here. That they can maneuver, they can spend time on the avenue and not feel impeded in any way," Koenen said.

[ Neighbors react to planned 7-story high-rise on Fourth Avenue ]

According to Koenen, developers told the Historic Fourth Avenue Coalition demolition crews will begin work on July 2nd. Meaning you may see fences and equipment near the busy intersection in the coming weeks.

“From what we’ve heard, the alley and the street is going to stay open," said Koenen.

Koenen is optimistic the developers will keep local businesses in mind during demolition and construction, thanks to a Community Benefits Agreement signed in February.

“We definitely think we need density, but at the same time we want to make sure that density happens in a very equitable way," said Koenen.

The legally-binding compromise with developers, a first of it’s kind in the state of Arizona, gave community members a say in plans for the new apartment complex. The CBA, according to Koenen, has led to developers agreeing to fill all retail space on the street with local vendors and to put money towards sidewalk and street improvements.

Koenen hopes the developer keeps the community in mind during construction, which she expects to last for at least two years.

“We are working on some kind of fun ways to make that a little more interesting, maybe do some stuff with local artists. Just to kind of have more of a vibe of what’s happening here," Koenen said.

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