Huge riverfront project could be coming to west side of Tucson

The Bautista would be a mixed-use facility on the Santa Cruz River

Huge riverfront project could be coming to west side of Tucson
According to Rio Nuevo, The Bautista will be a mixed-use facility on the Santa Cruz River between Congress and Cushing streets. (Source: The Gadsden Company)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A large riverside project is being planned for the west side of Tucson.

According to Rio Nuevo, The Bautista will be a mixed-use facility on the Santa Cruz River between Congress and Cushing streets. The property is where the Santa Cruz will flow year round.

Adam Weinstein, president and CEO of The Gadsden Company, has asked the Rio Nuevo board to help finance the $72 million project.

The Bautista will feature 16,500 square feet of retail space, 253 residential units and a restaurant.

“The two main buildings are designed around a central linear plaza lined with shops and restaurants that connect the buildings and surrounding streets to the riverfront,” Rio Nuevo said in an email. "Water features will pay homage to the historical irrigation canals associated with the region’s 18th century farms."

Rio Nuevo said the project will, in large part, be financed by federal Opportunity Zone funds. These “O-Zone” funds are designated by the federal government as tax-incentive developments.

In addition to the expected $20 million investment from Gadsden, the developers have asked Rio Nuevo for $2.8 million of gap funding in order to launch the project by the end of 2019.

Rio Nuevo said its board tabled the project vote and ordered an independent economic study, which is routine when considering such a large investment.

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