Downtown's largest project waiting for federal approval

Updated: Apr. 3, 2017 at 6:33 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Tucson city officials and local developer Peach Properties are still waiting to hear from the Federal Transit Authority for approval of the $150 million Ronstadt Transit Center in downtown.

It will be the largest single project ever in downtown.

Peach Properties was chosen in 2015 to develop the property after presenting the winning design which includes 300 living units, retail, commercial and hotel components.

But because it still contained a transit component, in part because of FTA financing, it still needs FTA approval. It was hoped that approval would come quickly, but it still has not and no one has been told when it will or if it will.

That leaves a lot of people hanging.

The city of Tucson has approved the development plans however there may need to be tweaks depending on the approved FTA plans. It must also receive final approval from the mayor and city council but they have indicated support.

The CEO of Peach Properties said the financing is in place at advantageous interest rates.

Construction costs are historically low.

Whether the delay is the function of a new administration is the matter of conjecture.

The FTA has put on hold or canceled several projects nationwide but whether the Ronstadt project is one of those isn't known.

"This will be the crown jewel downtown," Ward III council member Karin Uhlich said at the time of the announcement.

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Not everyone is upset about the delay however.

For those who live on the top floors of the Martin Luther King public housing, who have unfettered views, the wait can take a bit longer.

"Well, that will block just about any view I have in that direction," said Sean Watts, who lives on the top floor.

In response to an email, the FTA said it will get back with an update on the project "soon."

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