The Main Stream

Oct 17, 2012 12:20 AM by Sean Mooney

City Council says new downtown project is a win win for Tucson

TUCSON - Looking to a new strategy to jump start development on the west end of downtown the Tucson City Council has approved a new incentive plan for a downtown developer.

It is called the One East Broadway Project slated for the northeast corner of Broadway Boulevard and Stone Avenue. The plan calls for a multi-use building with office, retail and residential space.

It would be the city's first foray into GPLET funding, or government property lease excise tax. In a nutshell, the city will give up a chunk of property tax revenues to get the project off the ground.

The heart of the plan is to provide incentive for businesses to build in the Central Business District. The deal calls for an up front tax break in the amount of $2.8 million to the developer of the project, One East LLC, over 8 years. As a result the city expects to reap an economic impact of $110 million.

The motion was unanimously passed by the Tucson City Council on Tuesday. Councilman Steve Kazachik says the project is great for Tucson. "People are saying why are you giving a private developer a tax abatement, I don't get it when I pay my property tax. The reason is because of the sales tax, the property taxes, the jobs that will be created, construction sales tax that are going to be created. This is a good deal."

The construction is also going to happen in an underveloped part of downtown. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild says he is hoping this deal will be the first of many. "It is retail, its office and it is mixed use market rate apartments. The more of that we can get, the next person is going to want to come along and say, hey this is working, we want to be here."

One East LLC is expected to break ground this November.

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