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Apr 25, 2014 8:28 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Four historic buildings near University could be torn down, making way for hotel

TUCSON - Four historical buildings near the University of Arizona could be torn down to make way for a new 140-room hotel.

A local architect is working to get approval for the project while residents of the historic district don't want to see any historical structures demolished.

The hotel has been in the works for the past four years and would sit in the historic West University Neighborhood near 4th Street and Euclid Avenue.

Val Little is a member of the West University Historic Zone Advisory Board. She has lived at her home near University for the past 26 years.

She understands how important it is to preserve pieces of history.

"We think that it's an important amenity to the City of Tucson. It adds to the flavor of Tucson," Little told News 4 Tucson.

"The thing that really stopped us and troubled us and caused us to say 'we could not approve the proposal' was the fact that they were asking to completely demolish four historic buildings that are nationally registered, state registered and are part of our historic district," she said.

Bob Vint is the architect working on the hotel project. He said he appreciates historical value but admits that the buildings, for the most part, have lost their value.

"These four old buildings dating to the 1930s are no longer part of an historic context. They are in between a four-lane arterial street and a five-level parking garage, so they don't have a sense of history to them anymore," Vint said.

Vint concedes that an existing storefront from one of the buildings could be incorporated into the project. However, Vint said that the hotel would be more economically beneficial in the long run.

Final approval on this project must come from the city council as well as the mayor. A public hearing to discuss this could take place within the next two months.

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