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Sep 27, 2011 9:00 PM

Major changes coming to Miracle Mile

TUCSON - The national unemployment rate is still over 9 percent and the economy is sputtering along all over Southern Arizona. But there are some bright spots we can focus on, like Miracle Mile. It's getting a facelift.

Miracle Mile used to be a gateway to Downtown Tucson. Over the years, Miracle Mile lost that family feeling. In fact, it's really not an area most would think about for a family outing.

That may be changing, as Miracle Mile undergoes a major makeover. Every Tuesday morning, Dar Dobroslavic leads a tour of the Monterey Court Studio Galleries, under construction at 505 W. Miracle Mile Road. "This is going to be a place for Tucsonans, as well as visitors to come, it's exciting," Dobroslavic said.

The historic motel was vacant and run-down, but soon it will be home to 16 art studios and a cafe. Vincent Mast is a consultant hired to open the Monterey Cafe and Bar.

"This is a unique opportunity to really bring this area of town up to a level that it hasn't seen in quite awhile," Mast said.

Greg Haver owns the property. He says 12 of the 16 studios are already reserved. He believes other renovations along Miracle Mile, like the Ghost Ranch Lodge, the Golden Pins bowling alley, and the new Police Substation proves that Miracle Mile is on the move. And Haver believes his art studios will keep the economic engine running.

"Tucson, over the last few years, really blossomed as a place to come as an artist. And to have your art and show it, I think all of that is going to benefit our economy," Haver said.

The shops at Monterey Court are scheduled to open around November first. The café should open up two or three weeks after that.

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