The City of Tucson is considering the designation of a Downtown/Gateway Redevelopment Area and Central Business District.

Downtown/Gateway Redevelopment Area (click on map for larger version ( jpg)

Central Business District Map Thumbnail link to larger map

This is the latest in Mayor and Council consideration and approval of tools and programs designed to encourage and promote economic development.

Programs include the Primary Jobs Incentive Program; the Ombudsperson Program; the Downtown Core Incentive District Building Permit Fee Waiver; the Downtown Core Incentive District Construction Tax Credit; the Impact Fee Deferral policy; and the adoption of the Infill Incentive District.

These programs work in concert with other tools made available through state and federal law.

Designation of a Downtown/Gateway Redevelopment Area would initiate a Redevelopment Plan for the area. The plan would define local objectives as to appropriate land uses, improved traffic, public transportation, public utilities, recreational and community facilities and other public improvements as well as building requirements in the area.

Staff would begin working on the redevelopment plan once the Redevelopment Area had been adopted by the Mayor and Council and would complete it within 12 months.

Central Business District and Government Property Lease Excise Tax

The City is also proposing establishment of a Central Business District (CBD). A CBD must exist within a Redevelopment Area, and the City is proposing that the boundaries of the CBD be the same as those of the Downtown/Gateway Redevelopment Area.

Establishment of a CBD would enable the use of a redevelopment tool called a Government Property Lease Excise Tax (GPLET). GPLET initiates development by reducing a project's operating costs through an eight (8) year property tax abatement.

The use of a GPLET is intended for projects deemed to create significant economic development activity within downtown Tucson or the gateways leading to the downtown area. Mayor and Council must approve the use of GPLET for any development. Staff would propose that:

  1. Properties selected for GPLET would have to be catalytic in nature.
  2. Vacant and underutilized properties would be the primary focus for the use of a GPLET.
  3. The City would preserve historic buildings.

Requirements

Certain conditions must be met to designate a Redevelopment Area. These conditions justify tax abatements and other potential redevelopment tools. Conditions include:

  1. A predominance of buildings or improvements, whether residential or nonresidential.
  2. The public health, safety or welfare is threatened because of any of the following:
    • Dilapidated, deteriorated, aging or obsolescent buildings or improvements.
    • The inadequate provision for ventilation, light, air, sanitation or open spaces.
    • Overcrowding.
    • The existence of conditions that endanger life or property by fire and other causes.
  3. The redevelopment of that area is necessary in the interest of the public health, safety, morals or welfare of the residents of the municipality.

While the City may find that all three conditions exist, condemnation of property would not a primary objective and its use is not anticipated within the Redevelopment Area.

Process

The process of designating a Redevelopment Area is public. All property owners in the proposed area are notified and multiple public meetings occur. Meetings to discuss the proposed Redevelopment Area were held on Friday, March 23 and Monday, March 26. Approximately 45 people attended the sessions. Upon Mayor and Council approval, additional public meetings will be held to gather input into the redevelopment plan. Meetings will be posted on this site.

Please see the (pdf) documents below for more information about this opportunity: