City of Tucson Proposed Downtown/Gateway Redevelopment Area

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why did I get a notification?
Pima County Assessor records indicate that you are an owner of property located within the boundaries of the proposed Redevelopment Area and Central Business District.

Will the City buy my property?
No, the City is looking to encourage private sector investment that will in turn serve as a catalyst for other development within the area.

Will this designation change my property value/assessed valuation?
There are not any changes expected in the immediate future, however over time, if the area is improved, it may have an effect on valuation.

Do I have to fix up my property?
The intent of creating a Redevelopment Area and Central Business District is to spur economic development.  Condemnation of property is not an objective of establishing a Redevelopment Area. 

Why isn’t the map squared off?
The map is intended to capture Downtown and the gateway to downtown.  The intent is to encourage investment in commercial areas and corridors.

What are the requirements for drawing a Redevelopment Area map and a Central Business District map?
There are no restrictions associated with drawing a Redevelopment Area map; however the City must do an analysis to designate a redevelopment area finding that the area is a slum or blighted area and that the redevelopment of that area is necessary in the interest of the public health, safety, morals or welfare of the residents of the municipality.  The State regulations associated with drawing a Central Business District map are that it is entirely within a Redevelopment Area, is geographically compact, and is no larger than the greater of 5% of the total land area of the city or 640 acres. 

Why has my property been classified as a slum?
To meet the requirements of Arizona State law, the area proposed for redevelopment will include blighted, vacant, and underutilized properties.  However, this is not intended as a reflection of specific properties in the area.

What is a GPLET and how can I get one?
A GPLET (which stands for Government Property Lease Excise Tax) is a tool used by cities to encourage private sector investment by abating property tax for a period of time agreed to by the City and the developer.  After the first 8 years of the agreement, an excise tax begins to be collected annually (therefore no property tax or excise tax is collected during that initial 8 year period and then an excise tax is collected from year 9 until the end of the term of the agreement with the City).  The criteria for receiving a GPLET include having a property within the Central Business District, having property improvement result in an increase in property value of at least 100%, getting Mayor and Council approval, notifying County and school districts, and having an independent third party prepare an analysis showing that the economic or fiscal benefit to the City will exceed the benefits received by the lessee.

What does the term “abate” mean?
An exemption from the tax (i.e., no tax paid).

Under a GPLET, once I transfer ownership of my property, does the City charge me rent? 
After the initial 8 year period, an excise tax is put into place.  The amount of the excise tax is governed by State law and is based on the size and type of building.

Does the City offer other incentives in this area?
The City offers several other incentives to encourage infill and investment in downtown and its gateways.  You can find more information on the City’s website at tucsonaz.gov/business.

What’s next?
The Mayor and Council will hold a Public Hearing on April 3, 2012, at or after 5:30 PM.  Once the area is adopted, the City will begin work on a Redevelopment Plan.  GPLET cannot be used within this area for 1 year.

Can the map be altered?
At the Public Hearing on April 3, 2012, Mayor and Council can eliminate portions of the map and then approve the revised map by resolution.  Because of notification requirements, the Mayor and Council cannot add areas to the map and approve it on April 3rd, but may direct City staff to re-notify all property owners by first class mail of the expanded map, conduct additional public informational meetings, and then return to Mayor and Council at a later date to hold another Public Hearing and consider adoption of the map by resolution. 

Has a GPLET been used in other places and what results were achieved?
The City of Phoenix has used the GPLET for virtually all major private development in its downtown since the mid-1980s, including Renaissance Square, Arizona Center, Collier Center, City Scape, the Phelps Dodge Building, the Freeport McMoran Building, and the renovation of the Wyndham Hotel.

How can neighborhood associations have input?
Once the Mayor and Council approve the Redevelopment Area, City staff will begin work on a Redevelopment Plan.  As part of the planning process, City staff will engage neighborhood associations, businesses, and other stakeholders.  The planning process will take approximately six months.

Back to Central Business District