Downtown Tucson reaches a milestone - Tucson News Now

Downtown Tucson reaches a milestone

Posted: Updated:
  • Most ReadMost ReadMore>>

  • Union Pacific working to get train cars back on track near Picacho Peak

    Union Pacific working to get train cars back on track near Picacho Peak

    Union Pacific working to get train cars back on track near Picacho Peak

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:16 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:16:43 GMT
    Crews are still working to clear the tracks after an overnight derailment in Pinal County. There were no injuries reported and nothing hazardous was on the train cars. Authorities say the track could be cleared up of cars by noon.
    Crews are still working to clear the tracks after an overnight derailment in Pinal County. There were no injuries reported and nothing hazardous was on the train cars. Authorities say the track could be cleared up of cars by noon.
  • Flash Flood Watch through Thursday; get a breakdown of the threat

    Flash Flood Watch through Thursday; get a breakdown of the threat

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 4:46 PM EDT2014-09-16 20:46:09 GMT
    Source: Jack SumanSource: Jack Suman
    There are some things that are certain with the coming rain. You WILL get rain at some point over the next three days. There WILL be flooding in some areas of Southeast Arizona. There WILL be rain records broken. 
    There are some things that are certain with the coming rain. You WILL get rain at some point over the next three days. There WILL be flooding in some areas of Southeast Arizona. There WILL be rain records broken. 
  • Marana, Oro Valley, Golder Ranch Fire offering sandbags to residents

    Marana, Oro Valley, Golder Ranch Fire offering sandbags to residents

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:41:08 GMT
    The Towns of Oro Valley and Marana, as well as Golder Ranch Fire District are offering free sandbags to residents who need to protect their homes. According Oro Valley and Marana officials, a limited number of sandbags are available to residents of both towns; residents within the Golder Ranch Fire District service area are also eligible. 
    The Towns of Oro Valley and Marana, as well as Golder Ranch Fire District are offering free sandbags to residents who need to protect their homes. According Oro Valley and Marana officials, a limited number of sandbags are available to residents of both towns; residents within the Golder Ranch Fire District service area are also eligible. 
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Downtown Tucson has been the exception to the rule during the Great Recession.

Since 2008, 150 new businesses have opened and private projects have begun, most in the past 36 months.

Downtown Tucson is leading the economic recovery in Southern Arizona.

Of the new businesses, 34 are restaurants and 27 are retail outlets.

For those keeping score, only three restaurants have closed.

"That's extraordinary, absolutely," says Michael Keith, CEO of the Downtown Tucson Partnership.

While downtown is on a roll, keeping the momentum will be a challenge.

2014 seems to be taken care of.

17 new private projects totaling $100 million are already planned for next calendar year.

"How long can the cycle last, how long can the cycle go?" Keith asks. "Do we have another five year run, do we have a seven year run."

It's hard to gauge with an uncertain economy but downtown Tucson has outpaced the rest of Southern Arizona.

It's also transformed downtown.

There are families and college students like Katherine Torth and Andrew Brigell.

They have seen a big turnaround from year to year.

"It's so cute and chic," Torth says. "They've definitely made it more for young people. They've done a good job."

"A much improved downtown," Brigell says.

Businesses say they've also seen an improvement.

"Business has been great," says Kathleen Lohnes, business manager for Urban Fresh. "It's been steadily trending up."

She says more and more people are eating healthy it seems and Urban Fresh is the only restaurant of its kind downtown.

But she adds, the more restaurants the more traffic.

"This whole area, there are more people walking by," she says.

But downtown Tucson has always been rather small and with more activity, it can seem cramped.

With more young people and more families moving in, there seems to be a lack of open space.

Parks and interactive open space for children are in demand right now.

"That's one thing we need to look hard at," Keith says. "We need it."

Along with new business, the construction projects have added 10,000 construction jobs and 2,000 non construction jobs.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

 

Powered by WorldNow