Tucson agrees to new downtown hotel - Tucson News Now

Tucson agrees to new downtown hotel

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The hotel will be called AC Tucson, a new brand which is being built in Chicago, New York and other urban areas. The hotel will be called AC Tucson, a new brand which is being built in Chicago, New York and other urban areas.
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Since 1999, Tucson city leaders have talked about a new hotel downtown but this is the first time it has seriously advanced beyond the talk stage.

A proposed grandiose 700-room hotel at Congress and Granada has given way to a more practical 157-room Marriott at Fifth and Congress.

"It's a milestone for Tucson," said Scott Steitler, the hotel's developer. "I'm excited."

It will be the first new hotel in downtown since 1976 and marks the redevelopment of the east end.

A new grocery store is also in the construction phase.

It's scheduled to open in December.

The hotel will be called AC Tucson, a new brand which is being built in Chicago, New York and other urban areas.

Steitler believes it will of take about six months to get all the permits and then 16 to 18 months to finish construction.

Steitler has believed in downtown when a lot of developers shunned it.

"I remember not long ago, maybe four years ago,  many of the buildings here we're boarded up," he said.

Before the city would consider a development agreement, the hotel had to be subjected to an independent audit.

The city will give the developer nearly $5 million in tax abatements for the first eight years.

But the audit shows Tucson will gain $17 million during that time.

It will also add 219 jobs to the downtown work force and likely be a catalyst for more affordable housing for downtown.

"We have the community behind it, the merchants want it, Rio Nuevo signed off on it two weeks ago and now the city," Steitler said. "It's a milestone for the city to get to this place."

The original hotel concept envisioned by Rio Nuevo would have used public money, taxpayer funding.

Steitler's hotel uses private money.

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