Developer waiting for city approval for large housing project at - Tucson News Now

Developer waiting for city approval for large housing project at La Placita Village

An architect rendering shows the north-facing side of the planned complex. (Source: Eglin Bresler Architects) An architect rendering shows the north-facing side of the planned complex. (Source: Eglin Bresler Architects)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

If the Tucson city council gives the go-ahead to HSL, Inc. to tear down La Placita Village downtown and put up an apartment complex, it will approve the largest housing project to date in the area.

The project includes 246 market-rate apartments for rent including 19 studios, 60 one-bedroom, 99 two-bedroom, 63 three-bedroom and five four-bedroom units.

The project cost is estimated to be $42 million and will take 28 months to complete.

A retail component is also part of the plans.

HSL has sent a letter to surrounding neighbors alerting them to the fact demolition will begin in May.

But before that happens, the project must go through an independent audit process which the city council must approve.

According to the HSL application, it is asking for eight years of property tax abatements, which is standard for the city's GPLET process, passed by the council in 2012.

The application also calls for construction sales tax credits for public improvements to the Eckbo Fountainscape and La Placita City Park, which are on the property to be developed.

HSL says the project will create 150 construction jobs which pay between $30,000 and $65,000.

Currently, according to the application, the property generates $7,600 in tax revenue for the city. Post construction that is expected to rise to an estimated $36,000.

The project will enable 350 to 500 new residents to move into the downtown area.

The council will decide whether to approve the process next week.

While the La Placita project becomes the largest downtown project to date, the Ronstadt Transit Center redevelopment will eclipse that if and when it's approved, thought to be later this year.

It will construct more than 300 housing units as well as commercial and retail space.

With two other smaller projects, the number of housing units downtown could increase by nearly 800 in the coming year.

It's a housing boom Tucson has not seen before.

Once, downtown thrived during the daylight hours because of the high concentration of commercial and business space.

When people left work, they left downtown.

Recent developments are working to keep that from happening.

"You see a lot of people who want to be part of the urban lifestyle," said Tony Ray Baker, a downtown realtor. "In the old days they moved out of the city into suburbia. ... Now we have people coming back to the city."

HSL application by Tucson News Now on Scribd

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