Hotels top the list for the building boom downtown - Tucson News Now

Hotels top the list for the building boom downtown

Moxy, newest concept hotel for downtown Tucson. (Source: FORSarchitecture+interiors) Moxy, newest concept hotel for downtown Tucson. (Source: FORSarchitecture+interiors)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Two new hotel projects proposed for downtown received a unanimous go ahead from the Rio Nuevo Board, but city of Tucson approval is still needed.

Scott Stiteler, who is building an AC Marriott at 6th & Broadway, asked the board to amend their financial agreement on the AC hotel in order to accommodate the new venture.

A final agreement still needs to be reached but the board, led by Chair Fletcher McCusker, appeared amenable to making the changes.

If approved, work on the hotel could begin early next year, not long after the August scheduled opening of the AC Marriott.

If approved, the new hotel would be one of the first dozen of its kind in the US. It's called a Marriott Moxy and is designed for the millenial generation. 

It has smaller rooms and smaller price points than the AC which will be about a block away. The $24 million hotel will have 110 rooms "and 40 to 50 apartments," according to Stiteler. 

At issue is whether parking issues can be mitigated. 

The Moxy was introduced by Marriott in 2016 and unveiled in Madrid. Nearly 20 are under construction or planned in Europe and about a dozen are under construction or completed in the U.S., one in Tempe and the newest in Tucson.   

Another hotel pitched and approved on Tuesday by the Rio Nuevo board will be built at the TCC, as a convention hotel.  

Tucson is the largest city in the U.S. that does not have a hotel attached to its convention center.

The plans were unveiled by Caliber Hospitality, LLC, a Phoenix financial company.

The proposal calls for a 125 room hotel on the east side of the TCC but there is a concern about parking.

The city leases the parking lot from Rio Nuevo and may be reluctant to give up so many parking spaces without replacements.

While Rio Nuevo voted to move the project forward, it admitted it might be a difficult sell to the city but the board will begin talks soon.  

Still Stiteler said downtown is ready for more hotel space. 

"Downtown has come a long way in 12 years," he said. "It's one of the few communities, maybe the only community its size in the country that has not had a hotel built in decades,"

The AC Marriott is the first new hotel downtown in 40 years.

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