Pushback on 4th Avenue development as group works to keep area's character

Pushback on 4th Avenue development as group works to keep area's character

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The effort is a collaboration of the so called mom and pop shops on 4th Avenue. They are planning for the future of 4th Avenue and they don't want the area to lose it's vibe.

"My parents bought this building that has pop cycle and the surly wench in the 70's and they had an antique store, so I have kind of grown up here on the avenue, " said Dee Dee Koenen, co-owner of Pop-Cycle.

According to Koenen, the atmosphere currently is much different than what is used to be.

"It was, you know, a lot of hippies and had like an interesting vibe," she said.

Change is coming to the area, much faster than most would like it to.  The most recent development, a high-rise building will be located where Maloney's is right now.  This is a concern for Koenen.

"We are disappointed," said a concerned Koenen. "I feel like we are not opposed to density, we feel like that density should happen in a very responsible way."

Some would think, the more apartments in the area, the more foot traffic to the stores, however according to Koenen that is not the case in her store.

"These two student housings, that have been brought in have not brought any business to us. Unfortunately, the students - they travel, they eat at school, they shop at Target."

Recently the group had a Save 4th Avenue event, where people brought in old pictures and posters of the area and talked about the history.

It's all part of a push to get a community benefit agreement, which Koenen says will move 4th Avenue forward, and keep it's density.

"Where the developers work with the community they're moving into that," she said. "They will do a give and take. They will give us this and I guess we will not protest their development."

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