Friday, June 22, 2007

Tucson's Downtown Alliance broadens its scope

[Source: Rob O'Dell, Daily Star] -- Over a couple hours Wednesday, with little fanfare, the Tucson Downtown Alliance became the mega public-private partnership intended to prod Tucson to revitalize its Downtown core. The Downtown Alliance's board voted unanimously to reincorporate itself as the Downtown Tucson Partnership — an expanded group that now includes influential developers, investors, politicians and community activists. Their plan is to merge several existing Downtown organizations and efforts to oversee redevelopment there. The proposed private-public group would help raise money and bring together business deals aimed at creating a vibrant Downtown, along with picking up TDA's mission of largely providing an extra level of security and maintenance for Downtown.

It also will continue to get the $800,000 in property taxes and city assistance TDA has received annually. The new organization would be 35 to 40 members strong, with an additional 12 to 15 nonvoting members, including politicians. Larry Hecker, who will be a member of the new board, said it was legally easier for the TDA to transform itself into the new organization than to start over from scratch and file incorporation forms with the state and the Internal Revenue Service. "There's a corporate structure that avoids having to form a new corporation," Hecker said. "Its mission recognizes the overall importance of a vibrant Downtown to the wider community." For the time being, Donovan Durband, TDA's executive director, said the paid staff will remain the same, and "it will be business as usual." [Note: To read the full article, click here.]