Monday, September 03, 2007

Arts groups: Tucson should redevelop warehouses, report says

[Source: Andrea Kelly and Gerald M. Gay, Daily Star] -- The city of Tucson should preserve and redevelop the dilapidated buildings in its Downtown warehouse arts district, a new report says — even though it might take millions of dollars to bring some of them up to city code. The suggestions, part of a 58-page draft report assessing Pima County's cultural viability, will be presented to city officials and local arts organizations in November. The report is part of a joint study by the Tucson Pima Arts Council (TPAC); the Nature, Arts, Culture and Heritage Organizations, an alliance of local arts, culture, nature, and heritage nonprofit organizations; and private consultants. Funding came from a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a combined matching amount from the city and the county. Tucson's warehouse district has long been home to artists who have worked — and in some cases, lived — in buildings inspectors have said have unsound roofs and/or floors, crumbling walls and unsafe wiring. The Arizona Department of Transportation owns the buildings and originally planned to tear them down to make room for a new road, but now plans to sell them. The city wants to buy the buildings and eventually sell them to the artists, but so far has plans to buy only two warehouses.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source of Steinfeld warehouse in Downtown's warehouse district: Kelly Presnell, Daily Star.]