Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Downtown Tucson redevelopment is progressing (op-ed)

[Source: Daily Star] -- It seems as if Rio Nuevo, the city's ambitious redevelopment plan, takes two steps back for each step forward. But that's not so. There is steady progress being made, though perhaps not as quickly or as gracefully as we all wish. The most recent apparent setback is that City Manager Mike Hein has postponed the groundbreaking on the West Side site for a Tucson Origins Heritage Park (pictured) and decided not to build the Origins Center, a structure that would have served as a entry point where visitors could orient themselves to the park.

Visitors also would have been charged admission to the park, which will house a reconstructed Mission San Augustín and Convento and museums, including the University Science Center, the Arizona State Museum and the Arizona Historical Society Museum. The Origins Center "wasn't needed and I think the City Council has been clear that they didn't want admissions charged," Hein told us on Wednesday. "That's the only thing we've scrapped." He said the Historical Society Museum will instead likely serve as a "portal" to the park.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Artist's rendering, Burns Wald-Hopkins Architects.]