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Mar. 21, 2013

Rio Nuevo Asked to Provide Loan for $22M Downtown Hotel Project

By Camelia Bulea, Associate Editor

Downtown Tucson Skyline

The 135-room hotel that developer Scott Stiteler is planning at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Congress Street was missing a final link. That last piece of the puzzle will now be supplied by a $2.5 million loan from  Rio Nuevo board.

The public loan would cover the funding gap left after $15 million in conventional loans and about $5 million in private money are factored into the hotel financing, reported the Arizona Daily Star.  Stiteler wants to repay the loan from taxes owed to Rio Nuevo rather than from hotel profits over a period of 10 years. Therefore, Rio Nuevo will net $3.3 million over 10 years from the hotel according to Stiteler’s repayment documents.

Although the downtown hotel project has the support of the Rio Nuevo board members, the board is currently considering all legal implications of such a loan before agreeing to finance the development. The board hopes to have an answer within the next 30 days.

The manager of Tucson Urban LLC is imagining a downtown entertainment district in downtown Tucson with the six-story hotel as the centerpiece of the ambitious project. He believes that such a project could help revitalize downtown Tucson.

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