Façade Improvement Program Finalists Announced

March 15, 2012

The Downtown Tucson Partnership has announced the three finalists for their Façade Improvement Program, which provides financial assistance to Downtown building owners and tenants to improve the appearance of Downtown streetscapes in anticipation of the arrival of the Modern Streetcar. Two or three of the finalists will receive up to $100,000 to help restore their building in Downtown Tucson.

The finalists, the Pioneer Building (100 North Stone), the Chicago Store (130 East Congress), and the Shoe City Building (37 East Pennington), were chosen from more than a dozen applicants. The program will now give each finalist $5,000 for architectural designs, engineering costs, exploring building conditions and final budget planning. The finalists will work with an architect with expertise in historic preservation to develop and present a renovation concept to the committee for final review. The committee will announce the winners at a press conference on April 30, 2012.

“These three finalists represent the next exciting step in creating a unique, authentic Downtown,” said Michael Keith, CEO of the Downtown Tucson Partnership. “The Downtown Tucson Partnership, in conjunction with the City of Tucson and Providence Service Corp., has already restored seven facades in Downtown’s historic, burgeoning commercial district. Now, with the help of a grant from the Tohono O’odham two – maybe three – more building exteriors will be returned to their original architectural splendor.”

The Façade Improvement Program is seen as one of the most universally successful programs in

Downtown Tucson. In previous years, façade improvement money has been used to restore the historic

Screening Room to the original 1910 façade, transform the Rialto Theatre Block façade, prepare the exterior of The Scott building at 64 Broadway for the arrival of a new corporate headquarters and many other acclaimed projects.

“If the currently pending state and local incentive programs are approved, the impact on our local economy will be immense,” said Keith.  “It’s possible we could have two to three student housing projects, two mixed use projects, and two to three façade improvements, combined with the City/County courthouse and Modern Streetcar projects going all at once. Downtown will be generating many jobs and leading our region’s recovery. The impact on our local economy will be immense.”

The Façade Improvement Program is administered by the Downtown Tucson Partnership. Major funding for the project is provided by the Tohono O’odham Nation, the private sector – led by Providence Service Corp – and dedicated preservation money from the City of Tucson.

For more information on the Façade Improvement Program, visit www.DowntownTucson.org or contact Jewell Anderson at façade@DowntownTucson.org.

The Downtown Tucson Partnership is a non-profit, 501 (c)(6) corporation, charged with being the catalyst for the redevelopment of Downtown.