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City Council hears concerns about proposed 4th Ave. housing project

Posted at 9:46 PM, Feb 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-21 23:46:10-05

The Tucson City Council chambers were packed Wednesday night, as many people shared their concerns about the proposed 4th Ave. housing project that would replace the popular bar, The Flycatcher, and the surrounding lots.

"It's a really bad move," one man said to the Mayor and City Council. "I'm hoping that you guys can step in, in some way, and put a stop to this."

The proposed housing project would be on 6th St., between 4th Ave. and 5th St. The developing company owns the nearby student apartment complex, The District on 5th. That company, Education Reality Trust, which is based in Memphis, maintains this new project will not cater to the same audience, and wouldn't be a student housing complex.

"They're trying to tell us that this is not student housing," another man said, speaking to the entire room. "We don't believe it, we don't buy it, and we're not going to listen to it."

The housing complex would have 250 units. Many of those against it fear it would have too many negative effects on the surrounding area.

"Building a big high rise in the middle of 4th Ave. is going to disrupt the culture and commerce there," one opponent of the project said.

After hearing the multitude of concerns brought to the council, Ward 2 Council Member Paul Cunningham spoke up and requested for a study session on the topic, which he anticipates will happen within the next 45 days.

"We just need to get all of the information clarified," Cunningham said. "And I think the best way to do that is to have a study session."

The developers hope to begin construction of the project in the summer.