SOUTH TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Greyhound track in the City of South Tucson is closing soon but closing the Greyhound park may open a world of opportunities for the site and for South Tucson.
The dogs don’t run anymore at the Tucson Greyhound Track in the City of South Tucson. For several years it’s been just a spot for off track betting. Now the track is for sale and the City of South Tucson sees the track as the key to the city’s revival.
The Greyhound track is a quiet place right now. Concerns about health and safety of the dogs ended greyhound racing. Off Track Betting has been keeping the place going since dog racing stopped six years ago. Now the Park’s owners say it will close by the end of the month.
The Greyhound Track had been a money maker for most of its almost 80 year history.
Now the land is for sale. And South Tucson’s Mayor sees that as a great opportunity to stimulate the city with a rush of retail development.
It’s rare to find a big piece of land, close in, and close to I-10. Development there could help stimulate other smaller development nearby. And more retail will generate more sales tax to help South Tucson pay for city services.
South Tucson Mayor Bob Teso says, “The City of South Tucson has basically no money so we don't own anything in the whole city and it's kind of like we have City Hall and that's pretty much it with the exception of a couple of empty lots here and there that the housing authority. We have that.”
The Mayor says a commercial magnet on this land could help attract more customers for other South Tucson businesses.
That’s just the effect Alex Franco wants to see at his Micha’s restaurant..
“We're just hoping to have some type of you know, like, like heavy foot traffic come in businesses, something that's going to draw a lot of attention to South Tucson. That’s what we want.”
KGUN reporter Craig Smith asked: "Not a restaurant though…?”
Franco: “Right not a restaurant. We want businesses over here. That’s be nice.”
Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 30 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing email@example.com or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.