A big project to develop Tucson's west side is getting closer to construction. The Rio Nuevo Board is helping finance the expansion of Mercardo San Agustin. The multi-million dollar project is set to add hundreds of jobs and more than a dozen businesses to the city's west side.
Just a few blocks west of downtown sits a thriving hub of Tucson culture. Since it's completion in 2010 the Mercado San Agustin Market has housed an array of local bars and restaurants. With the help of Rio Nuevo construction for the MSA Annex will be underway.
"The MSA annex is a 20,000 square foot retail complex, home to about 16 local and regional businesses, focused around one large court and four mini courts that are a second phase expansion of this facility," said Adam Weinstein with the Gadsden Company.
Gadsden Co. has been working to develop the land west of I10 since 2008. The group had originally partnered with the city of Tucson, but plans fell through after the recession. Rio Nuevo is set to buy the city out of the bond for $1.2 million.
Weinstein says addition of the Mercado annex comes at a perfect time.
"The announcement of Caterpillar, their participation with the MSA annex, the new announcement of the Coyotes and the AHL coming to the arena which is only two stops away all really help bring together the west side as part of a growing and expanding city center."
Rio Nuevo is set to invest an additional $2.2 million dollars into the MSA annex.
The annex will sit alongside the streetcar route on a 1.5 acre piece of land across from the existing market.
"A full retail array, a mix of food and beverage and local artisan tenants, most of the businesses are either favorites in the Tucson marketplace already that are expanding into second locations or in some cases third locations, and it's going to be a much more of a festival sort of market place with one large court and four mini courts for different types of activities."
The Rio Nuevo board is set to finalize the deal at their meeting next Tuesday. Construction on the MSA annex is planned to begin in November and be complete by next summer.