For the last six months, the new owner of the Benedictine Monastery. Ross Rulney, has been trying to develop the land he bought.
Rulney says he and the city have not been able to reach an agreement after several attempts at negotiation.
Below is a statement Rulney provided to KGUN 9 as to what has been negotiated so far.
The Ward 6 office and surrounding neighbors asked me for the following:
1) To preserve the monastery. I agreed.
2) Forbid by the bed student housing. I agreed
3) Lower the height from our original proposal. I agreed.
4) Save the avocado tree. I agreed.
5) Keep the eastern building lower in height compared to the buildings on the north and south. I agreed.
6) Eliminate the parking garage along the eastern border of the property. I agreed.
7) Retain the most respected preservationist architect in Tucson, Corky Poster and his firm, Poster Frost Mirto. I agreed.
What I ask in return is an additional 26' in height in order to make the development economically viable given the concessions I've offered. I hope Mayor and Council supports our plan but if not, I will proceed under the current zoning and the entitlements it offers.
One of the neighbors who lives behind the monastery says he still hopes they can all reach an agreement soon.
"Maybe a solution can be found that works for everybody, we certainly aren't naïve enough to think there isn't going to be development, we just think it has to be reasonable development."