Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ward 5 Economic Development

During a recent meeting with the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the question was raised about what I, as a Councilmember, had done for economic development and creating more efficiencies for city operations. What follows is what I presented to those in attendance at the meeting:

STREAMLINING THE C OF O PROCESS - Now a health/safety inspection by Development Services, reducing the number of inspections by more than a dozen.  Seventy-one new businesses opened in Ward 5 and the City of Tucson, since August 2010, when new C of O Rules Implemented.  With these changes, as well as the others (Land Use Code, Parking, Infill Incentive Districts, etc.) to the former City procedures, more than $475 million in commercial and construction development permits have been taken out by Planning and Development Services.

LOCAL PURCHASE – The Ward 5 Office, working with the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, brought forward the Local Purchase for Procurement Policy, so that locally owned businesses would receive preference points on RFP’s for City contracts for goods and services.  This new policy will benefit Tucson owned businesses.

TUCSON MARKETPLACE AT THE BRIDGES - Through meeting with neighbors, developers and city staff renegotiated predevelopment agreement so that the project could go forward.    With this change, the first anchor store, Costco, was built and completed in 110 days.  It was built by Borderlands Construction, a Tucson firm, providing work for more than 200 local construction workers.  In the past fiscal year, Costco alone brought in more than $2-million in sales tax for the City.

COSTCO opened on April 14, 2011.  Took in more than $740,000 for first day, a record.  Sold 700 new memberships on first day open.  More than 100 new jobs created from this store.

WALMART - a 156,000 square foot supercenter (through the Mar. 27, 2007 planning and development agreement by Mayor and Council).   Construction has started and will be completed in October 2012.  As requested by Ward 5 to hire local people and companies, ten local subcontractors are employing 300 Tucsonans on the construction. Four hundred (400) jobs will be created from this new Wal-Mart.  Quincie Douglas, South Park, Las Vistas, Pueblo Gardens and Western Hills neighborhoods wanted a Wal-Mart with a grocery store.  Ward 5 is working with Wal-Mart, Pima County One Stop and the Tucson Urban League to hire locally for this new store.

PARK-36TH - The roadwork was done at Park and the intersection of 36th is being done by the developers of the Bridges Project.  A $5 million road work and landscape project was done by Eagle Rock Construction of Tucson, and employed 100 people

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA BIOPARK - Through intergovernmental agreements between the U of A and the City of Tucson, the U of A will be breaking ground on the Biopark in 2012. The Biopark will have retail outlets, housing (condominium) for graduate students, a biotech high school for City students, and a 300 room hotel.  This is located at Kino/36th, north of the Bridges Project.

APAC Pharmaceutical – (160 jobs)
Bruker Nano Industries –  Move and expansion – (from 70 to now 90 jobs).
Four Goodwill Stores - More than 70 jobs.
Rarick - An increase of more than 50 jobs when completed to bring firm to 74 employees.
Three Quick Trips - More than 40 jobs.
Perfection Industries - More than 20 jobs.
Costco - More than 100 jobs.
In and Out Burger - More than two dozen jobs.
Three Dollar Stores (General Dollar and Family Dollar) - More than 50 jobs.
Don Pedro’s Peruvian Bistro - More than a dozen jobs.
Caremore Healthcare - More than two dozen jobs.
Circle K (Ajo/Park) - More than dozen jobs.
Baja Market opened - Eight jobs.
Cora’s CafĂ© – Eight jobs.
Axis Market – Eight jobs.
Caid Industries – Thirty Jobs

ANNEXATION - On Tuesday, May 22, 2012, the Mayor and Council, by a unanimous vote, approved the annexation of the Valencia Crossing property, which will being in more than $32.5 million, in initial fees, for the City of Tucson for the next ten years and will bring in more fees with its commercial development.

JWR/LANDMARK - A 188 unit, single story, non mini dorm, student housing development (gated community) to be constructed at 22nd/Highland/Park area by JWR/Landmark Holdings.  This project was supported by the South Park Neighborhood Association, the Millville Neighborhood Association and the Tucson Urban League.  A $20 million dollar construction project is being built with a local construction company, Borderlands Construction, employing close to 100 people.  More than a dozen jobs to be created when housing development is completed (management/staff). 

CAID INDUSTRIES – Ward 5 worked for the rezoning and expansion, approved by Mayor and Council, resulting in 30 more jobs.

RARICK REZONG - Ward 5 supported this rezoning in the Millville neighborhood of Rarick - a $3 million dollar construction project and expansion.

BUSINESS FORUMS - Ward 5 has held several business forums and hosted the Tucson Means Business forum at the Fred G. Acosta Job Corp Center.   The Ward 5 office co-hosted an MPA Brown Bag Lunch. 

BUSINESSES (WARD 5) - Ashton Company, located in Ward 5, is building the Cushing Street Bridge, resulting in 97 Tucsonans working and with the money staying in the City of Tucson.

Helped the Airport Inn to be able to remodel and expand their kitchen by getting TIA approval, ending more than thirty years of attempts for this business to expand its location.

Helped LeCave’s Bakery settle their parking space situation.

POLICY CHANGES – REAL ESTATE/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT - Ward 5 brought forward a proposal to repeal the $5,000 non-refundable application fees, the real estate office charged for processing transactions for easements and temporary revocable easements, which will spur development.

SUN TRAN – More than $300,000 in revenue has been generated, in the current fiscal year, through advertising, brought about by the lifting of restrictions by the Ward 5 Council office in 2011 – tripling the revenue from the previous fiscal year.

P-CARD – For the past two years, with the emphasis on usage by Ward 5 Council.  The usage rebate has increased from $114,000 to $393,000 and more than $2.0 million has been saved in reduction of transaction costs.