NewsNet 07-16-14

VOLUNTEER AS A STREETCAR GUIDE DURING OPENING WEEKEND - The Sun Link Tucson Streetcar team is recruiting volunteers to assist riders on the streetcar, July 25-27. Volunteers are asked to register to work a two-hour shift (or multiple staggered shifts) to help people board and exit the streetcar, answer questions and hand out free water. Volunteer shifts are available between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. all three days. As part of the volunteer training, you will get to ride the streetcar before the official launch, and you will get a free T-shirt. After the grand opening celebrations July 25, rides on the streetcar will be free through Sunday, July 27.

TUCSON ARCHITECTURAL FIRM MOVES DOWNTOWN TO BE PART OF AREA'S REVIVAL - With the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar and a vibrant food and entertainment scene leading Downtown Tucson's revival, a Tucson architect says he wants to be "part of the entire scene." Thomas Sayler-Brown, founder of SBBL Architecture + Planning, recently relocated his office from midtown to 15 E. Pennington Street to realize his dream of working in the urban center of Tucson. His company even is helping create part of the new downtown, finishing design plans for the forthcoming Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market, the long-awaited downtown grocery store. SBBL's portfolio also includes the Foothills Mall Loews Theater, the Lodge at Canoa Ranch, the Stone Curves multi-family housing development, the Cord Blood Registry, and other projects. Read more from the Downtown Tucson Partnership.

RIO NUEVO RECEIVES TWO BIDS TO REDEVELOP CURRENT GREYHOUND SITE - Rio Nuevo has two proposals to develop land it owns near the Tucson Convention Center. The Rio Nuevo Board board voted 4-1 Tuesday to publicly interview the two bidders in a final evaluation before it selects a winner to purchase and develop the approximately 8.5 acres of land now occupied by the Greyhound Bus Depot. Both proposals include plans for a hotel, parking garage and some mix of apartments, office space, restaurants, and shops. One bid, for $100 million, is from developer Allan Norville, who owns land adjacent to the property. The other, for nearly $112 million, is from Peach Properties. Once the Rio Nuevo Board picks a winner, it would then enter into negotiations to develop a final agreement. Read more from the Arizona Daily Star.

VOTER-APPROVED ROAD REPAIR WORK CONTINUES - Crews from Southern Arizona Paving and Construction Co., under contract with the City of Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT), began work today to improve the roadway conditions on Sixth Street from Ferro Avenue (just west of Sixth Avenue) to Park Avenue. Crews are lowering manhole and water valve covers through Friday, from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. During the utility-lowering phase of the project, at least one lane of travel in each direction will be maintained. Beginning Monday, crews will begin a full-depth mill (removing asphalt) and repaving on Sixth Street. The milling and repaving is scheduled to be complete by Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Business and residential access will be maintained at all times. The pavement preservation project is part of the $100 million, five-year Road Recovery bond program. Read the Bond Oversight Commission Annual Report.

TUCSON MAKES THE LIST OF TOP 50 CITIES FOR SWIMMERS - A study commissioned by USA Swimming and Speedo ranks Tucson 42nd on the list of 50 top cities in which to swim. The study ranks cities based on the number of USA Swimming clubs and members, number of competitions, and other factors. Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics is one of the nation's most successful post-collegiate clubs, building on the achievements of the University of Arizona swim teams. Former UA coach Frank Busch is USA Swimming national team director. Phoenix did not rank among the top 50 cities in the survey. Read more from, and read the entire survey.