The Tohono O'odham Nation has made its first real estate investment within Tucson's city limits.

It bought Plaza Antigua II, on North Campbell Avenue near River Road, for $4.2 million in cash, records from the Pima County Recorder's Office show.

"It's a valuable piece of property," said Richard Grijalva, economic development director for the nation. "We know it will appreciate in value."

He said tribal leaders believe the economy is stabilizing and thought it a good time to make an investment purchase.

The property is fully occupied, and the tribe doesn't plan any changes, Grijalva said.

University Medical Imaging is the only tenant.

The building is next door to Plaza Antigua, which is anchored by Trader Joe's.

The site was originally developed in the 1960s as a venue for bluegrass festivals and farmers markets.

It was a dirt plaza with wooden casitas from which merchants and artists sold their goods. The doors and windows on the casitas were from buildings that were torn down during urban renewal in downtown Tucson.

In 2004, the buildings were razed and a new Plaza Antigua was built on the site, in anticipation of Trader Joe's arrival. Plaza Antigua II was constructed in 2006.

Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at grico@azstarnet.com or 573-4232.