The University of Arizona has spent nearly $13 million designing a new science center for Rio Nuevo — including notable expenses for travel, meals and architectural designs that have been discarded, according to an investigation by the Arizona Daily Star.
They promised buildings — hotels, an aquarium and museums. But a Star analysis of the $63 million in taxpayer dollars paid to outside vendors since voters approved Rio Nuevo in 1999 shows that much of the money has been spent to plan projects that stalled.
In the nine years since voters approved the Rio Nuevo Downtown redevelopment district, the city has taken in — and spent — more than $77 million in taxpayer money. None of the museums and other downtown attractions that taxpayers were promised have been built yet.