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A riverwalk is planned for Tucson's west side as part of a retail, housing project

A riverwalk is planned for Tucson's west side as part of a retail, housing project

The Bautista, a $72 million project will have 16,500 square feet of retail space, a restaurant, 253 residential units and a riverwalk.

A proposal to bring a riverwalk along the Santa Cruz river on Tucson’s west side has received a boost from the Rio Nuevo Board.

The board has agreed to buy the land, near Cushing Street and Linda Avenue, west of Interstate 10, so Gadsden Co. can develop The Bautista, a $72 million multi-use project with 16,500 square feet of retail space, a restaurant and 253 residential apartments.

The central plaza of the project will include the riverwalk.

Gadsden will prepay 25 years of rent — $4.7 million — and Rio Nuevo will contribute $2.8 million for the land, in exchange for sales tax to the district.

The project is expected to begin sometime this year.

“It’s nice to see someone moving forward right now,” board chairman Fletcher McCusker said.

Gadsen has developed several west-side projects, including Mercado San Agustin, the annex and the Monier Apartments.

The Rio Nuevo board also approved a a financial package to help Fox Theatre continue to operate during the coronavirus outbreak.

The board agreed to deposit $500,000 with National Bank of Arizona to set up a line of credit for the theater and defer two years of rent — about $180,000 — with the condition that the money be used for repairs and maintenance only.

Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at or

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