Towers will soon be on the rise around the University of Arizona.

Construction on a $163 million high-tech facility for health-sciences students is underway on the corner of North Cherry Avenue and East Helen Street. The work is scheduled to continue until June 2018.

The Health Sciences Innovation Building is expected to be 10 or 11 stories and have a similar look to the planned new tower at Banner-University Medical Center Tucson.

The Arizona Board of Regents has received a $20 million building permit for the foundation of the Banner tower. It is the beginning of a $500 million project to rebuild the university-area hospital, which Banner took over last year. The project is expected to take three years.

Other construction activity around town includes:

  • A $4.6 million permit has been issued for a multifamily project of 25 units at 201 S. Stone. The three-story units will be row-house style on 45,000 square feet.
  • HomeGoods took out $3 million in building permits for storage racks and material handling at 7000 S. Alvernon Way.
  • El Dorado Hospital took out a $2 million permit to renovate the hospital’s 27,000-square-foot third floor into a behavioral health hospital at 1400 N. Wilmot Road.
  • A $1.5 million assisted living facility will be built by The Academy Village at 7700 S. Vivaldi Court, near East Old Spanish Trail. The facility will be about 10,000 square feet in size.
  • Another Kneaders restaurant is under construction, this one at 9660 N. Oracle Road. The $880,000 permit is for a 3,800-square-foot shop.
  • Dynamite Hypersonic Car Wash is building a $679,000, 5,000-square-foot shop at 3820 S. Pandora Ave., near Ajo Way west of I-19.
  • A $223,000 permit was issued for a 2,000-square-foot fitness center at Rincon Country West RV Resort, 4555 S. Mission Road.
  • Autobahn Indoor Electric Speedway got a $450,000 permit to retrofit leased space at 300 S. Toole Ave.
  • Synergy Plaza LLC received a $7,000 permit to demolish the shopping plaza at 2959 N. Swan Road. Stay tuned to see what may be moving into the space, near Fort Lowell Road.

Information on building permits courtesy of Ginger Kneup,, owner of Bright Future Real Estate Research. Contact Star reporter Gabriela Rico at


Gabriela's newspaper career began at the Tucson Citizen in '86 as the "movie-times girl" where she'd call local theaters for showtimes. Since then, she's written about crime, education, immigration, trade and business. She's been with the Star since 2007.