Dirt is flying around St. Augustine’s Cathedral downtown as workers ready the land for a new Diocesan Complex.

The church received a building permit to begin construction of a $9.8 million, four-story, 64,000-square-foot structure that will feature a 500-seat event and education center and offices for the cathedral and the Diocese of Tucson. The building will replace St. Augustine’s parish hall, which officials said was not large enough to serve the nearly 1,000 families in the parish, much less the whole diocese.

The current diocese offices at 111 S. Church Ave. will be demolished and a seven-story facility for senior housing will be built by the Foundation for Senior Living.

Earlier this year, the cathedral’s colorful bandshell was moved across the street to accommodate the demolition and land grading.

Other construction activity around town includes:

  • A former charter school on the city’s west side is getting a $4.5 million renovation for its transformation into Via Elegante Rehab and Dementia Care. The property is located at 2797 N. Cerrada de Beto, near Silverbell and Goret roads.
  • Alta Vista Communities has received an additional $3.9 million permit for 40 more units at its apartment development at 750 W. Orange Grove Road. So far, the developer of the complex, called Pima Canyon, has received permits for 224 of the 240 planned units.
  • Tortolita Valley Homes is building a duplex rental complex at 1324 and 1332 N. Highland Ave. A $926,000 permit was issued for two, 4,000-square-foot duplexes.
  • A PetSmart is under construction at 18761 S. Nogales Highway. A $827,000 permit was issued for the 17,900-square-foot shop.
  • A $548,000 permit was issued for the foundation of the future student-housing project, The Mark, at 999 E. Broadway.
  • A 3,300-square-foot visitor’s center is under construction for Raytheon, at 1250 E. Aero Park Blvd. The city of Tucson pulled a $537,000 permit for the project.
  • National Outdoor Leadership School is building a 3,900-square-foot multipurpose space at 2751 N. Soldier Trail. A $494,000 permit was issued for the demolition of existing building and construction of the new one.
  • A $399,000 permit was issued for a 3,000-square food restaurant, The Habit Burger Grill at 5721 E. Broadway.
  • Panda Express got a $339,000 permit to build a 2,600-square-foot eatery at 750 W. Sahuarita Road.
  • The deli and bakery at Costco, 3901 W. Costco Drive, are getting a makeover with $240,000 in tenant-improvement permits.

Information on building permits courtesy of Ginger Kneup, ginger@orangereports.com, owner of Bright Future Real Estate Research. Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at grico@tucson.com


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.