A major redevelopment project that saves one historic building and demolishes another in Cathedral Square in downtown moved forward Tuesday.

The Tucson City Council approved a demolition plan for Parish Hall, with a determination that the 100-year-old building has “no reasonable economic use,” but the council made the decision contingent on some design changes to the new building to make it more compatible with the historic area.

More than 200 people attended the council meeting, many cheering and applauding the decision.

The plans for Cathedral Square include:

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  • Demolishing the historic Parish Hall building on West Ochoa Street and replacing it with a four-story building, including a banquet hall and offices, next to St. Augustine Cathedral.
  • Demolishing the two-story diocese offices at the southeast corner of West Broadway and South Church Avenue to make way for a seven-story building for low-income senior apartments.
  • Restoring the blighted but historic Marist College building as part of the apartment project.

Councilwoman Regina Romero said the city must be willing to try this approach to save the Marist building and the church-square culture. 

Contact reporter Becky Pallack at bpallack@tucson.com or 573-4346. On Twitter: @BeckyPallack