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Re: “The Saga of the Downtown Motor Hotel

You should read things more carefully Karlito.

I suggested they rehab the building as-is for low-income housing and build more on a nearby lot. That is still In My Back Yard. I reiterate, once again, we are not opposed to low income housing. It is the poor design and cheap quality of the project we are opposing. Segregating the poor and warehousing them in cheap buildings seems much more heartless to me than what we are suggesting...quality housing, integration, respect for history.

And yes, where are the renderings of the proposed structure? We have repeatedly asked to see scale drawings in relationship to the existing neighborhood and the developer refuses to show us any. All we have seen are elevation line drawings...a 4 story shoebox that does, indeed, tower over the surrounding buildings.

As for the 4th Ave Underpass project, that has nothing to do with this!
But since you brought it up, we are so proud of that project. It involved and represents over 7,000 Tucson citizens and was a positive, fun addition to our city. And yes, we did get paid to do that project. We worked for over two years to bring that to fruition and trust me, the pay was more along the lines of a labor of love than a get rich quick scheme.


4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by GSP on 11/07/2014 at 10:03 AM

Re: “The Saga of the Downtown Motor Hotel

Just to be clear, this is not a NIMBY issue.

We have repeatedly pointed out that there are numerous vacant sites in the area that would better suit this development. What we object to is the destruction of a building by the renowned Tucson architect, Josias Joesler, and the architecture of segregation that will replace it. This is a high density tower that will warehouse the poor and not integrate them into the fabric of our neighborhood in any way. This is too much building for the site. It is out of scale with the surrounding historic district, will loom over and look down on neighboring properties.

If a historic property like this were in any progressive city, such as Austin or Portland, those places would be working hard to save and rehab a building like this. Once again, the shortsighted Tucson Office of Historic Preservation has sold out our heritage to the highest bidder, and we all lose.

David Wohl is misinformed. This IS an out of town, for-profit developer [Bethel Development Inc., Ohio] that has coupled with Compass Affordable Housing in an attempt to appear noble - the wolf in sheep's clothing. There are huge tax incentives and federal dollars that will bankroll the developer now and into the future. Also, only the front building and sign will be saved, not the majority of the structure. The developer has also done a good job of misinforming the community as to who will actually live here. They initially touted this as housing for veterans, but when questioned further it is simply low-income housing. They can't guarantee that a single vet will even end up there as it will be open to all low-income residents, and that includes students.

We champion good development and encourage Bethel and Compass to look at better designed, more integrated alternatives. It can help make our city more diverse and a better place to live for everyone. Why not rehab the building as-is for low-income? Build another smaller unit nearby? That way everyone would win...the developer would be looked at as someone helping to save our architectural heritage AND helping with low-income housing. People would be better integrated.

There are millions of dollars in play here, spend a few thousand more and make this better.

As is, this is not good, noble development. This is architecture of destruction and despair. It hurts our neighborhoods, engenders poor development, and ultimately, belittles and segregates the lives of those the developer is claiming to help.

Gary Patch

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by GSP on 11/05/2014 at 10:32 AM

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