Don't let new developments destroy local vibe
Fourth Avenue is one of Tucson’s most popular and vibrant communities. Dubbed “The Heartbeat of Tucson,” this historic neighborhood is home to several locally owned businesses, bars and restaurants that are innately infused with funky vibes inspired by the city’s proud history and culture.
With several multi-story developments set to break ground in the next year, it’s only natural to be concerned about how this will affect Fourth Avenue’s unique culture.
Fourth Avenue in particular will be the site of two new high-rise apartment buildings, replacing both Maloney’s Tavern near the avenue’s south end, and The Flycatcher at the corner of Fourth and Sixth Street.
The Arizona Daily Star reported that one of the projects, proposed at the current site of Maloney’s Tavern, will include multiple buildings ranging from 80 to 160 feet in height. The Flycatcher will also be replaced with another multi-level apartment complex, The Union on Sixth, which will include two-, three- and seven-story buildings.
One of the biggest concerns about these new developments in the Fourth Avenue and University Boulevard areas is that downtown Tucson may begin to lose its one-of-a-kind flare. This community hotspot is particularly valuable to Tucson culture because most of it is locally owned and operated, creating a unique identity and sense of community. That could be under threat with large, corporate entities looking for a piece of the avenue’s pie.
However, it’s important to be realistic and understand that Tucson will continue to develop, whether we like it or not. Development is inevitable in a city that continues to grow year after year, and it’s up to local residents to mold that development so that it fits in with our style and culture.
While some may not like the changes coming to the downtown area, it’s important to recognize the value of these investments and the economic growth they may bring to Tucson. Our community has a tremendous opportunity to capitalize off of these developments, not just financially, but culturally as well.
Pardon the cliché, but Fourth Avenue is more than just a place, it’s a people. The Tucson community made Fourth Avenue what it is today, and as long as we keep that spirit alive, a couple of new buildings isn’t going to change anything.