Special reports: Rio Nuevo
Here are the Star's special investigations and databases on the City of Tucson's Rio Nuevo plan for downtown redevelopment.
In the nine years since voters approved the Rio Nuevo Downtown redevelopment district, the city has taken in — and spent — more than $77 million in taxpayer money. None of the museums and other downtown attractions that taxpayers were promised have been built yet.
They promised buildings — hotels, an aquarium and museums. But a Star analysis of the $63 million in taxpayer dollars paid to outside vendors since voters approved Rio Nuevo in 1999 shows that much of the money has been spent to plan projects that stalled.
The University of Arizona has spent nearly $13 million designing a new science center for Rio Nuevo — including notable expenses for travel, meals and architectural designs that have been discarded, according to an investigation by the Arizona Daily Star.
The new Rio Nuevo board has spent barely a dime on downtown building projects but is closing in on $1 million spent on lawyers in its first 18 months of existence.