Downtown boom: City leaders cite small business resurgence
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Downtown Tucson just hit a major milestone, in the form of new business.
According to the Downtown Tucson Partnership, since 2008, 150 new businesses and private projects have gone into the Downtown area, transforming store fronts, translating to some 2,000 new area jobs and resulting in millions of dollars in private investment.
"You could say we jumped on the bandwagon but really we saw it kind of hit that boiling point and we wanted to jump in," Cyler Varnum, who opens his downtown-area beer and wine bar this week, said.
"We know in a few years that it's almost going to be untouchable to get down here," Varnum continued.
Varnum is one of the 150 small business and private projects going into, what some are calling, a booming downtown Tucson.
"Tell me another city that's done anything close to that," DTP CEO, Michael Keith added.
Congressman Ron Barber calls the resurgence a "small business success story."
"This is really an example of what we can do locally to bring our economy back. The economy is being boosted tremendously by what is happening downtown," Congressman Barber told 9OYS.
Going forward, DTP leaders say millions more in private investment are on their way through new business and housing development. Organizers say the growth is a delicate balance between old and new. More specifically, refurbishing the old as part of new business construction.
"This is better than it ever was. It's got a vibrancy and a whole new demographic," Keith continued.