Caterpillar Inc. and Rio Nuevo today released design renderings of Caterpillar’s new 150,000 square-foot Tucson Mining Center to be located in the Mercado District in downtown Tucson. The Tucson Mining Center, being built by the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District, will be occupied by about 600 company engineers, product development, and support positions working on the next generation of mining equipment, vehicles, and technology. It is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019.

SmithGroupJJR of Phoenix in collaboration with WSM Architects of Tucson designed the three-level building to blend into the desert environment and to represent the Native American history of the land, identified as Tucson’s Origins. Representatives from Rio Nuevo, SmithGroupJJR + WSM, and Sundt Construction have been meeting regularly with neighbors and historians to create a site plan and design that will become one of the Southwest’s most recognized buildings.

The building site is northeast of A Mountain and Mission Garden, and is bounded on the north by Cushing Street, on the east by the Santa Cruz River and The Loop shared-use path, and on the west by an extension of Avenida del Convento Street still to be built. The modern structure will be visible to motorists on Interstate 10 and Congress Street. 

“Caterpillar is excited to take this next step, and we appreciate the strong partnership and support we’ve received from all members of the team,” saud Jean Savage, Caterpillar Vice President for Surface Mining & Technology. “This will be a site that will make us all proud, fitting well into the community and helping show the world some of what Tucson has to offer. When finished, it will be a cutting edge and modern office space where our team will collaborate, design, and innovate solutions that drive customer success around the world.”

“Rio Nuevo is honored to be part of the Caterpillar family and will forever be grateful to the company, not only for coming to Tucson, but for selecting this historic site,” said Fletcher McCusker, Chairman of the Rio Nuevo Board. “SmithGroupJJR + WSM have done an extraordinary job designing a world class building.”

The creation of the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District was approved by Tucson voters in 1999, along with an appointed Board, to invest state tax dollars in public and public/private projects to create a vibrant Tucson core. For every dollar the Board invests, the community reaps $10 of construction activity with projects like the AC Hotel Tucson by Marriott, the Arena, Greyhound, the Mercado Annex, City Park, the Marist project, and Caterpillar. For more information, visit