In the last 10 years, Downtown Tucson has seen massive revitalization. New restaurants, the renovation of historic theaters, the modern streetcar line and retail have brought the district back to life. The one thing missing? A modern hotel.

If fact, AC Hotel Tucson by Marriott will be the first hotel built in Downtown Tucson in more than 30 years.

Construction began on the hotel — located at 151 E. Broadway Blvd. — in December 2015 and it will open for business in the summer of 2017.

Interior rendering of the bottom floor lounge (Provided rendering) 

Standing eight stories tall, the top three floors will contain the hotel’s 136-rooms designed for today’s business traveler. The next four floors below will be a parking garage with more than 200 spots for easy and seamless access for people to come downtown. On the bottom floor is the lobby and lounge.

The hotel’s developer, Scott Stiteler, manager of Tucson Urban LLC, says that every single room of AC Hotel Tucson will have an unobstructed view of the city, while the sixth floor will have an open-air pool with a self-service bar.

The Comeback of a Dwindling Downtown

The hotel’s arrival in Downtown Tucson coincides with a 10-year revitalization effort for the area, which involved residents voting over 20 years ago to increase sales tax in order to fund the project. This decision was aimed to counter the area’s decades-long decline, during which time development had constantly been relegated from downtown to other parts of the state.

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild describes the decline of Downtown Tucson as “40 years of wandering in the desert.”

He says people started moving out of downtown in the mid-1970s and Downtown Tucson has essentially been reduced to government buildings, courthouses and the occasional dive bar.

According to Rothschild, that started to change with the Government Property Lease Excise Tax. This incentive allows up to eight years of tax abatement for eligible projects in the Central Business District. Rothschild also says that working with the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District says contributed heavily to the revitalization.

Perhaps the most pivotal development was the arrival of the Sun Link Streetcar — a public transit system similar to Valley Metro’s light rail — in 2014, which spurred an increase in property values and the arrival of more small businesses from retailers and boutique stores to restaurants and craft beer gardens.

“One of the pieces that was missing [in downtown] was a hotel,” Rothschild says. “We have several hotels along the streetcar, but none of them in the heart of downtown, so bringing a grocery store and hotel to downtown really has taken the neighborhoods surrounding downtown and doubled them or more in value.”

AC Hotel Tucson by Marriott 
Address: 151 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85701 
Owner: 5 North 5th, LLC 
Management Company: CIMA Enterprises LLC 
Architect: FORS Architecture and Swaim Associates 
General Contractor: Lloyd Construction