By BETO HOYOS
Not long ago, downtown Tucson went silent at the end of the workday.
When the white-collar community of the city’s urban core clocked out, an eerie vibe of desolation clocked in.
During the last five years, however, Tucsonans have seen an abundance of downtown commercial reconstruction and developments.
Downtown Tucson has added 34 new restaurants, 27 retail shops, 12 art and cultural projects, 14 offices, and nine health and wellness centers, according to an article by KVOA.
Planned developments will bring eight housing projects, six bars or nightclubs, five bakeries, two coffee shops, two salons, two schools, one craft brewery and one venue expansion.
The new image of downtown Tucson is a hip city center where business and social life come together.
Many Pima Community College students say they stayed away from downtown during the construction, but are looking forward to exploring the new developments.
“I’m not 21 yet but I’m excited to try the new restaurants downtown,” student Aaron Alkins said.
Public projects generated $600 million downtown and along the streetcar rail line during the last five years, according to a media release on tucsonaz.gov.
About 12,000 people have been employed due to the downtown development. Construction alone generated roughly 10,000 jobs.
The 17 new businesses scheduled to open downtown during 2014 are expected to generate $100 million in private investments.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product,” PCC student Ruby Rodriguez said.