Rio Nuevo sues unsuccessful Tucson resort

Rio Nuevo is suing the proprietor of a downtown Tucson resort that it financed after the owner announced the resort would shut.

The lawsuit, submitted in Pima County Outstanding Court docket on Wednesday, May well 17, alleges breach of contract and seeks $333,333 that Rio Nuevo delivered to Citizen Resort owner Moniqua Lane to renovate the previous Tucson Citizen making at 82 S. Stone Ave. into a 10-room wine-centric boutique hotel.

The lawsuit alleges that Lane misrepresented herself as the sole owner of the setting up when she requested Rio Nuevo’s assistance in March 2022.

Lane experienced a minority possession in the home with Sofonias Astatke and Equilibrium Real Estate Investments, mentioned as Equilibrium QOZB2C LLC. in Pima County Assessor documents.

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Equilibrium purchased out her share early this calendar year, Lane explained on Monday when news broke that the hotel and its foyer bar had been closing on Sunday, Could 21, right after only 15 months.

Lane on Thursday mentioned she had not viewed the lawsuit and could not remark. She also owns the Downtown Clifton and Purple Gentle Lounge at 485 S. Stone Ave.

Also named in the match is Lane’s building organization MKL Devco, LLC, which worked on the $2.5 million Citizen Lodge renovation job.

Citizen Hotel is the 1st Rio Nuevo-funded job to fail, said longtime Chairman Fletcher McCusker.

“It’s the first time … the place a enterprise went out of business enterprise abruptly,” he reported.

In its April 2022 economic positive aspects arrangement with Lane, Rio Nuevo originally pledged to offer $500,000 in complete assist for the Citizen Hotel, with some $200,000 established aside as lease relief for Sand-Reckoner Vineyards. Sand-Reckoner was supposed to lease the 5,000-sq.-foot basement to make a wine-tasting room and barreling facility.

When Sand-Reckoner pulled out of the challenge, Rio Nuevo withheld the $200,000.

Astatke has not responded to phone calls for remark about what will become of the setting up.

The Citizen Setting up, which dates back to 1913, was the original residence of the now defunct Tucson Citizen newspaper. For years it was applied as office place for medical practitioners, dentists, lawyers and other gurus.

Rio Nuevo is effective to revitalize downtown Tucson applying cash generated from a portion of point out product sales tax from enterprises within its district.


Tucson’s Department of Transportation and Mobility shared an aerial look at of the most recent progress in period a few of the Downtown Links task on Jan. 6. The new roadway and multi-use path are section of the prolonged city undertaking that will connect Barraza-Aviation Parkway and Interstate 10. Online video courtesy of Tucson Section of Transportation & Mobility.



Speak to reporter Cathalena E. Burch at [email protected]. On Twitter @Starburch