Tucson Home publisher buys MacArthur Building from the city
A triangle-shaped parking lot across from the city-owned, triangle-shaped MacArthur Building, 345 E. Toole Ave., provided the solution to reach agreement to sell the 1907 building to Madden Media for $1.7 million.
The city, Downtown Tucson Partnership and Madden Media Chief Executive Kevin Madden late Friday worked out parking issues that had earlier broken off negotiations Aug. 20, said Glenn Lyons, the partnership’s chief executive who negotiated on behalf of the city.
Madden hopes to move his 80 employees downtown from 1650 E. Fort Lowell Road by July. Madden publishes Tucson Home and Tucson Guide magazines as well as the Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau’s visitors guide and has online marketing campaigns in 37 states.
Madden agreed to pay $10 per space per month for 55 to 60 parking spaces on a paved triangle bounded by Pennington Street, Toole Avenue and Sixth Avenue. Currently used as a TICET shuttle stop, the plot is across Pennington from the MacArthur Building.
The deal also involves 15 spaces in the Pennington Street Garage for $30 per space per month rather than the market-rate monthly $85 per space.
Both parking arrangements are for 10 years. Lyons recommended ending negotiations with Madden on Aug. 20 after Madden insisted on paying $30 per space for 75 stalls for 30 years in the Pennington Street Garage.
Madden called City Manager Mike Hein and City Councilwoman Nina Trasoff to reopen negotiations. Trasoff suggested the shuttle stop triangle, which used to be a parking lot for city employees.
“From the very beginning, parking was the No. 1 concern,” Madden said. “Its proximity. Is it affordable and is it safe?”
But Madden warned that parking will be an issue any time the city wants to woo a larger employer downtown, and the city may not have a potential lot available across the street.
“Here’s a question they should answer and the world should know,” Madden said. “What’s the strategy for the next Madden Media that wants to go downtown? The answer can’t be, ‘You have to want to be downtown.’ ”
Trasoff answered: “We work with them on a case-by-case basis to see what the needs are and our ability to meet their needs.”
The sale still requires City Council approval, which Lyons anticipates Sept. 30 or Oct. 7.
Madden said he gave consideration to the Foothills Mall and Wilmot Road for relocation but settled on downtown because of its central location for his employees, who live as far out as Continental Ranch on the Northwest Side and Vail on the Southeast Side.
Trasoff said Madden Media will give downtown a national company.
“I think it’s tremendously important,” Trasoff said. “It’s a homegrown company and it’s known nationally. They made a choice to be downtown.”