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Madden Media to buy MacArthur building from city for $1.7 million

Council OKs $1.7M sale of MacArthur site to Madden Media

The city-owned, triangle-shaped MacArthur Building, 345 E. Toole Ave., will become the new home for Madden Media next year.

The City Council on Tuesday agreed to sell the 1907 structure to the publisher of Tucson Home and Tucson Guide magazines for $1.7 million, its appraised value. The sale is expected to close by Nov. 24.

The sale marks the first successful collaboration between the public-private Downtown Tucson Partnership and the city to transfer a government-owned building into the private sector. The partnership’s chief executive, Glenn Lyons, was the chief negotiator in the sale.

Lyons was credited with breaking through an impasse over parking spaces by adding a 10-year lease for a 55- to 60-space triangle-shaped parking lot across Pennington Street for which Madden will pay $6,120 per year, according to the agreement.

The deal also involves 15 spaces in the Pennington Street Garage for $30 per space per month rather than the market-rate of $85 monthly per space. The rate will be adjusted annually for the first 10 years based on overhead and maintenance costs and will increase to the market rate for the remaining years of the 25-year lease, according to the agreement.

The City Council approved the deal without comment.

Madden CEO Kevin Madden hopes to move his 80 employees downtown from 1650 E. Fort Lowell Road by July.

A staffer from the city Development Services Department will help with the permitting process for tenant improvements to make sure Madden can move in by July, Deputy City Manager Mike Letcher said.

City Manager Mike Hein assigned the MacArthur Building to the partnership in the belief the private sector was better suited to get the property into the private sector. Lyons is also working to find a developer for the city-owned Presidio Terrace property, 301 W. Paseo Redondo; the Pima County-owned Walgreens building, 44 N. Stone Ave.; and a county-owned parking lot at 77 E. Broadway.

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