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Posted Mar 11, 2010, 11:42 am
A new $60 million headquarters for UniSource Energy will bring 360 more workers downtown to a solar-powered, energy efficient structure, the company said Thursday morning.
The parent company of Tucson Electric Power plans to build a nine-story office building on the lot formerly occupied by the Santa Rita Hotel, on East Broadway between South Scott and South Sixth avenues.
The modern design includes sandstone veneer and aluminum sheething, and a metal grill shading the west face.
The building, to be completed by the end of 2011, will hold 425 UniSource employees in its 170,000 square feet of offices. The company currently has 85 workers downtown, and 1,100 at its offices on East Irvington Road.
"This is an important investment in the company's ability to do our job as a public utility," said Paul Bonavia, the company's CEO.
UniSource will use the facility to promote solar energy and energy efficiency. The company plans to have the building certified as a green building through LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), and will generate some of the office's electrical power with onsite solar panels.
"We're going to lead by example. We're going to put our money where our mouth is in solar," said Bonavia. The percentage of the building's power that will be generated onsite is not yet known.
Besides offices, the ground floor will include 8,700 square feet of retail space along Broadway. UniSource will recruit businesses such as a coffee shop, credit union or dry cleaner, said Bonavia. A pedestrian plaza area will set the building back slightly from the Broadway street front.
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The development will include 600 parking spaces, with underground and above-ground lots. Parking will be mostly dedicated to UniSource employees during the day, but may be available to the public at night, Bonavia said.
A conference center and training facility, that may include some public uses, also will be included in the building.
About a quarter of the two-acre lot will be left for future development.