Theres fresh hope that a developer will fill a gaping gap in the heart of Tucsons downtown.

75 E. Broadway has been a tantalizing part of downtown for a long time now. Its in a great location. Its got a lot of space but its empty. Development proposals have come, and gone but now theres a new plan downtown boosters hope will succeed.

One day, that’s what I say every time I see it. One day, there’ll be something there, but I think this is probably going to be it. I think this is probably going to be the project it’s going to do it.

Paul Cisek owns Johnny Gibsons Downtown Market, across the street from that big plot of land that could be attracting loads of new customers to his grocery and deli.

The land used to be valuable parking but for a lot of years its just been vacant, fenced off space while developers proposed big projects that never came through.

Now the Obie Companies of Eugene, Oregon are considering a concept thats been successful for them. An independent luxury hotel, and what it calls a festival alley with shops selling unique crafts, plus bars, restaurants and space for community events.

Brian Obie says, In our alley in Eugene, we have a large screen that comes down and every Friday night football game, we have a rally in the alley. We will hopefully do something similar to get the University of Arizona people downtown into downtown Tucson. That’s our mission in life.

Obie is not planning on much office space compared to previous ideas for the property. There’s much less demand for offices now that so many people work from home.

Obie says his company plans about a year of research to decide exactly what he may build. That will include asking Tucsonans what theyd like on the site.

Back at Johnny Gibsons, Paul Cisek can envision opportunity building across the street.

Downtown and Rio Nuevo have done such a magnificent job of fleshing this downtown out that I know that they’re waiting for the right developer, the right person in the right project, and it’s going to be great when it happens.