Coronado Conundrum

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Dave Devine stopped by a press conference regarding downtown's Coronado Hotel and files this report:

Several speakers blasted the Downtown Tucson Partnership's efforts to sell the Coronado Hotel, which has provided 42 units of low-income housing since 1991.

The Tucson City Council is now scheduled to discuss the plan at its next meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

Almost 20 years ago, the building, located at Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street, was renovated, in part with local and federal tax dollars.

Glenn Lyons, who heads the Downtown Tucson Partnership, could not be reached for comment. But earlier press reports indicated Lyons thought the building could be turned into offices or even a hotel.

Ward 1 Councilwoman Regina Romero said today that the city needs to ensure that there are affordable housing options downtown.

"Slowly but surely we're losing them," Romero said.

Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias echoed that concern.

"We need to save the Coronado as affordable housing," Elias said.

Attorney Bill Risner said the Downtown Tucson Partnership was a "con game" and predicted the proceeds from the sale would go to help developers.

"We need to give the City Council a spine," Risner said. "They need to say no."

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