There have been plenty of setbacks for revitalization efforts in downtown Tucson, and these have left many jaded by the topic. But the new year may bring new hope for the so far semi-successful redevelopment.

Michael Keith, CEO of the Downtown Tucson Partnership, is one of those now cautiously optimistic and excited about changes in Tucson’s urban core.

He says the biggest factors driving change in the area are the modern streetcar that will connect multiple neighborhoods to downtown, and the dramatic influx of new housing.

“It’s a game changer,” Keith says.

Kade Mislinski, owner and operator of Hub Restaurant and Ice Creamery, is also optimistic and excited about downtown Tucson.

He says his business has exceeded expectations in its first year of operation. He’s so confident the streetcar will lure visitors to downtown businesses that he’s opening a second concept establishment called Playground.

“There is a huge synergy,” Mislinski says.

Keith says these developments are only a small harbinger of what’s in store.

Kade Mislinski\\u0019s mind races a mile a minute, always updating his visions for HUB Restaurant \\u0026 Ice Creamery, updating his board inscribed with future business concepts, and evolving his latest proposed update to the Downtown landscape. HUB Restaurant \\u0026 Ice Creamery is Mislinski\\u0019s vision of beer + cow + ice cream. Mislinski knows his way around the restaurant world, having worked in the Sam Fox restaurant empire from 2000 to 2009 and he put in a year and a half as general manager at Time Market before striking out on his own. That should give some context when Mislinski insists HUB leans toward diner + beer + ice cream, \\u001CPeople think I\\u0019m a high\\u002Dend restaurant. I\\u0019m not high\\u002Dend,\\u001D he insisted. \\u001CPeople tell me I can\\u0019t do beer and ice cream. (Other) people are thanking us for having the balls to do something like this. If I have haters already, that validates it for me.\\u001D Even Mislinski is surprised at how well the ice cream is going over. He makes his own ice cream, about 60 flavors, and 24 flavors are available on any given day. \\u001CThe ice cream was going to be a loss leader,\\u001D he said. \\u001C If anything, it has the biggest word of mouth. We beat our best day by 80 percent just on ice cream at the last 2nd Saturdays.\\u001D Mislinski said the first few months at HUB were a bit skittish, but the place has been packed during July and August, and he has already beat his projections for the year. HUB keeps him busy enough, but Mislinski\\u0019s entrepreneurial mind hums 24/7. Available space next door could not be ignored, especially if the owner opens the discussion.\\u000D\\u000A