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.