For several years Mayor Martin Chavez along with local civic and business leaders have been pushing for an event center and hotel complex in the Downtown area and it appears the project is gaining momentum.
The City, along with Hunt Development, the creators of ABQ Uptown, is promoting the new enterprise, to be located across the street from the Lofts at Albuquerque High.
The project plans include a 550-room, nationally branded hotel with approximately 35,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and a 12,000 seat event center. It would be constructed on the 10-acre Baptist Church property at the northwest corner of Central and Broadway. Additionally, the plan includes a restaurant, retail spaces, residential apartments and condominiums.
According to the project's website, "... proximity to and connectivity between the Albuquerque Convention Center, the Rail Runner, the Albuquerque International Sunport, and Alvarado Station make it the ideal location."
Since the project will require public financing, Downtown City Councilors Ike Benton and Debbie O'Malley have suggested a special "mail-in ballot" election would give Albuquerque voters the ultimate decision-making authority.
"I think we will decide all of this sometime in January, after the holiday season," said Councilor Benton, adding, "The cost could actually come down with competitive construction prices. Trends in the bidding, even material costs, are coming down. It's the perfect time to be doing this. The economic analysis shows a huge boost to the city in the first three years, right when it needs it."
For more information, visit www.abqfuture.com