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Panoramic view of the skyline of downtown Albuquerque (at twilight), New Mexico USA

Wondering out loud…What are your thoughts on Albuquerque’s possible a new “iconic” high-rise building downtown?

In late February, the City of Albuquerque Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency released a RFP labeled as “Skyline Competition for the Tallest Building in New Mexico”. The two available locations are two acres at 400 4th St. NW and one acre at 101 Silver St. SW.

Project Goals (from the RFP)

The following goals have been established for the Project:

  • Iconic and Skyline Defining Building. The City desires the development to include the tallest building in New Mexico. In order to accomplish this goal, the City encourages proposals that include at least one building at a minimum of 360 feet in height. The ideal development should include one of the most monumentally designed buildings in New Mexico. The project should redefine the Albuquerque skyline and cement Downtown Albuquerque as the business and activity center of the region. The result of the development should be an easily identifiable and visually striking building that becomes identifiable and synonymous with Downtown Albuquerque. As such, a high level of design, fitting of a modern urban city, is paramount. Any redevelopment project should take into account the urban nature of the Subject Site(s) and develop a design that contextually fits into the environment (i.e. multi-story buildings, minimal setbacks, hidden parking and service entrances, interaction with the public realm, etc.). Access points and connection routes to existing facilities, such as Civic Plaza, the Convention Center, the Imperial Building, the Alvarado Transportation Center, and Casitas de Colores should be identified and enhanced.
  • Vitality.  The Subject Sites are located in the heart of Downtown Albuquerque, and as such, should contribute to the activity, energy and excitement associated with such an area.

Subject Site A is positioned directly across from Civic Plaza, the Albuquerque Convention Center and the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County Government Center. Redevelopment proposals should build off the activity that occurs between these locations and throughout the greater Downtown area. Efforts should be made to enhance the pedestrian pathways and the physical interaction the built environment has with the pedestrian realm. The proposed development should not just occupy the location, but stimulate the vitality of the greater area.

Subject Site B is located between the Alvarado Transportation Center and the recently completed Imperial Building, which includes a grocery store and multiple retail shops and restaurants on the ground level and residential above. The immediate surrounding area has seen recent increases in residential housing density, in addition to the commercial and transit uses. Any redevelopment should recognize these activity nodes and their relationships with one another, as well as the interaction with the larger Downtown network. Efforts should be made for any development to engage and enhance the existing activity of the area. A Private Subject Site that is being proposed for the redevelopment should take into consideration the context of the immediate surrounding environment and the greater downtown area. Any redevelopment should create a positive impact and add to the life and excitement of the downtown community.

  • Catalytic Economic Redevelopment.  The proposed redevelopment should be of such quality that it adds and integrates into the Downtown community and catalyzes economic growth and redevelopment, which could include, but is not limited to office, residential, hospitality, entertainment and retail, in the surrounding area.
  • Contribute to the Goals Outlined in the Downtown 2025 Plan. The Downtown 2025 Plan serves as the Sector Development Plan and the MR Plan for the Downtown core. The goal of the Plan is “to make Downtown Albuquerque the best mid-sized downtown in the USA.” Any redevelopment proposal should work to meet this goal and achieve the specific initiatives described in the plan, as further discussed in paragraph E, below.
  • Experience. The project team shall be experienced and professional with a demonstrated expertise and track record in the development of high rise buildings and complex real estate development projects in urban environments.
  • Parking. The redevelopment of any Subject Site should provide enough off-street parking to meet the parking demand of that Subject Site. Additionally, Subject Site A currently has 212 off-street parking spaces, and any redevelopment proposal for Subject Site A should, at minimum, retain the 212 spaces in addition to providing enough off-street parking to meet the parking demand of Subject Site A.

You can find the RFP here: http://www.cabq.gov/planning/metropolitan-redevelopment-agency/request-for-proposals

There is also this recent Biz Journal article: http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerq…te-iconic.html

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The selected proposal is Symphony Tower…


The latest….March, 2018

The project has been scrapped by the new mayor Keller. It was a boondoggle of sorts.  If anyone has seen his message on the state of city revenue compared to the high cost of maintaining and repairing the city and hiring police officers and other personnel one would wonder what the old mayor was thinking.