Albuquerque, NM – November 19, 2013
Development plans for UNM’s south campus community are moving along toward likely construction activity next year. Commercial development is planned for areas south of the UNM Science & Technology Park, UNM athletic facilities and Lobo Village. The plans to build restaurants and retail in the area will benefit the many people living, working, and attending athletic events, and will complement the Innovate ABQ efforts to build an innovation district in Albuquerque. See Chloe Henson’s article, “S. Campus Development Waits,” reprinted below from the November 18th edition of DailyLobo.com.
S. campus development waits
While the south campus construction project is still underway, UNM will likely have to wait until next year for further developments.
Amy Coburn, director of design and development for Lobo Development Corporation, said UNM is waiting on its partner for the project, Fairmount Properties, to produce preliminary materials for the project.
Fairmount Properties, an Ohio-based planning firm, has until March to produce the materials that must then be approved by the Board of Regents, Coburn said. She said construction on south campus could begin next year, depending on when the materials are approved.
“That would all be subject to approval of preliminary materials and final materials by the regents,” she said.
According to an article by the Daily Lobo in August, UNM purchased three lots near south campus for commercial development last year.
These include a 4.3-acre lot and a 1-acre lot near Avenida Cesar Chavez, which could become a site for restaurants and coffee shops, and a 45-acre lot between Gibson and the baseball field, which could become a site for a shopping center, according to the article.
Coburn said Lobo Development and Fairmount have “been making good progress” with the project. She said the project is a wonderful opportunity for UNM to provide retail spaces and restaurants to people in the area, while also collecting income for the University.
Lisa Kuuttila, president and CEO of STC.UNM, whose offices are located in the Science and Technology park at south campus, said the new commercial space would benefit employees in the south campus area.
“I think it’s going to be good for people here in the park, who have limited options as far as retail and restaurants and so on,” she said. “I think it will also be good for the surrounding community. All of us who work here have to drive for some of those amenities.”
Kuuttila said projects such as the retail space and Innovate ABQ could help improve the limited space on south campus.
“I think there will be some folks who may prefer one site over another,” she said. “But this space here, we’re really at pretty full capacity. I think there’s only a 1.5 percent vacancy rate for space here on south campus, so we clearly need more space pretty quickly.”‘
Innovate ABQ is a planned entrepreneurial innovation district that will have two locations, one at Mesa del Sol and one Downtown.
Kuuttila said the south campus commercial development center will be a plus for the University community.
“We have quite a bit of development along Central, but as you go further south there’s really not that much available,” she said.
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