Go to Top
[maxbutton id="1"]

UNM Closed Today on Central and Broadway Property

STC.UNM CEO Lisa Kuuttila (center) signs for the Innovate ABQ property.

Albuquerque, NM – July 11, 2014 STC.UNM, the University of New Mexico’s tech transfer and economic development organization, closed today on the property at Central and Broadway in downtown Albuquerque that will be the physical site for Innovate ABQ. STC.UNM CEO Lisa Kuuttila, whose team worked with UNM administration to facilitate the purchase of the site is pleased to be moving forward. “For the last 18 months we have worked hard within UNM and with our community partners to capitalize on the talent, ideas and knowledge that New Mexico has in abundance to expand our innovation economy. Innovate ABQ has reached its first major milestone with the purchase of the Central and Broadway site. We look forward to the master planning phase over the next 3-4 months as we continue to engage with our partners and stakeholders in creating an innovation community that will benefit all New Mexicans.”

Innovate ABQ is an ambitious effort the university has launched under the guidance of President Frank. The long term goal of the project is to create an innovation ecosystem in downtown Albuquerque. The seven-acre site will be the heart of a larger innovation district. Upon closing, master planning for the site will commence. Perkins+Will and Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, the master planning team for Innovate ABQ, will develop design guidelines as they consult with members of the community for their input on desirable elements for the project.

To read more about today’s closing, see Kevin Robinson-Avila’s July 11 article, “UNM to close Friday on Innovate ABQ property,” from the Albuquerque Journal, reprinted below, and Dan Mayfield’s July 10 article, “UNM to close Friday on Innovate ABQ site purchase,” from Albuquerque Business First, at http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/blog/morning-edition/2014/07/unm-to-close-fridayon-innovate-abq-site-purchase.html. See also Nikki Ibarra’s July 11 article, “UNM Buys Old Downtown Church for ‘Innovate ABQ,'” and video on the KOB4 website at http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S3500720.shtml#.U8AbJbGyEgo

UNM to close Friday on Innovate ABQ property

Copyright © 2014 Albuquerque Journal

The University of New Mexico expects to close Friday on the seven-acre, $6.65 million First Baptist Church property Downtown where Innovate ABQ will be located.

UNM Chief Economic Development Officer Lisa Kuuttila called it the “first major milestone” for UNM’s Innovate ABQ initiative, a planned high-tech research and development zone at Broadway and Central that could help turn the city’s core into a bustling center for technology-based economic growth.

The UNM Board of Regents authorized the university’s Science and Technology Corp. in June to move forward with acquisition, pending final agreements with the state Environment Department and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. to hold UNM harmless for potential contamination at the site.

Kuuttila said those agreements are now complete. And, on Monday, regents approved a $2 million loan from the UNM Foundation to purchase the property. That money will be repaid with $2 million in city funding, which has been delayed pending a final memorandum of understanding about administrative and development responsibilities at Innovate ABQ.

Remaining property costs are covered by a $3 million donation from New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union and $1.5 million from the U.S. Commerce Department. Regents also approved $800,000 last December to cover master planning at the site, to be jointly managed by the Georgia-based design firm Perkins+Will and Dekker/Perich/Sabatini in Albuquerque.

“Master planning will begin in August and finish by year-end,” Kuuttila said. “A lot of decisions must be made about existing buildings, and about new buildings and infrastructure needed at the site.”

UNM President Bob Frank praised the project’s rapid advance.

“It’s really encouraging that this project has gone from an idea to a land purchase in only 18 months,” Frank said in a statement. “It speaks to the power of partnerships and what we can do when the public and private sectors work together in an effort to benefit all.”

Source: STC.UNM

For more information, contact:

Denise Bissell
(505) 272-7310