For more than a decade, the City of Albuquerque has been trying to implement a plan that would see the redevelopment of the historic 27-acre downtown Albuquerque Railyards.
That site, with nearly two dozen structures built roughly a century ago still intact, has been imagined as a mixed-use project that would see the development of both residential and retail space.
After purchasing the site for around $8.5 million, in 2014 Albuquerque entered into a master development agreement with the Culver City, California-based Samitaur Constructs to redevelop the property.
City officials have since expressed dissatisfaction with the pace of the project.
Two points of contention between the city and Samitaur: according to published reports, the company has failed to both present an environmental remediation plan for the site, as well as identify a funding source for that plan.
Now, members of the Albuquerque Development Commission have declared that Samitaur has failed to exercise reasonable diligence with the project—the second year in a row the commission has made that determination.
A Samitaur official told commission members the company was still committed to the redevelopment project and has even considered putting up $1 million of its own money to pay for what is expected to be a $1.9 million remediation job.
What happens next may be determined by the Albuquerque City Council which, by law, can determine whether or not the city should opt out of its contract with Samitaur.
In business for more than three decades, Samitaur has won awards from such organizations as the Urban Land Institute and the American Institute of Architects for its design work.
By Garry Boulard
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