A move is underway to spur development in what is known as the east downtown area of Albuquerque through a Request for Proposals issued by the city’s Metropolitan Development Agency.
The idea is to entice growth and construction in a part of the city that has in recent years seen significant mixed-use construction, but is also burdened with some urban blight.
More specifically, the area in question includes not just east downtown, but also what is known as the Huning Highland and South Martineztown neighborhoods.
Such neighborhoods stretch across a 6-block area from Broadway Boulevard going east to Locust Street, with a second and larger 10-block area bounded by Coal Avenue on the south and Lomas Boulevard on the north.
In looking for ideas, some $2.2 million is being made available by the City of Albuquerque to provide gap financing for projects that may be launched in the subject areas.
The primary goal of the RFP is to “increase the number of households living or employees working” in the subject areas, with special attention given to projects that are “naturally affordable to the average consumer.”
By so doing, a housing product would be created that “serves middle income occupants, rather than affordable housing or luxury housing developments.”
The RFP is the result of months and even years of study by city officials, centering on how to both maintain and also grow a healthy residential working component inside the target areas.
Those responding to the RFP, according to the official invitation, should “describe the residential or employment component of the project and how it is supported by market demand. Those proposing employment uses should address how the project increases the available housing options in the vicinity.”
The RFP has a submission deadline of June 12.
By Garry Boulard
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