Just weeks after a Texas-based development firm pulled out of an effort to redevelop a 63-acre campus in Santa Fe, city officials are weighing new ideas to keep the project intact.
With the city, which owns the land, burdened with an annual debt load of $1.7 million for the property, a proposal to simply sell the land outright is now receiving serious consideration.
In a presentation to members of the Santa Fe City Council, the Berkeley-based Strategic Economics consulting firm described the former site of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design as a “distressed asset” for the city, and one that might be enhanced by demolishing several declining structures on the campus.
In late January KDC/Cienda Partners, the master developer earlier chosen by the city to reimagine the property, exercised an option to not proceed with the project.
In announcing that decision, KDC/Cienda described the infrastructure of the campus as “incomplete and obsolete,” adding that it would require at least $30 million to both demolish the structures and develop anything new.
City officials say the idea of selling the campus is now one of several options under current consideration. Another option would see a return to a Request for Expressions of Interest process that could produce new development ideas for the property.
The city, which has announced its intention to conduct bi-weekly updates on plans for the project, originally received seven responses from master developers submitting ideas for the property.
By Garry Boulard
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