Responses to a Request for Proposals announcement issued last year by the City of Albuquerque could well lead to the construction of a unique mixed-use project in the Civic Plaza area.
In late 2017 then-Mayor Richard Berry, noting that the last tallest building in the city, the Albuquerque Plaza Office Tower, was built in 1990, suggested the time had come for a new skyscraper.
Subsequent proposals for what was being called the Symphony Tower revealed structures ranging in height from 34 to 36 stories, well above the Plaza Office Tower’s 22 floors.
But shortly after taking office, new Mayor Tim Keller revealed that he was less than enthusiastic about the project, remarking, “I don’t think it’s important to have a tallest building. I think we need to use a metric that matters.”
Keller subsequently suggested a different kind of project for the 2-acre site located at 400 4th Street NW: a mixed-use development more modest in scale, but one in keeping with the community space feel of the Civic Plaza.
The resulting Request for Proposals officially called for a structure that would be “programmed to increase interactions with existing public spaces such as the Civic Plaza and the Convention Center.”
That RFP also said that the proposed development “should not just occupy the location, but stimulate the vitality of the greater area.”
Now three developers have submitted ideas on what the proposed Civic Plaza North project might look like.
An Ad Hoc Selection Committee is tasked with first reviewing those proposals before making recommendations to the Albuquerque Development Commission.
It is expected that that commission will select the winning proposal in July. Earlier reports have indicated that work on the Civic Plaza North project could launch sometime in 2020.
By Garry Boulard