Nearly three years after it broke ground on its first structure, Innovate ABQ is in the process of beginning the remediation of a historic church that is probably the most famous building on the organization’s downtown Albuquerque site.
The former First Baptist Church, at the corner of Central Avenue and Broadway Boulevard, was purchased at a price of $6.5 million by the University of New Mexico for Innovate ABQ some five years ago.
The roughly 80 year-old structure has long been eyed by Innovate ABQ officials as a perfect site for offices, and both lab and meeting spaces.
Innovate ABQ has already seen the construction of the 160,000 square foot Lobo Rainforest building, a six-story structure with housing for UNM students and a bottom floor with a coffee shop, bank, and research lab.
Work has also been completed on the Fuse Markerspace, a 13,400 square foot building operated in a partnership with Central New Mexico Community College that provides space for the design and construction of manufactured works.
As planned, the former First Baptist Church property will see the remodeling and upgrading of the building’s sanctuary, which houses a chapel with 400 seats, as well as offices to the rear of the building that will be turned into lab space.
Once the remediation of the church is completed, work transforming and readapting the structure could begin sometime early next year.
By Garry Boulard
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