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Comment sought on Uptown construction project

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Albuquerque officials plan to seek proposals from private developers this year for a construction project in Uptown that would include a mix of apartments, commercial space and a parking structure.

Bruce Rizzieri, director of ABQ Ride, the city’s transit system, said gradual improvement in the economy bodes well for a residential and commercial project in Uptown first envisioned years ago.

“We’re moving forward now because we think the timing is right,” Rizzieri said Friday. “We think there’s a need for the type of studios and apartments that are being proposed for this area.”

a04_Transit-CenterThe multi-story development would occupy city-owned property at the southeast corner of Uptown and Americas Parkway NE where the Uptown Transit Center is located.

The city purchased the one-acre site in the 1990s with federal funding and used about a quarter-acre as a transfer station for ABQ Ride, the city’s bus system. The remainder of the site is now a surface parking lot.

A conceptual design drafted by Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, an Albuquerque consulting firm, calls for 122 apartments, including studio and one- and two-bedroom units, a two-story public parking structure and nearly 16,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.

The market-rate apartments, priced at about $800 a month, are intended to appeal to younger residents who want to live near jobs, stores and other activities that Uptown offers, he said.

“They like to be near activities where they don’t need to have a car to get to,” Rizzieri said. “Uptown obviously is an active area.”

The site is within walking distance of Coronado Center, ABQ Uptown and other retail areas. The Uptown Transit Center also offers ready access to the Rapid Ride limited-stop, express bus service and the rest of the city’s transit system, he said.

The conceptual model also calls for a two-story, 220-vehicle parking structure to be built above the transit center.

The city will accept public comment this week and draft a final proposal by late April. The city expects to request proposals from developers by the end of 2014, he said.

The public can submit comments to Lkline@cabq.gov.

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