The owners and staff at Contract Associates are now showcasing the firm’s new headquarters and working showroom in the historic First National Bank building at 219 Central NW.
The space, which had been vacant for several years, was reshaped to some of its original form, according to Maria Griego-Raby, president and CEO of the firm. Its 22-foot exterior windows and neo-classic architecture have been exposed and highlighted within the new space. The original bank vault is now used to house some of the significant artwork that is displayed. Modern light, sustainable finishes, and modular glass offices create an atmosphere that celebrates the history of the building and its architecture while creating a working showroom for clients to see the latest in work environments.
“We are proud to be part of the revitalization of Central Avenue,” Griego-Raby said. “Our new showroom truly highlights how we can celebrate the history of Downtown Albuquerque while creating modern work spaces that work for business.
“This was a labor of love to move our vibrant business to this historic building in the heart of Downtown Albuquerque.”
Contract Associates provides businesses, education and health care facilities with furniture, as well as moveable walls, raised floors, modular casework and sustainable flooring solutions. Built in 1922, the First National Bank building was the first skyscraper in Albuquerque and was the tallest building in the city until the Simms Building was constructed in 1954.
The building was revitalized and converted into a mixed-space use facility, which includes the Banque Lofts.
“I remember as a child coming to Downtown Albuquerque to among the stores like Paris Shoe Store when it was a vibrant city center,” said Griego-Raby. “Albuquerque’s Downtown has so much character and potential. We hope that others will see our new location and be inspired to take advantage of the beautiful old architecture in Downtown and see the same potential.”
Contract Associates leases the 11,295-square-foot space of the First National Bank building with Downtown Lofts LLC. Colliers was the broker on record for the transaction with brokers John Ransom and Tim With. HB Construction and SMPC Architects were also involved with the project.
Founded in 1988, locally owned Contract Associates has 25 team members.
New credit union to open
Another credit union construction project is all wrapped up.
State Employees Credit Union (State ECU) one of the 200 Healthiest Credit Unions in the U.S. as ranked by DepositAccounts.com in 2017, will hold a grand opening from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 23 at the new branch, at 3521 Montgomery NE. State ECU members, along with the public and press, are invited to attend the celebration that will feature a ribbon cutting with the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce at 11 a.m., as well as food, giveaways, games, and a live remote with country station KRST Nash.
The new, 5,000-square-foot branch will be a full-service facility with five teller stations, three drive-through lanes, a drive-through ATM, night deposit drop box service, and local lending offices. According to State ECU CEO/President Harold Dixon, the shift from a leased space to a State ECU-owned property greatly expands the Santa Fe-based credit union’s footprint in Albuquerque.
“This newly built branch offers almost twice the square footage – and significant improvements such as more parking, better building access, and plenty of room to grow,” said Dixon, adding that the credit union in its former location was at capacity. “In addition to overall heightened convenience at the new branch, we intend to add new staff members to better serve our busy Albuquerque community.”
Steve Sinovic is the Journal’s real estate reporter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 505-823-3919.