It may not be a skyline-thrusting high-rise tower, but the team behind Silver Avenue Flats LLC certainly is thinking big.
The Albuquerque Development Commission, which recently heard three presentations from proposals submitted in response to the Skyline Competition RFP, unanimously voted to approve Silver Avenue Flats LLC’s bid to redevelop a vacant lot on the northeast corner of Second Street and Silver Avenue. According to documents filed with the city, initial development costs of the public-private partnership are pegged “in excess of $24 million.”
But it’s a modest five-story mixed-use affair proposed by Silver Avenue Flats LLC.
The developers will now move on to negotiations with the Planning Department’s Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency to finalize a contract, according to a department spokeswoman. The proposal includes a five-story mixed use facility including 130 high-end, market-rate apartments, a bicycle transit center, a public safety/security center, a neighborhood fitness center, public art, a parking garage and commercial/retail space.
Development principals are CBRE Albuquerque executives Tom Jenkins and Erik Olson. Both have extensive experience brokering office-related leases and sales Downtown. The architectural design and planning team includes Studio Southwest Architects and SMPC Architects. The construction partner is Klinger Constructors.
The development timeline suggests a summer 2019 completion date and asks for city assistance to defray development costs and fees, including abatement of ad valorem for 10 years; abatement of gross receipts taxes for construction costs; no assessments of impact or utility expansion fees; a request to lease 80 parking spaces in the city-owned Gold Avenue Garage for $1 per year for 40 years; and a seven-year property tax abatement for the project through the MRA.
“The Silver Avenue Flats development will be a visually striking building that becomes easily identifiable and synonymous with Downtown Albuquerque,” reads the introductory letter to the city. “Silver Avenue Flats is a project whose benefits include removal of blight, creation of jobs, addition of parking, public art, promotion of economic development and creation of housing.”
In late February, Mayor Richard J. Berry announced a competition to transform the city’s skyline with the tallest building in the state. The city, through its Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency, requested proposals to partner with one or more master developers to erect “iconic and skyline-defining” buildings in the heart of Downtown. The city said it would offer two parcels “at fair value price” through sale or ground lease to the winning developers. They are: the parking lot on Third Street and Marquette Avenue, and the vacant lot on the northeast corner of Second Street and Silver Avenue.
The city also liked a proposed Downtown tower but said it wasn’t quite ready for prime time.
The ADC unanimously rejected both proposals submitted by Symphony Tower LLC and Albuquerque Skyline Partners LLC because the commissioners felt the proposals did not fully meet the requirements of the RFP. Instead, the ADC requested that Symphony Tower lead developer Geltmore LLC work with the MRA team to revise and refine its proposal for a 34-story tower, consisting of condominiums, a boutique hotel, retail and green space.