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Bank of the West Center gets initial OK

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This illustration shows a seven-story multi-use building planned as part of the Bank of the West Center project. (COURTESY OF FBT ARCHITECTS)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A nearly block-long development in the Downtown area that will include seven stories of retail space, offices and apartments has won initial approval for $30 million in metropolitan redevelopment bonds.

The Albuquerque Development Commission has recommended city councilors approve the request for the Bank of the West Center project at Lomas and Third.

The development includes the former Bank of America building at 303 Roma NW and a 3/4-acre tract at Third and Lomas.

The developers and investors are Scott Throckmorton, owner and president of Albuquerque-based ARGUS Investment Realty, John Sedberry and Associates and Jeff Jesionowski of AMC Development. The project’s design is by FBT Architects of Albuquerque.

Throckmorton said developers plan to privately finance the project but wanted to get the seven-year property tax abate benefit that comes with metropolitan redevelopment bonds.

The $25 million to $30 million Bank of the West Center will include a new seven-story mixed-use building that will house retail on the ground level, offices on the second floor and apartments, with rooftop amenities, on the remaining five floors, Throckmorton said.

“It’s very, very urban in its design” and density, he said.

The existing buildings, which house DaVita Medical Group and the Modrall Sperling law firm, will see upgrades. Also, Bank of the West plans to move there from its 500 Marquette space, Throckmorton said.

Construction is expected to begin sometime this summer and should be completed within the next two years, he said.

The project “will show increased viability in the downtown marketplace for new commercial and residential development by others,” said a staff report that recommended the commission approve the bonds. “This will bring new jobs, permanent residents, visitors and customers to the downtown area.”

The Bank of the West Center, which lies in the Downtown Metropolitan Redevelopment Area, is one of several major projects in the area. Others include One Central and The Imperial Building.

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