ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Innovate ABQ’s new president and executive director, John Freisinger, is snuggled into a small working space on the far east end of Albuquerque’s new innovation hub Downtown.
It’s cramped and devoid of office amenities, save for a table, some chairs and internet access.
But it’s brightly lit, with sunshine streaming in from full-wall windows that overlook the corner of Central and Broadway, now the heart and soul of Albuquerque’s emerging innovation district.
It’s temporary digs for Freisinger, who will soon move into a spacious, second-floor office at the entrance to the old First Baptist Church sanctuary and office tower, which rests smack on the southeast corner of the seven-acre church property, which the University of New Mexico purchased in 2014. Design work is just beginning on that 71,000-square-foot structure, marking the second phase of development for the high-tech research and development site UNM is building with public and private partners into a hub for entrepreneurship and startup innovation.