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UNM to seek TIDD for south campus

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

University of New Mexico officials envision the school’s south campus will see an expansion at its Science & Technology Park and a boom of entertainment, retail and employment nearby.

And they are seeking a share of future tax revenue in the area to help spur development.

UNM officials are expected to go before the Albuquerque City Council on Monday night as they seek the creation of a Tax Increment Development District, or TIDD, for UNM’s south campus.

The university for years has envisioned developing the area along University Boulevard from Basehart south to Gibson. The site currently contains UNM athletic venues and a Science & Technology Park, but there is room for further development on UNM-owned land.

If the TIDD is created, some of the future tax revenue can be diverted to improve the area’s roads, water systems and other infrastructure.

UNM is proposing that as it develops the south campus, it will allocate space for new retail, commercial and parking in the area. It also plans to increase its space for research opportunities, according to information presented to some councilors.

The documents show UNM has identified $300 million in public improvement projects for the area, including $100 million in regional transportation, $70 million for economic development and $60 million for parking structures.

The university is proposing that those efforts be funded with new tax revenue from the development.

Votes for final approval are expected to be made by the regents in May 2020 and the City Council in June 2020, according to the documents.

In recent months, UNM and city officials have met to discuss the project, and UNM has been willing to offer the city slices of south campus land for its proposed projects as part of the plan to create the district, said Regent President Doug Brown.

“Always, always, when you are going to a city for approval, if (city officials) are doing their job, they have some preferences of their own. … You’ve got to agree with some things to get what you want with any municipal organization,” Brown said. “It’s not inexpensive to develop that land so any benefit we can get from the TIDD in setting up infrastructure up there is a big help.”

He said he at one time suggested the city’s proposed homeless shelter could be built on land on the south campus, but that is no longer being considered.

If the TIDD is created, a TIDD board would be created that would have some control over land-use regulations. The south campus TIDD would be unique because the primary owner of the land would be UNM, a public entity.

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