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Three make short list for developing Midtown SF

City government received seven “master developer” proposals for the mostly vacant, city-owned Midtown Campus, and has now narrowed the list to three. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE – The list of prospective master developers for the more than 60-acre Midtown Santa Fe site has been narrowed from seven to three by an 11-member evaluation committee made up of city department directors and staff.

Making the cut are:

• Central Park Santa Fe, a consortium led by Allan Affeldt, who has been or is in the process of restoring the historic Plaza and Castañeda hotels in Las Vegas, New Mexico, as well as the landmark Legal Tender bar and restaurant in Lamy. Affeldt told the Journal in November that he has created a team of 40 people in hopes of developing the property for a major technology hub in the Southwest.

• KDC Real Estate Development and Investments with Cienda Partners, both of Dallas. KDC is a national real estate development and investment company that focuses on office build-to-suit facilities for companies, according to its website, while Cienda Partners describes itself as a private investment group “that uncovers unique off-market opportunities to acquire and transform.”

• Raffles Education, a Singapore-based for-profit organization with 22 campus around the world, but none in the Northern Hemisphere. Soon after the Santa Fe University of Art and Design announced it would be vacating the Midtown property in 2017, Raffles Education explored partnering with the University of New Mexico to have a presence on the campus, but nothing came of it.

“All of the teams include strong team participation from local developers, as well as for- and non-profit entities, which is also a priority in the … (Request for an Expression of Interest),” the city said in a news release.

The criteria the evaluation panel used to rate each respondent’s proposal included approach and development, capacity, experience, financing and team composition. The next step in the process are interviews to obtain more information and clarify the confidential contents of the proposals.

While a public input process suggested that the property should be turned into a mixed-use development with housing, entrepreneurial businesses, technology, film and digital entertainment, the city has been mum about what the proposals contain. The city says that’s because it is strictly following the state procurement process, which it says requires the contents of the bids remain confidential until a contract is signed.

“The procurement code dictates that the evaluation and selection process is ongoing until the Governing Body has approved the final negotiated terms of the Disposition and Development Agreement,” the news release states.

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