Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal
With a traditional blessing broadcast on a virtual press conference, the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center ushered in the next phase in its development.
On Wednesday, cultural center leaders announced the opening of three new buildings on the 80-acre campus along Albuquerque's 12th Street corridor. The new facilities include a 92-room Marriott-brand hotel, a 2,400-square-foot security command center and Avanyu Plaza Park, an outdoor meeting space full of Pueblo iconography.
Additionally, the cultural center held a virtual groundbreaking ceremony for phase two of the expansion, which will add 21,000 square feet of retail space, along with space for a new restaurant, smart classrooms for students and other amenities.
Mike Canfield, president and CEO of the cultural center, said during the press conference that the new buildings and upcoming phase of development mark an important moment in the center's transition into a vibrant part of town where visitors can shop, work and eat.
“We've taken a piece of land that was … dormant, frankly, and turned it into a thriving economic and cultural corridor,” Canfield said.
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center opened in 1976 on the land that once housed the Albuquerque Indian School. In recent years, Canfield said the center has focused on adding retail, offices and hotels to augment the museum and other offerings.
“It all aligns perfectly with the Pueblo core value of hospitality, as well as IPCC's mission of serving as a dynamic gathering place,” Canfield said.
The Marriott TownePlace Suites is the second hotel to open on the IPCC campus.
Deepesh Kholwadwala, president and CEO of Sun Capital Hotels, a hotel management company that's working with IPCC, said the new hotel is aimed at extended stays, with guest rooms that each have a full kitchen and a comfortable workspace.
Kholwadwala added that the hotel has a temperature-controlled indoor pool, an outdoor patio area and other amenities.
Tony Garley, chief of public safety, said the new command center features a video surveillance center that allows security to keep an eye on nearly every corner of the campus.
Avanyu Plaza Park features shaded open space for community gatherings, along with a large storyboard designed to reflect the stories of the 19 pueblos, according to Beverlee McClure, vice president of cultural and community engagement.
The next phase of development will feature three new buildings totaling 21,000 square feet of retail space. Canfield said he wants the campus to continue evolving into a vibrant and unique area of Albuquerque.
“People come here for an experience that they can't get in Denver, or Phoenix, or Seattle,” Canfield said. “And we're a big, big part of that.”