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UNM Regents To Vote on Development Deal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — University of New Mexico regents are scheduled to vote today on a proposed development deal that could bring dozens of restaurants and stores to the south campus area.

Up for consideration is a deal with Fairmount Properties, an Ohio-based company picked to develop nearly 50 vacant acres around Avenida César Chávez and University SE. Lobo Development Corp., a nonprofit that handles UNM’s real estate transactions, approved the deal last month.

The project doesn’t yet have a price attached because UNM hasn’t determined the value of the lease.

That was one reason regents on the finance committee did not vote on the project last week. Instead, they forwarded the item to the full board for consideration.

UNM started looking into developing the area in 2007, but the developer it chose pulled out when the economy collapsed the next year. In 2010, the school again solicited bids for developers but failed to attract any.

This year, UNM tried again, and pre-approved four firms. Fairmount Properties was selected in late March, and the contract was approved in November by the Lobo Development Corp. board, on which regents Jamie Koch and Don Chalmers serve.

The deal could bring restaurants and shops for the 900 students who live in Lobo Village, the 1.3 million people who visit the Pit each year and UNM employees who work in the school’s nearby Student Support and Services Center. UNM is looking to develop three parcels of land.

Initial plans submitted by Fairmount include a 6,500 square-foot restaurant, a coffee shop and 22,000 square feet of shops just west of Lobo Village, according to a copy of the contract. The parcel east of Lobo Village is slated for another restaurant, for which UNM tried to attract a builder earlier this year to no avail.
— This article appeared on page C2 of the Albuquerque Journal