ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s a dirt lot today, but soon it will buzz with weddings, bar mitzvahs and even business seminars.
A national event center company has purchased a vacant parcel near Paseo del Norte and Eagle Ranch NW with plans to build a new all-purpose event center. Construction should begin next month on the 9,000-square-foot building, and owners expect it to open by December.
It’s a project with a total price tag of about $4.5 million.
Noah’s, the Utah-based company behind the center, has 15 other properties around the country. Weddings represent the bulk of its business, partner Ron Neil said, though the facilities host any type of group event, from game nights to corporate meetings.
Noah’s typically builds in larger markets — including Denver, Dallas, Orlando and Chicago — but decided the time was right to try Albuquerque, Neil said.
“We just went (to Albuquerque) and really kind of fell in love with the property and the area,” said Neil, who spearheads property development. “We feel like it’s a good fit.”
Noah’s purchased about two acres between Paseo del Norte and Paradise boulevards, just west of Eagle Ranch. Jim Hakeem of NAI Maestas & Ward, who is marketing the larger 25-acre site and handled this transaction, said interest in the area recently has spiked. Sale of another portion of the land is nearing closure, and another two deals are in the works. Hakeem said the location along high-traffic Paseo del Norte remains key to the allure, but he also credits larger trends for the uptick in activity, including a looser lending climate.
“It’s what the market does,” he said. “It’s been very lethargic for quite some time, and I really think that developers are starting to crawl out from underneath the rocks. They’re getting active.”
The new Noah’s building will have rooms of varying sizes that can accommodate events with up to 350 guests. Facilities include a game room with a pool table, ping pong table and other activities; a “bride’s room,” an outdoor patio and a catering prep kitchen.
It also will feature state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, and other amenities like an electric-powered rising stage in the main hall.
“We consider them five-star buildings,” Neil said. “We want them to be very, very nice.”