ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A mix of shops, restaurants, multifamily housing and a hotel are under consideration for a possible infill development of 12.5 acres, or the better part of five city blocks, on the north side of Central Avenue across from Presbyterian Hospital.
Titan Development, an Albuquerque commercial real estate development company with a diverse portfolio, has entered a development agreement with Presbyterian Healthcare Services, the owner of the property.
Planning is in the preliminary stage, and it will take another three to six months before the potential project begins to take shape, Titan chief development officer Kurt Browning told the Journal.
“We’re looking at uses that serve (Presbyterian’s) constituents – employees, patients and their families,” Titan CEO Ben Spencer said. “Compared to other major hospitals around the country, there are no services in the immediate neighborhood.”
The scale or density of the possible development may depend, at least in part, on the capacity of existing utilities such as sewer and water that serve the area, he said. In terms of scale, the physicians’ office wing and the west-facing patient tower at Presbyterian Hospital are both seven stories.
A Titan official said at a recent public meeting with local residents that Presbyterian would retain a stake in the project, a neighborhood association spokesman told the Journal .
The boundaries of the main four-block redevelopment site are Central to the south, Oak (or the Interstate 25 frontage road) to the west, Copper to the north and Mulberry to the east. The Crossroads Motel at the corner of Central and Oak is not part of the project.
The fifth block extends from Copper north to Tijeras, between Mulberry and Cedar. Unlike the largely cleared main redevelopment area, the fifth block contains 17 houses that are rented out. Some occupants in the rentals have lived in them 30 years or more, one resident told the Journal .
The five-block site is in the middle of the Sycamore Neighborhood Association. Earlier this month, Titan held a meeting for neighborhood residents.
“People were not concerned that there would be development going on there,” said Peter Schillke, vice president of the neighborhood association. “It’s been expected. People in the neighborhood were interested in the retail, appropriate small businesses they might patronize.”
Titan representatives told residents the multi-family housing – apartments, condos or townhouses – would be high end, meaning there would be no subsidized low-income units, he said.
Presbyterian is a minority partner in the development being planned, company officials said.
Presbyterian officials said the land was acquired over a 25-year span. The company had considered it for hospital operations but were able to build on the hospital’s existing campus and at Presbyterian Rust Medical Center in Rio Rancho.
“Although in its early stages, we think this project has great potential for economic development and hope that it will contribute to the continued revitalization of Central Avenue,” said Jim Jeppson, administrative director of real estate and construction for Presbyterian.