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Work on Downtown entertainment district to begin this fall

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A rendering shows the proposed mixed-use project expected to bring a bowling alley, residential units and a parking garage to the corner of 1st and Central. (Courtesy of city of Albuquerque)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Better brush up on your bowling: the new Downtown entertainment district moved another step closer to reality with the city inking a contract with the project’s developer.

City officials said on Thursday they had signed a contract with One Central Operating Associates LLC and that the nearly $40 million construction project should break ground this fall at First and Central.

The contract remains subject to a 120-day contingency period as both parties finalize individual obligations.

The plan calls for a mixed-use development, including at least 39,000 square feet of commercial space with an entertainment tenant — so far described as an upscale bowling alley — at least two other retail or restaurant tenants, 60 residential units and a 429-space parking garage, according to city spokeswoman Rhiannon Samuel.

Speaking to a hospitality industry audience at the Visit Albuquerque annual meeting on Thursday, Albuquerque’s Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry said it will fill a void in the area.

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“One of the problems with Downtown is there’s probably not enough to do, shopping and the like, and we think this will continue to catalyze that,” he said.

The district represents a public-private partnership. The city will kick in about $17.5 million and operate the parking garage. The developer will operate the rest and is responsible for $19.8 million in funding, Samuel said.

The garage should open by fall of 2017, at which time the other structure should be up and ready for the buildout of individual tenant spaces, Samuel said.

A representative of One Central did not return Journal messages Thursday afternoon.

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