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Local group buys Downtown office tower

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Albuquerque-based Argus Investment Realty has purchased the old Bank of America building on Roma, as well as a nearby three-quarter acre lot that it intends to redevelop. COURTESY OF ARGUS INVESTMENT REALTY

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A local ownership group has acquired a 10-story office building in downtown Albuquerque as well as a nearby surface parking lot, which it intends to develop into a mixed-use project with retailers, a brewpub and apartments.

Scott Throckmorton, owner and president of Albuquerque-based ARGUS Investment Realty, said Thursday that an investment group called Roma Capital LLC, which includes ARGUS, purchased the former Bank of America building at 303 Roma Ave. NW and a 3/4-acre tract at Third and Lomas in a package deal from the seller, Dallas-based Hudson Capital.

Tenants of the 230,000-square-foot building include DaVita Medical Group, which recently located its New Mexico corporate headquarters in the building after extensive tenant improvements and the Modrall Sperling law firm. The two businesses lease about 75 percent of the total square footage.

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Throckmorton’s firm has been handling property management and leasing of the building since 2014. Terms of the deal with Hudson were not disclosed.

Bank of Albuquerque helped with financing.

Roma Capital has plans for property upgrades, including a lobby remodel, adding a gym, plaza redesign and signage and shooting for 90 percent occupancy of the building by the end of the year, focusing on the “usual suspects of accounting, law and tech firms,” said Throckmorton.

“We are going to take a fresh look at everything to do with the property,” he said, adding that marketing firm McKee Wallwork & Co. has been hired to rebrand and rename the building, which has two towers and a 1,000-spot dedicated parking garage.

“This is the largest private garage downtown,” said Throckmorton, adding that half of the customers are not tenants of the building. “Garages make money” for property owners, said Throckmorton of the revenue stream.

The garage also factors into the investors’ plans to develop the site at Third and Lomas, which he said tentatively call for a multi-story building in the 15,000 to 20,000-square-foot range. “We’re not in the designing and pricing stages yet, but it’ll easily be a $15- $20 million project” when all is said and done, forecasts Throckmorton.

The developer hopes to target a quick-serve restaurant to attract Downtown office workers and a high-end steakhouse operator to serve the “power lunch” crowd. “We’d also love to have a taphouse or brewpub” tenant to slake the thirst of the after-work clientele, such as employees from three nearby courthouses, he added.

Throckmorton envisions “four or five levels of apartments” stacked above the ground-floor tenants.

The ownership group includes John Sedberry and Associates, which will honcho the retail development and leasing.

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