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Justin Schatz is The Paper's daily news reporter. He has reported on New Mexico for KRQE News, Searchlight NM and the Santa Fe Reporter.

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The City of Albuquerque has released more details on how it will allocate $160 million for upcoming revitalization projects as part of its pandemic recovery. The Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency (MRA) has recently released its 2021 report that includes completed projects and ones that are currently in development.

A significant amount of investment has been focused on revitalizing Downtown neighborhoods and the Central Corridor, with several affordable housing developments either completed or currently in development. According to the 2021 report, 86 affordable housing units have been built on the Central and Unser intersection. The Broadstone Highlands North Project was also built, which is a development that provides 92 multifamily units in the Sycamore Neighborhood. MRA also provided funding for renovations to the Albuqureque Rail Yards warehouse in collaboration with the State of New Mexico. The state provided $7.4 million of the $14.3 million for the removal and replacement of roofs in the tender repair and boiler shops, rehab of the flu shop as office space and a utility extension.  

According to the report, completed projects have resulted in 178 residential units completed, 218 hotel units completed, 110 businesses supported and a total of $78.7 million invested.

“Coming together to keep our city running and economy moving during the pandemic paved the way for the robust recovery we are achieving now,” Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement. “With another $160 million in projects in the pipeline, we’re preparing to create new opportunities for small businesses, reinvigorate our Downtown core and create a built environment that our city is proud of.”

According to the MRA’s 2021 report, there is a total of $164.3 million worth of upcoming projects and investments in development, with a significant emphasis on Downtown and Central Ave. The Rail Yards will see several changes as the city plans to make the space a central cultural and artistic attraction. According to the report, the Rail Yards will soon be home to the Spirit Station, which will be “an interactive, multi-sensory experience for people of all ages that celebrates the unique cultural history of Albuquerque’s ingenuity, industry, and artistry. The site will serve not only as a destination attraction, bringing visitors, tourists and commerce from across the world, but also as a teaching opportunity for young and old alike to learn about the multicultural heritage of our beautiful state. This experiential art space will become home to local performers, light and sound designers, musicians, video artists and more.”

The city also plans to connect East and West Downtown through the Rail Trail, which the city sees as a multi-modal trail connecting the majority of Downtown’s major cultural attractions, including the Rail Yards and the Convention Center. Other major projects in development include Nuevo Atrisco, a retail center and public plaza on Unser and Central, as well as increased investment in affordable housing and hotels. 

“These projects and main street revitalization programs will ensure our Downtown is enjoyable again,” Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency Manager Karen Iverson said. “We are creating catalytic, equitable change, and attracting more businesses and investment to Albuquerque.”

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