This story is a staff report from The Paper.

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Today, Albuquerque public and private sector leaders announced a 7-step “Downtown Forward” plan, which highlight increased safety measures and launching projects that will attract economic investment and private partnership in the downtown core.

The city says public safety and crime reduction are key to revitalizing the area. The new Downtown Public Safety Center at Central and Fourth Street is open and APD’s Downtown TEAM (Targeted Enforcement and Active Monitoring) reallocates resources to the downtown area.

“Downtown Albuquerque is the economic and cultural heartbeat of the state and we need the fundamentals in place for it to succeed,” said Mayor Tim Keller.

In addition to increased safety measures, downtown-focused projects are included in the plan’s funding. Albuquerque has earmarked $15 million for the Albuquerque Rail Trail which will increase bicycle and pedestrian connectivity to the Rail Yards, Alvarado Transit Center, Convention Center, Sawmill District and Old Town. An additional $10 million to the project has been earmarked by state funding, and $11.5 million has been awarded through the USDOT RAISE grant, bringing the current investment to $36.5 million.

The Downtown Forward Plan steps in to compliment the City’s ongoing initiatives on housing and homelessness. The mayor announced his Housing Forward ABQ plan yesterday, which has the lofty goal creating 5,000 new units of housing by 2025.

Keller says the Gateway Center project is another key component in the Downtown Forward initiative to safely relocate unhoused community members out of downtown.

A full copy of the Downtown Forward Plan can be found here.