The Innovate ABQ board is now reviewing proposals from developers for a new building at the Innovate ABQ site at Central and Broadway NE in Albuquerque. Requests for proposals were submitted on June 1. 

Board members hope to choose a proposal by mid-July. If all goes as planned, they will spend the next 90 days working with a developer to complete an agreement on the scope and size of the project.

“We are hopeful that we will have a negotiated agreement completed in the fall,” said University of New Mexico Chief Economic Development Officer Lisa Kuuttila. “It is very exciting to see the vision becoming real for people and to see the community energized around the vision.”

The project is new territory for the university. UNM President Robert Frank proposed the idea for Innovate ABQ in 2012 when he came to UNM. He believed UNM should take a more prominent role in local and state economic development in accordance with UNM’s Vision 2020 economic development goal. He also realized that UNM graduates did not always have the career opportunities they needed in New Mexico when they graduated.

Frank began working with local civic leaders and Innovate ABQ was formed by the UNM Board of Regents as a non-profit corporation under the auspices of the New Mexico University Research Park and Economic Development Act. Innovate ABQ is being developed as a premier downtown innovation district for researchers, inventors and entrepreneurs. The new entrepreneurial hub will be anchored by a core research and business incubation site at the location.

Money to purchase the property, which formerly housed the First Baptist Church, came from the Nusenda Credit Union, the City of Albuquerque, a grant from the U.S. Commerce Department Economic Development Administration through STC.UNM, Bernalillo County and the UNM Board of Regents.

Board members for Innovate ABQ include representatives from the City of Albuquerque, County of Bernalillo, UNM and local business leaders. This board will guide development of the property.

A development framework for the property and vision for the surrounding area has already been completed by Perkins + Will.