City Shows Progress on Convention Center Renovations
July 10, 2012
Albuquerque- After years of use and wear and tear the Albuquerque Convention Center is in need of a facelift. The building, particularly the old West side that was constructed in 1972 is showing its age and has proven difficult to sell to prospective convention and meeting clients. The current renovation project is designed to update the deteriorating building while supplying a much needed economic boost to the local economy.
"It is incumbent upon us to maintain and make sensible improvements to our convention facilities if we are going to compete in the convention and meeting marketplace," said Mayor Richard J. Berry. "I am confident that Albuquerque’s ability to impact and attract new economic activity will be strengthened with these improvements."
The renovations fall under the overarching mission of ABQ the Plan; to invest in our future by building on existing city assets and leveraging public/private partnerships through a regional approach. The architectural firm selected through the City’s competitive Request for Proposal process, is the local firm of Dekker/Perich/Sabatini.
The firm has developed preliminary renderings for the building which better reflect the City of Albuquerque’s history, art, culture, and environment. The preliminary designs include a new exterior façade, complete remodeling of the ballroom, a new entertainment deck in the ballroom, massive windows in the ballroom with panoramic views, the west building lower level atrium will be completely remodeled to include a fireplace, and a lower level food court/ café.
The approximate $20 million renovation is being funded without any tax increases, through existing lodgers and hospitality taxes that are paid primarily by visitors to the city. The Berry administration was successful in refinancing the current convention center debt at much lower rates, thus allowing the existing revenues to be used for financing the renovations. The project will be phased to allow for ongoing convention and meeting business. Construction is slated to start by mid-2013 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.
To learn more about ABQ the Plan, please visit our website at ABQthePlan.cabq.gov or contact the Mayor's Office by calling (505) 768-3000 or by emailing [email protected]