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Albuquerque Announces Plan to Move Downtown Forward

Roadmap to creating a safe, inclusive, thriving and fun urban core in Albuquerque

October 18, 2022

ALBUQUERQUE – Today, Albuquerque announced a 7-step “Downtown Forward” plan, highlighting increased safety measures, activating street-level vitality, and launching projects that will attract economic investment and private partnership in the downtown core.

These catalytic projects will be the driving force behind a thriving downtown,” said Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency (MRA) director, Terry Brunner. “They are aimed to open up doors for creative innovators and private investment.”

Public safety and crime reduction are key to revitalizing the area. Already the new Downtown Public Safety Center at Central and Fourth Street is open; a visible, street level police presence will be prominent during work and entertainment hours; 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. “A safe downtown creates a safe Albuquerque. A vibrant downtown will ignite a vibrant New Mexico. Creating a healthy urban center benefits us all.”

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. Housing Forward ABQ, which was just announced yesterday, aims to create 5,000 new units of housing by 2025. In downtown specifically, several housing projects are already in the pipeline and to further this growth, MRA has established incentive tools for housing and commercial projects investing in designated Redevelopment Areas.

The Gateway Center is another key component in the Downtown Forward initiative to safely relocate unhoused community members out of downtown and provide them with the resources they need.

“We appreciate the City’s commitment to running continuous shuttles from downtown to the Gateway Center where we will have safe 24/7 sheltering and well-coordinated, co-located resources for those who are homeless,” said Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Terri Cole. “The pubic and private sector is exactly on the same page. That’s what it takes to get the job done and we intend to get the job done.”

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

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