ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There could soon be new tenants, including the Albuquerque Police Department, taking over a historic building that’s been sitting mostly vacant for more than a decade in the heart of downtown.

The chief of police says it’s important to keep APD visible in the area, adding that a proposal to move a downtown police substation into the Rosenwald Building, right off Central and 4th, could be another piece of that long-term mission.

“We would like to get to the point where we have a 24/7 presence downtown with a number of officers dedicated to that area. That’s the ultimate goal and it all depends on how we’re able to recruit and bring in new officers to the department,” APD Chief Harold Medina said.

An interoffice memorandum details a proposed real estate purchase and sale agreement for the massive building. A couple of years ago, the Rosenwald Building was appraised for $335,000. Online records state a company called Townsite QO21 put in a private bid for $350,000 to put condominiums on the first and second floors and most of the basement.

The legislation also includes a proposed lease agreement for APD to move that downtown substation onto the first floor of Rosenwald in a 1,100 square foot space. Renderings include a reception area, workspace, offices, and a kitchenette.

The general manager of a downtown business says the extra police presence would help attract more people to downtown and make everyone feel safer.

“We have had some staff members who have been robbed in the past and followed to their car so if there is any small deterrent that could present safety to our guests or to our staff, I’m going to call that a small win,” said Logan Silva, the general manager of a business down the street from Rosenwald.

The initial lease would be just under 14 years with the option to extend it. The real estate purchase and sale agreement are contingent upon city council signing off on the lease agreement between Townsite and APD. The Public Safety Committee will first review this on May 11.

APD would have to pay about $25,000 a year in rent. A spokesperson with the mayor’s office provided the following state via email:

“We’re working to activate this building that has been vacant for so long as a win-win for both economic development and public safety downtown.”