ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The federal government has rejected the city and its partners’ proposal for a high-tech space hub in downtown Albuquerque. The pitch was part of President Joe Biden’s billion-dollar Build Back Better competition.

While the city made the initial list of 60 finalists, it did not make the final list of awardees. The Space Valley Coalition pitched a number of projects including a $75 million Space Valley Center in the parking lot on 3rd and Roma across the street from City Hall.

The three-story, 93,000-square-foot building would’ve had co-working areas, labs, and a specialized auditorium. It would be made for working on highly sensitive aerospace information. Back in May, the mayor’s administration was enthusiastic about the pitch.

“It really positions the city to be a competitor and really be a leader in this industry that’s really the future of not only what’s happening in the domestic agenda of the country but also in the military agenda,” said Lawrence Rael, COO for the city, back in May. On Wednesday, the city’s Economic Development Department responded to KRQE News 13’s inquiry about not being awarded the funds.


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“Nothing has changed about the transformative growth trajectory of the space sector, and the Space Valley Coalition is still actively focused on making New Mexico the leader in the growth of the sector to bring new jobs, new opportunities, and economic diversification to the state. The North Civic lot is a prime location for downtown development but there are not currently any plans in place for it,” read an emailed statement from a city spokesperson.

The parking lot is the same spot Mayor Richard Barry was pushing a developer’s plans for the Symphony Tower, which would’ve been the tallest building in Albuquerque. Mayor Tim Keller ended up killing that project when he took office.

There were 21 winners in the Build Back Better, a billion-dollar competition. The closest winner to New Mexico was an aerospace pitch from UTEP and El Paso. They were awarded $40 million.