ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s like a “city within a city.” A huge development in Albuquerque is taking shape and now, the next phase is in the works. The Highlands is slowly making progress across from the hospital, but to tackle their next phase, they’re asking for more help from the city.
The Highlands project, years in the making, is gradually rising across from Presbyterian on Central. The Springhill Suites were finished in October and more projects are moving along. “In a couple months we’ll open Highlands North, a multi-family community of 92 units, and directly behind me is also the skybridge,” said Josh Rogers, Vice President of Development for Titan Development. “We’re anticipating that opening in March.”
Next up is Highlands East. The $50 million community has five stories of residential space, a pool, retail, an artisan food market and more. “We’ve had it on the books for about four years now,” said Rogers. “It sits on about 3-acres, it’s got ground-floor retail. It’s an amazingly beautiful project.”
The complex covers five square blocks. Albuquerque’s redevelopment team says it’s exactly what the city needs. “It is the type of community, the type of live-work-play community that we want to see developed along Central Avenue,” said Karen Iverson with the Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency. “It’s really, truly an urban center that we like to see built-in downtown and along the Central corridor.”
This kind of space-walking distance of Presbyterian could also bring in much-needed healthcare workers. To do that, the developers are asking for a break on property taxes for seven years.
“These projects have a huge upfront cost, they often have to have structured parking, they have infrastructure costs in these older areas of town,” said Iverson. “That is really needed to make the project financially feasible.”
Taking away those taxes saves the developers — Titan Development and the Maestas Development Group — more than $3.5 million. It’s something the city says will be better in the long-run. “This will help catalyze other redevelopment projects along the core,” said Iverson. “It will generate gross revenues, tax, it will provide housing for workers who want to come and live in Albuquerque.”
Titan says the project will likely take another five years before it’s completely done. They say COVID has impacted their schedule and they may not break ground on Highlands East until later this year or early next year. This Thursday, the Albuquerque Development Commission will decide if the Highlands East project should get the tax break. If approved, it will go to the city council.