City approval on ‘Symphony Tower’ delayed until January

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One of Mayor Berry’s pet projects won’t get his final approval.

After months of talks, the possibility of downtown Albuquerque’s new tallest building is inching closer, but it will be the next mayor, Tim Keller, who ultimately signs off on it.

The Albuquerque Development Commission has to approve the proposal for the “Symphony Tower” first, then the city and the developers can start negotiating a deal. Thursday afternoon, the ADC postponed approval, saying it wanted to wait until incoming mayor Tim Keller is in office.Read Full Symphony Tower Proposal »

The last time the ADC met in September, it heard a range of proposals for the new high rise, but it didn’t approve one. Instead, it narrowed in on the “Symphony Tower,” asking the developers to return this month with more details on their idea.

The developers did just that Thursday, explaining how they plan to drive residential and commercial occupants to the 386-foot tall building that will also boast a hotel.

“I’m sure you all have the confidence that we area willing to spend the time and money to figure this out. We just need a chance to succeed otherwise we are doomed to failure,” developer David Silverman said.

Silverman and his group say they already have 20 prospective buyers for the condos, which would tentatively sell at $450 per square-foot. That’s high for Albuquerque, but much less than markets like Denver, Phoenix or Dallas.

The ADC also pressed the developers when it came to parking, concerned over whether the structure would leave enough public parking for downtown.

For now, approval of the “Symphony Tower” waits until at least January when the ADC meets again. Once that happens, the city and the developers can start discussing sharing the parking lot, along with things like tax breaks, waiving fees, and gifting the lot at Fourth Street and Marquette Avenue to the developers.

Keller’s camp said it will evaluate the merits of the project after he gets into office, after Dec. 1.View Symphony Tower video on youtube here » 

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