ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Downtown Albuquerque could soon put old buildings to new use. A local nonprofit has an idea to renovate old buildings and turn them into affordable housing and workspaces for artists. 

Downtown Albuquerque Mainstreet and the Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency are partnering with Artspace Consulting Inc. to create affordable housing and workspaces for creatives.  A local artist says this project could help revitalize the area. “I could see this whole Downtown corridor like changing dramatically in a really positive way,” says Jesus Munoz, Executive Director of Flamenco Works. 

Jesus Munoz owns the dance studio, Flamenco Works on Central. He says there are so many empty buildings downtown that should be used for something positive instead of letting them fall apart. Artists like Munoz, say the new plans would help revitalize the area and provide more opportunities for artists. Right now, they need to pick a location and then look at how they would be able to purchase it. 

“Just historically artists have often been the biggest catalyst to bring life to an area, so we’ve been definitely focusing a lot of our projects and programs and funding towards the art community currently right now,” says Danielle Schlobohm, Director of Downtown Albuquerque Mainstreet & Arts and Cultural District. 

They’re currently looking at old buildings in Downtown including the Gizmo building, Kress, and even Warehouse 508 as possible renovation spaces. The plan is to potentially build 80 to 90 units that could offer event spaces and galleries inside. Downtown Albuquerque Mainstreet says before they decide on a location, they need to finish a feasibility study, which they expect to be done by May. 

“Trying to find really affordable housing, especially in the last year or two, I mean some of these prices are outrageous. They’ve just shot up so a project like this I think helps,” says Munoz.  Although there is no estimated budget, potential funding for the project could come from the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority or New Market Tax Credit programs.