Plans for new tallest building scrapped, Mayor Keller has different vision

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Plans that were nearly approved for a new tallest building in Downtown Albuquerque have been scrapped.

Mayor Tim Keller says he has a different vision for the city center than former Mayor Richard J. Berry did.

The Albuquerque skyline could still change, but Mayor Keller says he’s more interested in what a new building will do for downtown — not its height.

In November, the Albuquerque Development Commission delayed approving the “Symphony Tower” proposal from Geltomore, LLC. The ADC said it wanted to wait until incoming Mayor Keller was settled in office.

Read Full Symphony Tower Proposal >>

However, Mayor Keller isn’t a fan of the “Symphony Tower,” at 4th and Marquette, which boasted office space, a hotel, condos and left concerns about downtown parking availability.

Mayor Berry specifically wanted the development to be the new tallest building downtown.

“I don’t think it’s important to have a tallest building. I think we need to use a metric that matters,” said Mayor Keller. “We want something that actually helps rejuvenate and re-energize downtown in all sorts of ways.”

Mayor Keller says that also means determining what kind of development would bring people to downtown on weeknights and weekends.

“I think it’s important just for the public to know that just because it’s called the ‘Symphony Tower,’ it has nothing to do with the symphony or a performing arts center,” he said.

For all the tax breaks Geltmore, LLC was looking for, Mayor Keller says the proposal didn’t make sense.

“Usually when the taxpayers put in a lot of money, they get a public amenity in return. Whether it’s a performing arts center or something like that… and that connection wasn’t in that proposal.”

A new RFP will likely be put out over the summer, as the Keller Administration finalizes its four-year plan for the city.

The RFP will include a lot at Silver and 2nd, as well.

Geltmore, LLC had no comment on the matter, saying it had not officially heard anything from the city.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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