• New projects in EDo could include skyway, motel renovation.
  • Study: Wells Park is missing nearly two miles of sidewalk and needs lighting upgrade
  • Survey finds opposition returning Oñate sculpture
  • No DAN tomorrow for Veteran's Day
New projects in EDo could include skyway, motel renovation
Three prominent development projects, including a skyway over the railroad tracks and an overhaul of the Imperial Inn Motel, are on tap for the EDo neighborhood. The developments may also get a boost from the city's Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency, which has about $2.2 million it could contribute.

The Albuquerque Development Commission recently met to hear more about the proposals and voted to have city staffers pursue financing negotiations with all three parties. Read the full brief here, or check out this summary of the projects: 

(1.) The Imperial Inn
Palindrome Communities, the developer behind El Vado and the Monterey Motel, is looking to give that same boutique treatment to the Imperial Inn, a historic property on the north side of Central just west of I-25.

The $7.6 million project, would include the construction of a building in the parking lot for a restaurant or bar and outdoor seating, is presently slated to finish toward the middle of 2021. It would also include up to eight new retail spaces.

(2.) Springer Square Sky Link
The goal of this pedestrian bridge, which spans the railroad tracks just north of Tijeras (map), is to connect the Convention Center's parking lot to the Springer Square office building and other future development projects in that area along the east side of the tracks.
(3.) Labs @Innovate ABQ
This project would involve renovating the building on the west side of the former First Baptist Church (circled) into "bioscience laboratories for researchers and entrepreneurs." The project is estimated to take nine months once funding is nailed down.
Study: A slice of Wells Park is missing nearly two miles of sidewalk and lacks good lighting
The study looked at the area shaded in orange. The larger shaded area is the Wells Park neighborhood.
Nearly 500 driveway or corner sidewalk ramps in the eastern third of the Wells Park neighborhood are not up to Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Street lighting gets a passing grade only on portions of 4th. And fully 10,000 feet - just under two miles - of sidewalk are missing entirely.

Those are the main conclusions of a study published by the city in August that is meant to lay the groundwork for about $4 million worth of spending to address the highlighted problems.

"It's way past its lifespan," city spokesman Johnny Chandler said of the infrastructure in the primarily industrial and commercial area. "It really comes down to the fact that it is a much, much older part of the city."

Sidewalk gaps are particularly common in older neighborhoods, where their absence often dates back to before modern laws that mandated their installation. Ramps at corners and driveways are common enough, but they are often too steep and abrupt to meet ADA standards. Lighting requirements have also strengthened over time. 

The study originated as part of a deal that saw the approval of Hope Village, a new 42-unit apartment complex for chronically homeless people that broke ground over the summer. In total, it identified about $4.5 million worth of improvements, Chandler said.

The city has recently devoted $4 million worth of bond funding toward transportation-related improvements in the neighborhood, a likely source of much of the funding for the upgrades, but that money could also be spent on other traffic-related improvements not mentioned in the study.

Still, "the transportation tax bond really got us a lot of the way there," Chandler said.

The timeline for the upgrades is not yet clear. Expect to see some new lighting go up in the next year, Chandler said, adding that other improvements are still in a design phase.
Survey finds opposition to returning Oñate sculpture
A city survey of 1,290 participants found that 53 percent of respondents did not want the controversial statue of Juan de Oñate returned to its original location in front of the Albuquerque Museum. The city also conducted a series of phone interviews and small-group meetings on the subject and found even greater support for not returning the statue in those settings. A complete summary of the findings is here. The city removed the sculpture after it became the focal point of a protest that ended in a shooting.
No DAN tomorrow for Veteran's Day
We'll be back Thursday with a profile of Old Town's Tiny Grocer as part of the monthly Hospitality and Entertainment index.
Downtown Albuquerque News covers greater Downtown, which we generally define as the area created by I-40, the Rio Grande, and the railroad tracks. We publish weekdays except for federal holidays. If someone forwarded DAN to you, please consider subscribing. To subscribe, contact us, submit a letter to the editor, or learn more about what we do, click here. If you ever run into technical trouble receiving DAN, click here.
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