Wednesday, June 13, 2007

30-Story (possibly more) Condo Tower - The Residences at Packard Place

Thanks to Mario, UrbanABQ is able to break a little news - ok, huge news. Here is it everyone, the kind of development we've all been quietly hoping and wishing for our downtown skyline:

From their website:

"[The Company has assembled eight city lots in the downtown Albuquerque area providing a floor plate of 30,000 square feet. BDC plans to develop the tallest high-rise condominium towers in New Mexico containing 408 residences priced from the low 200’s to one million dollars in the penthouse suites. Packard Place will be located in the core of Downtown Albuquerque’s West End. The development will include retail/commercial space on the ground level, 8 levels of parking containing over 700 parking spaces, a 30,000 square foot community floor and 20 floors of residences.]"

Renderings to come


John said...

Holy schmokes! But what is "the core of Downtown Albuquerque’s West End"? I'm thinking the area around Robinson Park (maybe that empty parking lot at Central/7th?).

mid said...


Mario said...

Actually we need to thank Nick over at skyscrapercity for this breaking news, but thanks Tim! Anyhow, this is the most exciting thing to happen in my lifetime here! I only hope it gets built, but I'm going to be the optimist and say it will. Do you think they'll run into approval problems as the height grows??? I know when ABQ Plaza was built that was the city's height limit, this will far exceed that.

Phillip said...

Sorry guys, but I'll honestly be surprised if this ever gets built. They can't sell Gold Street or the Banque lofts. Downtown still doesn't have a retail base, or even much of a lifestyle base. What makes you think anyone will shell out $1,000,000 for an apartment in a 30-story building?

Grocery shopper said...

I linked to your site from duke city fix. I saw your post yesterday and this one. I have a question and I haven't seen any talk about it on either site. Are there any plans or talk of a grocery store downtown any time soon? I could use one within walking distance to the train station as well as the hordes of people riding the train everyday and my friends who actually do live downtown.This seems to be the biggest complaint I've heard. A wholefoods or sunflower market or something along those lines? This seems to be the site that would know about these things.

Mario said...

The developers of the ABQ High Lofts should be opening a market type store (similar to Trader Joes) in the near future, other than that I haven't heard much.

ABQist said...

I recently suggested to some acquaintances of mine that high-rise condos would be more viable than lofts here if the location is right. I suggested a 20-25 story tower above I-25 overlooking downtown with the opposite side of the building overlooking uptown and the Sandias. But even better, a 25-35 story tower WEST of downtown overlooking DT and the Sandias to the east. My reasoning, condos are not a good investment here UNLESS the location and view are exceptional – something you can’t get anywhere but in a perfectly located high-rise. This recent Blue Dot announcement comes as no surprise to me.

However, I have lived here long enough to see local government time and time again fight this kind of development. How many of you remember the 31 story office building proposed for the Central/San Mateo area? It was scaled down version of Chicago’s Chase Tower -- spectacular. I was about 12 years old when the rendering appeared in the Journal in about ’71-72. I must have jumped up about 31 stories! I would go down to the site almost daily to see if they had broken ground. Apparently the city thought it was too tall and the project fell by the wayside like many others I could tell you about. The developers took their money to Phoenix or Denver.

FYI, all the talk about a 22 story hotel DT – you can forget it. That beautiful design was eliminated early on when the city chose to go with the Hunt Group’s proposal – another horizontal wall further clogging our wimpy skyline and blowing another opportunity to build something worthwhile in DT. Two slender high-rise hotel towers proposed in uptown were rejected for what are today two horizontal eyesores. It’s not that developers haven’t tried, because they have. The 27 story Chant Tower – it will never happen. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your dreams are about to be dashed if we don’t do something. It’s going to take some people with enough pride in ABQ and a voice to stand up and say we’ve had enough. Remember, you heard it here first.

Mario said...

Nick posted another update on It looks as though Gary Goodman, the developer of La Posada and the city have reached an agreement regarding the parking dispute. Nick goes on to say that in addition to the remodel of La Posada, Mr. Goodman also plans to build a 26 story hotel directly behind the property on the NW corner of 2nd and Central. I love hearing all these updates, let's hope the arena deal goes through.

mj said...

I believe this project will be built, the blue dot corp. has lots of experience and funding options. It will be so cool to see this building in downtown, the site is on 8 lots on the corner of gold and 6th st. Looks like this building might be over 400' which would be awesome!

Ryan said...

Saw the Packard Place building on Channel 4 news midday so news of this [potential] building is getting out there. Let's hope it happens!

philly said...


I'm curious to how you know that the hotel supposed to be built by Westin, is not going to very big.

Have you seen the rendering, because I can't find any info on what the Hotel, or any buidling for that matter will look like int he DT Arena development.

Is Hunt developing the Hotel, because this article, though published in Jan., lists Hunt as taking care of the retail?

Thanks, your insight is appreciated.

ABQist said...


From the Hunt Website @ "To date, Hunt has completed over 30 major projects in New Mexico. These include the recently completed 1,078-unit military family housing privatization project at Kirtland Air Force Base; the 400,000 square-foot retail development, Plaza at Cottonwood; and the first phase of the ABQ Uptown development, which is New Mexico’s first lifestyle center. Hunt has also been selected as part of the development team on the Albuquerque multipurpose Downtown Arena project and is the developer of a mixed-use project in downtown Santa Fe."

Another article can be found here:

If you go to the following link, the beautiful 22 story proposal was from Faulkner USA Inc:

If you go to Tim's site, here:, you will see a rendering of the winning proposal. I believe I heard 12 or 14 stories. Hotels usually average not more than 9-10 ft. per floor so you can do the math. The hotel appears to be longer than it is tall -- typical of the Sheraton, Marriot Uptown and even Wyndham at the airport. Only the Hyatt and Doubletree could scarcely qualify as "towers" at 256' and 166' respectively. I would consider another 110-140' horizontal hotel in downtown a raw deal and a major disappointment when there was a beautiful 22 story tower (likely 200' +) on the table. ABQ needs more towers, not more horizontal white elephants. No matter how elegant it is, most people will only see (or not see) it from the interstates in passing. Either it will be an icon that makes a statement in our skyline or it will contribute to clogging our downtown with wide concrete structures that most people view as an ugly skyline.

I lived outside San Francisco during their building boom of the 1980's. The city enforced a moratorium on buildings over 400'. When every building built was to the limit and shoulder to shoulder with its neighbor, the skyline began to self-destruct. Recently, the moratorium was lifted and once again beautiful towers will be allowed to accentuate the SF skyline. The city realized their error and have moved to correct it, but only after years of degradation of the skyline. ABQ needs to wake up and realize they have gone down the same road. They are worried about their vistas but 8 story horizontal walls are much more damaging to the views than 30 story slender (and beautiful) towers.

I'll offer more sad proof. the original Uptown residences were a mere 7-8 stories but the city said that was TOO TALL! They have since been scaled back to 3 stories in the latest rendition.

I know that's more than you asked for, but I'm a concerned resident and am worried that the city will continue to squander opportunities and we will forever be stuck with a wimpy, ugly skyline. I want positive growth for my hometown ABQ.

philly said...

No, thank you Abqist.

I feel the exact same way as you, regarding the ridiculous view on limiting building height.

I'm young, only 24 years old, and I always wonder how much bigger ABQ would be if the small rural minded people in the past have kept ABQ back.

Thank you for links, and info. It is very appreciated.

ABQist said...

I would like to add this to those may be inclined to believe what I'm saying is true:
If you look around ABQ and notice the lack of true high-rises, one might think that ABQ just hasn't grown up yet or perhaps wimpy developers haven't delivered. I have lived here since 1960 (my parents moved here from NY in 1950) and neither of the aforementioned scenarios is the culprit. Local governments have battled growth, progress, roads, more freeways, bridges, industry, jobs, and most of all tall buildings. It has yet to be proven that this backward mentality is a thing of the past. I suspect the Mayor's selection of the Hunt Group could have something to do with the fact that he didn't like that 22 story hotel. And IF this backward mentality persists, I doubt that any of these wonderful, recent "towering" developments discussed in this forum will ever be built. They will become the memories of broken dreams like so many others in the past. (I could tell about them all but I’d overload the server.) This is the only reason I decided to chime in on this forum. Perhaps we can let our local officials know if they want to keep their jobs, it's time to start promoting a bold, progressive, forward-looking ABQ.

ABQist said...

On a more positive note, here’s a rendering from NMDOT of I-40 after its built out following the rebuild of the San Mateo Blvd interchange next year. Count ‘em – six lanes per side! I believe the highway will be a 12 lane facility from the Big-I to Wyoming Blvd. I just hope they don’t skimp (or skip) on the landscaping. We need roads – landscaped roads. In addition to Paseo opening this Wed. through the Petroglyphs after 20 years of battle, the McMahon extension is now open from Unser to Universe! I drove on it today. Goes over a slick looking bridge across the arroyo. Finally, Juan Tabo Blvd. now extends south across the Tijeras arroyo to a new housing development just below Four Hills. That new bridge is sort of a draw-bridge looking structure – super cool. Sorry for going off-topic Tim, perhaps you could start a transportation thread.

ABQist said...

Here's the latest on the Blu Dot development and the Chant Tower:

I'm still holding out hope like everyone else. I just think we need to be a little more proactive somehow... This forum is a good start - thanks Tim.

ABQist said...

The mysterious 20 story condo tower listed and appears to nothing more than a rumor. Either the developer backed out or there never was a developer. According to an article in today’s ABQ Journal, First Baptist Church has broken ground on their new facilities on the west side at Paseo & Richland Hills NW. They have put the property of their current location up for sale at Broadway and Central. Noon Day Ministries is located on this property, the supposed site of the proposed Residential Tower according to Emporis. However, today’s article makes no mention of any such proposed building but does suggest any potential buyer might want to consider building high-rise condos or a hotel.

philly said...

Abqist, I think you and I think alike!

All the topics you just mentioned, are things I have been following!

I don't know where to begin on replying to your posts!

First off, I also read the article you posted on the Chant development. I was surprised to learn that the site will be right across the parking lot of my old job at a bank. I have a whole new set of questions on this project, as I thought the original would be in the most north eastern lot in the Journal center off I-25 and Paseo. In terms of traffic, this spot would be a better fit. With easy access to the freeway, it makes a better option then the WAY over crowded Journal Center with no real infrastructure for mass transportation. Though it's still in a congested area. More thouhgts later on this.

Secondly, I'm glad to see plans for the stretch of I-40 that will allow more flow, and better looking roads. It's about time for Paseo, though I will have a few less 4 wheeling options on that part of the mesa, but is a vital road that should have been built yesterday. The new bridge built over the Tijeras drain is nice as you stated abqist. I've been 4 wheelin in that area, and my best friends are buying a house in that new development. NICE AREA! Expensive though. The suspended look is kinda unique, and different than anything I've seen here in the region.

Last, but not least, my thoughts on the EDO development on the soon to be available "Noon Day" area in a absolutley PRIME piece of DT. First let me say that the city should be applauded on the recevelopment of the Old ABQ HS, and the startup of Edo. It's a great model for future developments in the DT area. It's funny, about a year ago I stumpled accross the same info off the Emporis site about a possible 20 story condo, something BIG needs to be built on part of the land. I would love to see a high rise, and other mix use facilites. Heres a crazy idea, how about a Grocery store?!! Seriously with all the new developments in a 2 mile radius, a grocery store would make a ton of money!! Anyone wanna go in it with me?

I like the way you think abqist, and share alot of the same opinions you have posted.

Tim, you should really link your site to get more people. I think there are alot more of us out there. Who knows, maybe we can make a difference! Thanks for the outlet to vent.

brendisimo said...

Wow Tim, looks like your urbanABQ blog is getting more attention lately. It's great to share ideas with more people on the developments and redevelopments takiing place in albuquerque.

Abqist and philly,I like your enthusiasm regarding the skyline of Abq. However, I have a couple different ideas on how abq is evolving. Although I like the 30 foot tower idea and some of the other high rise plans, I think abq should be moving in a slightly different direction. Whenever I come home to visit, I'm sturck by how much empty space there is inside the urban core of the city. Empty lots, parking lots, dusty fields, chain link fence and pavement. Don't you think we should do some major infill before we start building skyscraper condos that are priced above what the average Albuquerquian can afford?

I'm thinking 4,5,6,7 story, mixed use buildings lining all the major thoroughfares including Central, Lomas, San Mateo, Wyoming, university, broadway, 2nd, 4th, etc. Make albuquerque a truly walkable city, dense enough to support a better transportation system, not to mention a city core that can support a better recycling program, locally owned businesses, parks and sidewalks and a vibrant community where people are out and about. I would also like to see more developments that don't take up entire city blocks ala ABQ uptown or that new Nob hill loft project across from Arby's. Those developments tend to look cheesy and mass produced. What if we divided city blocks into three or four different lots and had differing heights and styles for the buildings. Really make it "mixed".

What do you guys think?

Mario said...

It would be great to see some of you on the skyscraper forum as well ( (ABQ is in the mountain west section). Most of the neighboring city forums get a lot more discussion than ABQ. Boise, which I consider to be at the same crossroads as ABQ has at least 10 active members. Boise is smaller than ABQ yet they have embraced their downtown redevelopment more so than us. In fact they already have the retail (including a new Whole Foods), entertainment, arena, and dining in place. If little Boise can do it, we should be able to as well.

Tim said...


I actually started this blog because I got fed up with the pissing contests on I really like it to see what others cities are up to but I often can't tolerate the commentary. However, because it's set up as a forum, it does make for a great discussion sight. But I also like hoarding those discussions on my blog :)

abqist: regarding the rumored 20-story condo tower in Edo, from everything I had seen, it was mentioned that there was a desire to build a mid-rise tower. A midrise is defined as being between 7 and 13 stories (not sure where I read this). Later, this emporis rumor appeared and now I just want to play the optimist and hope for the 20-story version. I'm picturing a Vancouver style condo tower wrapped in seafoam-colored glass :)

Martin said...

I listed the proposed 20 story condo on emporis after speaking with Rob Dickson last here, he mentioned to me that he wanted to build a 2o story condo building on that site if he could aquire the property and make sure the price point was right so the condos would sell like the abq high developement. If nothing new comes up, I will change the status to never built or on hold. Im also trying to get info from Vince Garcia about the proposed height of the residences at packard place, from what I have heard the spires on the renderings would bring thd total hight to over 450'

martin said...

sorry for the typing errors :) Also, its nice to see so many people in Abq interested in highrise buildings and our skyline.

ABQist said...


I remember when I was living here in my late teens, up until I was 20. I had visited other major cities in CA, AZ, CO, and Las Vegas, NV. I witnessed inspiring projects, beautiful modern highrises, uninhibited highway construction (because it was needed) and I saw ladscaping included in the road costs (wow, what a concept!) I dreamed that ABQ would catch the vision, but here we are in 2007 and our mayor recently said he was against completing west side roads because Rio Rancho would use them. He still doesn't get it. I said that to say this: I hope your dreams of a proud, gleaming ABQ aren't dashed like mine were. I appreciate your encouraging words and encourage you to vote, speak up, and do all you can. Though not in power, I believe we are in the majority! I don't think is too late yet, but it's time!

Anonymous said...

Albuquerque is far behind in reality.

Anonymous said...

I feel bad now for voting for Chavez,I think we need to bring in a whole new set of people,maybe from out of state,every other state seems to be progressive and build up their downtown,so they dont want to block the mountain views,but Denver has many tall buildings and still has the view,what is wrong with these people in Albq.Without a skyline our city feels like a giant Las Cruces or Farmington,sometimes I forget I live in a city.

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bobthehermit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bobthehermit said...

Do we have an exact hight? I think this is awesome! 19 years is a long time to wait for a new sky-scraper. I love New Mexico and I think a new sky-scraper will help improve Albuquerque's image! I can't wait to see construction begin! Yes...and a grocery store would be awesome downtown! The ghetto Smith's doesn't cut it for the area.

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Julian said...

I'm Texas born who spent the greater majority of my life here in the Duke City. the whole time I lived here, since i was 9, the ABQ Plaza has always been #1. in Texas there are so many buildings that they are broken down as: Ground-level, single-story, low-rise(2-8 story), mid-rise(9-15), high-rise
(16-24), and skyscraper (25+).I would love to see a true skyscraper in Albuquerque, a welcomed change everyone here would be proud of. It would sure be a shame if the mieser effect took over in mayoral office and the proposed skyscraper stayed just that, a forgotten proposal.

Albuquerque is Growing faster than any city ive personally seen (except for maybe Rio Rancho). A skyscraper will, of course, be imminent, but the town need look toward managing expansion with a good transportation infrastructure, something ABQ's needed a revamp in for quite some time (outdated bus-systems, semi-BRT busses, and two-and-a-half freeways just doesn't cut it anymore). But abq seems to have trouble just getting built half an interchange, what happened? The $370 million Big-I project was a success. if u ask me, before a skyscraper can become feasible, the city needs to look into efficiant movment of rush hour traffic to boost revenue(Coors would make a great freway, and economic too! the road is sufficiantly wide and an interchange with I-40 already exists).

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