Innovate ABQ plans next steps for 7-acre downtown science-tech hub

Innovate ABQ plans next steps for 7-acre downtown science-tech hub
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    THE CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE AND U-N-M SPENT MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO BUY SOME PRIME DOWNTOWN PROPERTY... WITH A PROMISE OF CREATING AN "INNOVATION DISTRICT." NOW ABOUT FIVE YEARS INTO THE PROJECT... SOME ARE WONDERING IF IT )S STILL HAPPENING. NEWS 13 )S CHRIS MCKEE IS LIVE AT THE "INNOVATE A-B-Q" SITE.. NEAR BROADWAY AND CENTRAL. JESSICA.. OFFICIALS CUT THE RIBBON ON THIS BIG "LOBO RAINFOREST" BUILDING A COUPLE YEARS AGO.. A CORNERSTONE TO THE "INNOVATE A-B-Q" PROJECT...BUT SINCE THEN.. THERE HASN )T BEEN ANY BIG CONSTRUCTION. SO WE ASKED ??WHAT )S NEXT OR IS THIS IT?? 30:37 ( (sound of lobo bus driving by ( ( John Freisinger IT WASN )T LONG AGO THAT ALMOST NOTHING BUT VANDALISM WAS HAPPENING HERE.. John Freisinger 09:28 "This was a blighted piece of property.. right? This was partially a homeless encampment" 09:33 THE SITE OF THE ABANDONED BAPTIST CHURCH AT CENTRAL AND BROADWAY... ...NOW THE EPI-CENTER OF THE GROWING "INNOVATE A-B-Q" PROJECT... LEAD BY JOHN FREISINGER. John Freisinger 09:42 "We )ve managed to re- energize this space and it )s actually a destination now for people" 09:47 28:16 ( (sound of wind ( ( AND SO FAR... THEY )VE BUILT THE 35-MILLION DOLLAR "LOBO RAINFOREST"... WHERE 250 STUDENTS LIVE.. AND SEVERAL LABS HAVE PUBLIC OFFICES. C-N-M )S "FUSE MAKERSPACE" IS ALSO OPEN... WHERE PEOPLE CAN RENT OUT HIGH- TECH TOOLS FOR CHEAP. John Freisinger 09:53 "There is something going on here almost every day of the week" 09:56 FULLY-REALIZED... "INNOVATE A-B-Q" IS SUPPOSED TO BE A SEVEN-ACRE CAMPUS FULL OF BUILDINGS... WHERE SCIENCE AND TECH ENTREPRENEURS SHARE WORKING SPACE... BUT IT )S BEEN ABOUT TWO YEARS SINCE ANY MAJOR CONSTRUCTION HAS HAPPENED ON THE SITE. John Freisinger 19:35 "This is a vibrant community down here" FREISINGER INSISTS THE PROJECT IS STILL ALIVE.. AND PLANNING THE NEXT STEP. John Freisinger 13:17 "There )s a big demand here in Albuquerque for leaseable time within bio science spaces and these are like your high school chemistry labs" 13:26 THOSE LABS ARE BEING PLANNED TO GO IN ONE OR TWO OF THE OLD BRICK CHURCH BUILDINGS. BUT CREWS FIRST HAVE TO TAKE OUT LEAD PAINT.. ASBESTOS TILES.. AND CLEAN UP PIGEON DROPPINGS THROUGHOUT THE BUILDING. John Freisinger 15:11 "There )s a couple of things we just have to get sign offs on to get the remediation working" 15:16 THEY EMPHASIZE JUST BECAUSE THERE )S NO CONSTRUCTION NOW.. DOESN )T MEAN INNOVATE IS DEAD. John Freisinger 22:21 "We don )t just build for the sake of building, we have to make sure there )s a purpose" 22:25 FREISINGER SAYS HE )S HOPING TO START REMEDIATION WORK IN THE OLD CHURCH BUILDINGS BY LATE SUMMER. THEY )RE ALSO HOPING TO GET FEDERAL FUNDS TO HELP PAY FOR IT. JESSICA? OKAY CHRIS. WE ALSO CHECKED ON THE VACANCY RATES FOR THE STUDENT HOUSING AT THE LOBO RAINFOREST. U-N-M SAYS IT )S AT ABOUT 81-PERCENT OCCUPANCY. THE MONEY STUDENTS PAY TO LIVE THERE.. COVERS THE COST OF THE MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR YEARLY LEASE THAT U-N-M PAYS ON THE BUILDING. TONIGHT-- MAYOR TIM
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