19 Pueblos Announce Development Plan for Prime Real Estate: the Former Albuquerque Indian School


The 19 Pueblos of New Mexico are jointly developing 47 acres of prime commercial real estate in the North Valley of Albuquerque, the former property of the Albuquerque Indian School (AIS)—previously one of the largest American Indian schools in the country.

The Pueblos collectively hold the land in trust. Designated by the Pueblos as the AIS "District" this political subdivision is located in the center of a major U.S. city and is the first of its kind.

The Pueblos have turned over the development responsibilities to Indian Pueblos Marketing, Inc. (IPMI), the “for-profit” corporation of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, which is located across from the AIS site.

Studio Southwest Architects, an Albuquerque-based design and architecture company, has completed a master plan of the project, and CBRE—the Los Angeles-headquartered commercial real estate services firm, ranked the world's largest by 2011 revenue—has been hired to assist in leasing the mixed-use development that will include additional office buildings, retail, restaurants and shop space.

Michael Canfield (Laguna Pueblo), assigned by the governors of the 19 Pueblos to the AIS project in 2010, recently took over leadership and management of the AISD property as president and CEO of Indian Pueblos Marketing, Inc.

“The Vision of the Albuquerque Indian School District is to become a self-sustaining district that we can manage as a micro-economy, a district where we can conduct government to government relations, a central location for celebrating Pueblo arts and a culture, and a district where we can provide significant economic development opportunities for our local community including the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico,” Canfield said in a press release.

With the AIS team complete, the CBRE team has begun the process of seeking interested tenants.

The District will incorporate retail and commercial development on the 47-acre site. Two, three-story buildings housing federal agencies have already been built. Future development includes three more buildings targeting government anchor tenants to fill an additional 500,000 square feet of space.

The master plan also includes retail buildings with a total footprint of 123,600 square feet. The project will include wide pedestrian walks, park-like landscaping and buildings with minimal western exposure to maximize views of the Sandia Mountains and provide a safe and pedestrian friendly environment.

The project has numerous LEED-driven sustainable design features such as sunshades, energy efficient HVAC, rainwater recovery, and healthy/recycled content interior materials.