This story has been updated with details and interviews.
Albuquerque Economic Development Inc. is moving to a new location in Downtown Albuquerque.
This summer the nonprofit will be packing up and moving to Albuquerque Plaza at 201 3rd Street NW, where it will be taking up 4,300 square feet on the 19th floor.
AED currently has its 3,100-square-foot office in the UNM Science and Technology Park at 851 University Blvd. SE. But it’s no stranger to Downtown, having operated in the area when the organization kicked off in 1960.
"Welcome back," said Mayor Tim Keller.
Keller went on to say he is glad to see organizations "walking the walk" – calling Downtown home while trying to bring businesses to the area.
Albuquerque Plaza’s mixed-use building – which includes a 22-story office tower, underground parking and meeting space – is owned by Jim Long, CEO of Heritage Hotels & Resorts Inc.
Long wouldn’t go into the lease agreement specifics but did say "it’s not a traditional landlord-tenant relationship," adding he offered the Albuquerque Plaza space with a lower-market rent. He also said Albuquerque Plaza is building out the space "as if [AED] were the highest paying tenant here."
AED Vice President of Operations Ceela McElveny said while Long and his company have been an investor in AED since 2006, the real estate deal made him a diamond investor, the highest level investor with the organization.
Diamond investors donate $30,000 and up, according to a list of AED’s current investors.
“We are delighted to welcome AED to Albuquerque Plaza,” said Long.
The building was chosen after a six-month search by AED’s office space committee. Gary Gordon, who spearheaded that committee, said over 20 local properties were possibilities for AED but it was ultimately Albuquerque Plaza because of Long’s "generous offer."
“AED’s new office space, which is often a client’s first introduction to the area, sends the message to prospective employers that the Albuquerque metro area offers businesses impressive real estate options with access to big-city amenities,” wrote Gordon in a statement.
AED is No. 6 on Albuquerque Business First’s New Mexico Economic Development Agencies List with a 2018 budget of $1.7 million. The organization, which aims to recruit business and industry, played a role in luring the Facebook data center project to Los Lunas.
New Mexico Economic Development Agencies
Ranked by 2018 budget
Rank Business Name 2018 budget 1 New Mexico Economic Development Department $8.5 million 2 City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department $3.92 million 3 WESST $3.2 million View This List
Editor’s note: Albuquerque Business First is a member-investor in AED, and Publisher Candace Beeke serves on AED’s board.