Midtown District Santa Fe Updates
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Midtown District Santa Fe

Please visit our new Portal WWW.midtowndistrictsantafe.com 
for Updates on the MIdtown Site

Midtown Santa Fe: RFEI procurement process, Public Engagement, and Next Steps.

SANTA FE, January 8th, 2020. 

Thank you for your interest in the Request for Expression of Interest for the development of the Midtown Santa Fe site (“RFEI” or “Midtown RFEI”).  The City of Santa Fe (“City”) is committed to engaging the community at various levels, especially to hear and understand community priorities.  

RFEI procurement process

The City adopted the Midtown RFEI procurement process to ensure the quality and integrity of this important project and the process by which the property is developed.  The process complies with the City’s legal obligation to adhere to the New Mexico Procurement Code (“Code”). The purpose of the Code is to treat all proposals fairly and equitably, to maximize the purchasing value of public funds and resources, and to provide a procurement system that is predictable and competitive, and by which the City and the Respondents to the RFEI are held accountable.  The provisions of the Code ensure that we jointly achieve these goals by requiring the confidentiality of proposal information, preventing conflicts of interest, and maintaining non-disclosure of the proposals until the award is made to the selected Respondent by the Governing Body.

The Code clearly states that the contents of the proposals shall not be disclosed and are not available to competing proposers during the negotiation process. See NMSA 1978, Section 13-1-116. The protections in the Code are straightforward and demand a high level of confidentiality throughout the procurement process.

Public Engagement.

Public Engagement has been the compass of this project.  The City undertook an open and concerted effort to engage the public.  A primary goal of this effort was to listen and to document the vision and uses of the Midtown site that the public articulated and incorporated into the Midtown Planning Guidelines (“Guidelines”), which were adopted by the City’s Governing Body after much public deliberation.  Those Guidelines are included within the Midtown RFEI and are the cornerstone for reviewing and evaluating the Respondents to the RFEI.

Next Steps.

As stated in the RFEI, the City established an evaluation committee comprised of City Department Directors and staff to bring insight and experience in development, planning and land use, finance, community development, and arts and culture to evaluate the respondents’ submission packages. Every submission package will be evaluated using the Guidelines, and the City is taking every effort to ensure that the application of those Guidelines is not muddied by political connections or public relations that are not contemplated by those Guidelines. The RFEI and Guidelines clearly set forth the City’s commitment to achieve the public’s identified vision, uses, policy, and community development objectives. The proposals will be scored solely by the evaluation committee to ensure that the integrity of the public engagement that resulted in the Guidelines remains in the underlying framework for the award.  The evaluation committee will make recommendations to the Governing Body regarding the respondent(s) selected for final approval.

The publicly available Guidelines provide the best way to understand how the Evaluation Committee is reviewing, analyzing, deliberating, and ultimately making its recommendations to the Governing Body.   Additional information about the selection process is included in the RFEI itself, which describes the multi-phased process for selection with dates, and the selection criteria, which are consistent with the Guidelines.  The RFEI and Midtown Planning Guidelines can be found at the following link:


Because of its commitment to public engagement, the City will continue to communicate with communities and elected officials so that people are updated of the evaluation process of Respondents’ Submission Packages through Study Sessions at City Council hearings and community activities with local civic organizations.  The City’s objective is to ensure that the priorities set forth in the Midtown Planning Guidelines and the RFEI come to fruition to meet community development and public policy goals.  The City deeply appreciates your interest in this important project and is confident that the people who are submitting concerns, ideas, and priorities share the City’s commitment to adhering to a fair and competitive process for the disposition and development of the Midtown Site. 

The City hopes you will support its commitment to its good government policy of adhering strictly to the State’s procurement Code, and to our shared dedication to the diverse communities and their desire to bring to fruition the vision and goals that will make Midtown Santa Fe a vibrant and welcoming place for all of Santa Fe.


Thank you.

The Office of Economic Development


SANTA FE, October 30, 2019

City Set to Begin Next Phase of Mid-Town Development Process
Reponses to the RFEI Will Deliver a Range Of Proposals From Developers, Academic Institutions, Business Tenants And Others

Thursday, October 31 marks the end of one phase of the mid-town development and the beginning of a new, exciting step in the “once in a lifetime project” in the heart of Santa Fe. By the end of the day on October 31, developers, academic institutions, companies, non-profits, and other interested parties will have submitted their responses to the City Request For Expressions of Interest (RFEI’s).  The next step will kick off with an evaluation process that will organize the respondents into these four categories: (1) Master Developers, (2) Project Developers, (3) Businesses and Academic Institutions, and (4) Business Tenants. 

The evaluations will follow the guidelines established in the Midtown Planning Guidelines, adopted unanimously by the City Council. That resolution also called for the creation of a Midtown Steering Committee staffed by the Directors of the critical City Divisions that will be involved in the project as it goes forward. 

Leading the evaluation process will be Daniel Hernandez, the principal of Proyecto, a nationally recognized development advisory firm. In addition, the City has contracted for the services of Strategic Economics, which has expertise in analyzing land uses and land values.

The City will follow the New Mexico State procurement laws, which require that submission packages and contents not be made public until the final selections have been made by the City’s Governing Body.  However, the names of respondents in each of the categories will be made public probably in mid-November, after the Steering Committee has gone through all of the submittals. In addition, City staff and the technical experts will provide regular updates to the Governing Body at study sessions beginning in December and will continue with updates as the evaluation goes on. 

In January 2020, the City will embark on the next phase of civic engagement to share information in public gatherings and to continue gathering community guidance as the development process moves forward.

The City has built the capacity over the course of the year since the early vision workshops in the summer of 2018.  Mayor Webber and his administration are deeply committed to establishing a smart, entrepreneurial, and replicable model for large-scale redevelopment in Santa Fe that integrates community objectives with City public policy goals.  October 31st will begin the next phase of an important and landmark development process for Midtown Santa Fe.



Lilia Chacon
Communications Director
City of Santa Fe
200 Lincoln Ave.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
O: 505-955-6045
C: 505-670-0719
E: [bot protected email address]


Request for Expression of Interest 

Midtown Property Planning Guidelines  


Below you will find Pertinent Research


Press Conference announcing Midtown Site Guidelines

Midtown Property Planning Guidelines

 Final Midtown Site Report

 Economic Analysis & Planning RFP - CLOSED

Guia para Planear - El Antiguo Colegio de Santa Fe

Civic Engagement RFP - CLOSED                       

Resolution No. 2018-54 on Redeveloping Midtown

Midtown LINC Overlay Summary

SFUAD Resolution 2017

Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce Member Survey 2016 

Aerial Photo of Property and Surrounding Area

Appraisal of Campus Property

Campus Plat and Buildings


Vision - The Midtown Santa Fe site is located at the geographic center of the city and presents some of the most transformative possibilities for creating a new “hub in Santa Fe reflecting the city’s heritage and culture where all residents are invited to live, work, play, and learn”.   The City’s Planning Guidelines for Midtown Santa Fe articulated a vision for the site as a place that will “become the most creative location in the U.S. where a diversity of people interact and collaborate to find their passions; build their skills for a great career; live in a thriving, vibrant, neighborhood and city; and, create a great future for our community, region, and beyond”.

History -  The Midtown Santa Fe site has a long history that holds much endearing memories for many people.  It served as an important military hospital in World War II and then as an academic campus for higher education.  The Christian Brothers founded the first campus, St. Michael’s College (1947), which was renamed the College of Santa Fe (1965), upon academic accreditation.  After nearly 70 years of operations, the Christian Brothers wound down operations.  Recognizing the importance of this academic resource, the City of Santa Fe purchased the campus and leased it to Laureate Education, Inc., which established the Santa Fe University of Art and Design (2009).  Laureate announced that they would conclude SFAUD operations in 2018, at which time the City assumed responsibilities for the site.  

Today and Near Future - Through a transparent, open, and competitive process, the City will engage a master developer or developers to facilitate and ensure synergies between these uses to create  a vibrant and dynamic 24/7 place for all of Santa Fe to live, learn, play, work, and play. Below are the primary uses: 

  • Mixed-Use / Residential
  • Higher Education
  • Arts, Culture, Design
  • Open Space, Sports, Recreation
  • Business Enterprises

The City is undertaking a progressive engagement process with three core constituencies to both inform and implement a transformative and visionary development at Midtown Santa Fe:

  • Technical Professionals
  • Communities
  • Developers and Business Entities

The City will issue three important and inter-dependent solicitations for engaging these constituencies, as follows:

 Economic Analysis & Urban Planning. The City will increase its capacity by procuring technical professionals with skills and experience analyzing the intersection between land uses and land values on large-scale urban development projects to advise and represent the City’s interests. 

  • Perform scenario planning
  • Evaluate development proposals for the Midtown site
  • Advise the City during the due diligence and negotiations process
  • Inform the terms of disposition and development agreements with one or more developers and businesses

 Community Engagement & Activation.  The City will undertake an interactive civic engagement model as a partner with community organizations skilled in effective interaction with diverse communities in the entire City of Santa Fe. 

  • Work collaboratively to develop and implement a fun, interesting, and active engagement 
  •   Include civic organizations, educational institutions, community organizations, philanthropy, businesses, and people from all communities
  • Advise the City on developing just, equitable, and sustainable policies
  •  Outline programs and policies that stabilize and strengthen the capacity of local households and for- and non- profit businesses to remain a vital part of Santa Fe
  • Address the potential of displacement and other unintentional consequences of development

Developers & Businesses.     The City will work with mission-driven Developers and Businesses with a commitment to working collaboratively with the City to implement high-quality urban development, and experience in achieving just, equitable, and sustainable development objectives. 

  • Capable of developing and implementing large-scale developments that will be informed by public policies and community objectives
  • Establish land uses, urban design, infrastructure, and public policies and amenities that will affect land values
  • Undertake the necessary due diligence with the City (large businesses interested in purchasing existing assets, and medium to small businesses interested in locating at the Midtown site) to establish uses, rehabilitation, infrastructure, and public policy and amenities that will affect property values

 These three solicitations will overlap in time into the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2019 to provide the City with the opportunity to vet assumptions and recommendations from a variety of perspectives at the same time – civic policy objectives, urban economics and land use, and development and implementation feasibility.  The three perspectives are inextricably linked – one set of inputs should not supersede other inputs to ensure that they inform each other toward achieving the vision and goals overall redevelopment of the Midtown site.


Thank you for collaborating with us on the Midtown Campus Project.

There were nearly 400 people at in-person forums, and over 500 participated online.

Five great design teams created conceptual visions for the SFUAD property. People came together to imagine the site and new opportunities for future generations of Santa Fe. If you would like to read descriptions of the visions or watch designers present please click on the links below.

Click here to read descriptions of the five conceptual visions.

Click here to review their visual presentations.

Click here to watch 10 minute presentions by each design team.


Thank you for participating in the Midtown Campus Project Survey

The results are in: we got 2,234 submissions!

Overall, ideas for expansion and improvement of the property’s existing uses ranked highest. While uses such as office space for businesses or centralizing city government were not a priority.

Several themes emerged as priorities including evolve the film and emerging media industry, higher education (4 year college and vocational education), community resources (21st Century library, Greer Garson performing arts theater, The Screen movie theater), and innovation and entrepreneurship supported by an advanced maker space and technology hub.

For survey results from English speakers, click here.

For survey results from Spanish speakers, click here. 

If people wanted to add to the survey, there was an open ended question.  Those results can be accessed by clicking link: Envision the Future of Midtown Campus Survey Suggestions & Comments

The Midtown Campus Project Overview

As the Santa Fe University of Art & Design (SFUAD) moves closer to a 2018 closing date, the City of Santa Fe has been preparing for a once-in-a-generation opportunity to repurpose a true gem, located in the geographic center of our community.  We can positively impact education, housing, economy, health care, entertainment, social equity, government services and the overall quality of life for our community while catalyzing the redevelopment of the St. Michael’s Midtown Local Innovation Corridor (LINC).

We are now reaching out to you, our incredible community, once more to help guide our efforts in creating a strategic vision for the future of this important property and our City.

We call this the Midtown Campus Project. 


The City of Santa Fe team of Councilor Mike Harris; Councilor Sig Lindell; Brian Snyder, City Manager; Kelley Brennan, City Attorney; Matt O'Reilly, Asset Manager; Adam Johnson, Finance Director; Matt Brown, Economic Development Director and project lead; and many other dedicated city staff and volunteers.

Quick Overview of Project Phases

Collection (1/22 to 2/26):  We want to get your ideas and priorities for the property as called for in the SFUAD Resolution (2017-78) passed in October.  We will use innovative collaboration activities and outreach via traditional surveys available online and in-person.  This work will result in guidelines for the next phase.

Visioning (2/22 to 4/9): Santa Fe Art Institute will lead the work to recruit and qualify five great design teams to create a visual and written representation based on guidelines developed in the Collection phase.   Midway during this phase, the teams may choose to share their work privately with small groups of residents to refine and adjust their concepts prior to their final submission.

Evaluation (4/10 to 4/23): Residents are invited to comment on, add improvements to, and vote for their favorite concepts, or parts thereof, from the Visioning phase.  This will be done in person at three locations in the center and Southside of the City, as well as online to help ensure the maximum amount of participation.  

For a full description of the Midtown Campus Project, click here.

 Research informing the Midtown Campus Survey

This survey is built from research conducted recently, from last fall through this past week, as well as research conducted over the last few years such as Culture Connects, RE:MIKE and NCS surveys.  We collected all of the top ideas and needs generated by residents to create a list of possible uses for the SFUAD property.

Culture Connects


Santa Fe Crossroads Report 2017

Bloomberg Mayors Challenge

NCS Reports User Guide

NCS Santa Fe Community Livability Report

NCS Presentation Santa Fe 2017

Bureau of Business And Economic Research Forecast

County Economic Projections 2013 - 2030

Santa Fe Advance from Santa Fe Community Foundation

Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce Member Survey 2016 

Aerial Photo of Property and Surrounding Area

Appraisal of Campus Property

Campus Plat and Buildings

Midtown Campus Project Description

Midtown LINC Overlay Summary

SFUAD Resolution 2017

Design Guidelines for Site at Santa Fe University of Art & Design Briefing [PDF]

The five conceptual descriptions for the Midtown Campus visions:

  1. Midtown Motion [PDF]
  2. Midtown Fusion [PDF]
  3. Midtown Ecodistrict [PDF]
  4. Watershed Description [PDF]
  5. Collaborate & Connect [PDF]





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