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May 8, 2020
Continuing Public Engagement: Scheduled Virtual “Meet The Developer” May 12

Continuing Public Engagement: Scheduled Virtual “Meet The Developer” May 12

Santa Fe Entered Historic Phase in Re-Development Of Midtown District With Master Developers KDC/Cienda

In a historic moment for the future of the Midtown District located in the center of Santa Fe, the City entered into an agreement with KDC Real Estate Development & Investments/Cienda Partners. The Exclusive Negotiation Agreement (ENA) launches the next phase of the planning process to create a development plan.  In collaboration with the City and the communities of Santa Fe, the development team will now begin to explore what it will take to create a live-work-learn-play and shop district based on publically generated guidelines that will continue to be informed through public engagement, site analysis, and economic studies.

The initial process of gathering public input and sharing information will continue with several additional Meet The Developer public sessions;  the next one is a virtual meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 12 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. on the City’s YouTube Channel.  The public is invited to submit questions through Tuesday, May 12 at 1 p.m. to the development team at following email address: [bot protected email address]. The sessions provide the public with an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the initial ideas, and for the developer to get a better understanding of the public’s goals and aspirations. The series will continue with sessions that focus on specific topics, such as: Housing and Housing Affordability; Transportation, Circulation, and Connectivity; Job Creation, Career Training and Job Placement.

About the Developer  

KDC/Cienda has outlined a proposed development approach that is intended to produce new mixed-income affordable housing, create jobs through multimedia and film studio expansion, and create space for recreation, as well as arts and cultural events.  The development team included the University of New Mexico and Santa Fe Community College to ensure that higher education will be a continued use at the site, and to provide the educational programs for career paths that lead to jobs in technology and multimedia film production.  The developers’ proposal outlines a healthy communities vision on the 64-acre site that includes collaborations with YouthWorks and Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, as well as HomeWise, Yes Housing, Santa Fe Art Institute, and other local organizations, companies, and businesses with a commitment to creating equitable and healthy communities. When asked about buildings at the site designed by famous architect Phillipe Register, such as the Fogelson Library, the developers responded positively saying that buildings with memory and history are important to creating great places for people. “We think of ourselves as stewards of art and cultural resources,” said Phil Wise of Cienda Partners.

“We are grateful and delighted to have partners of this caliber working with us on a vision of our future,” said Mayor Webber. “Their combination of experience, financial capacity and sensitivity to Santa Fe’s unique culture makes them an exciting choice. It is a measure of Santa Fe’s appeal and cultural identity that we had interest from the best and brightest including KDC/Cienda.”

“This process has been methodical, professional and objective. We are laying the groundwork for a project that is truly representative of our City’s hopes and dreams and aspirations.”

“It started more than 10 years ago with a visionary previous administration that recognized the unique opportunity presented by this property. We intend to make good on that promise and vision.”

KDC is a Dallas-based development company with strong local ties, including a partnership with Cienda Partners, which worked on such iconic Santa Fe projects and Las Campanas, El Rey Court and La Fonda Hotel.

The introductory video can be seen here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qoymhNmPC3_p79SlheEge7q7GABzNvDa/view

The ENS agreement (link here: https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/584541/Item_4b.pdf) entitles KDC/Cienda to access the site information in order to understand infrastructure and other important characteristics as part of their analysis.  In addition, their first move forward will be to meet with elected officials and their community constituents, as well as with City departments.  This agreement provides the security for both the City and the developer to know that they are working exclusively with each other to reach a development agreement and master plan.

“Through a very competitive process, the Midtown Evaluation Committee unanimously agreed on the KDC/Cienda development team,” said Project Director Daniel Hernandez. “This Exclusive Negotiation Agreement (ENA) period provides the opportunity to building a public/private partnership in which the City, developer, and community work together to create a viable and desirable development plan to achieve a shared vision for the Midtown District. This process may take up to a year or more from now.  Now, the work begins towards a fuller understanding of the constraints and opportunities for the redevelopment of the site. While working to achieve community development and public policy priorities we continue to learn more about the shape the development will take.”

“We are excited and proud to have assembled a team of stellar players that know what it takes to pull together the resources and strategy for developing a large-scale project,” said Economic Development Director Rich Brown. “This team has both national experience and access to important resources for development, as well as local capacity to ensure that the development meets the needs of Santa Fe communities.”

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