Annual Awards of Excellence ceremony commemorates the state’s top real estate projects; ABQ Mayor and UNM President co-awardees.
Annual Awards of Excellence ceremony commemorates the state’s top real estate projects; ABQ Mayor and UNM President co-awardees
Terry Laudick, Nusenda Credit Union President and CEO, was one of three community leaders honored on Dec. 1, 2017 with the New Mexico chapter of the National Association of Industrial Office Properties’ (NAIOP-NM) Cleve Matthews Vision Award for promoting a public/private partnership focused on innovation.
Former Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry and former University of New Mexico (UNM) President Robert Frank were also awardees. During the award presentation, NAIOP-NM officials said: “For the first time, academia, city government and the private sector came together to establish an entity to diversify our economy, support entrepreneurship and create the foundation for an Innovation District.”
In partnership with UNM and the City of Albuquerque, Nusenda Credit Union was a founding partner of Innovate ABQ, donating $3 million to the project. “This commitment was made to improve educational and economic opportunities for New Mexicans,” Laudick said. “A stronger, more viable community has a positive impact - both for our members and everyone in the community, day in and day out.”
Built to foster economic development and job creation in New Mexico, Innovate ABQ aims to develop more than 600,000 square feet of dense, walkable space devoted to bringing together New Mexico’s innovators, educational systems, local government, and private enterprise to foster innovation, assist in the creation of long-term economic ventures, and increase equal access to opportunities community-wide.
The Lobo Rainforest building, which broke ground just over a year ago, marked the beginning of Phase I at the Innovate ABQ site. This phase also included the relocation of Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) Ingenuity's FUSE Makerspace and the makeover of the 76,000-square-foot former First Baptist Church building.
CNM Ingenuity's FUSE Makerspace, which provides tools like 3-D printers, laser engravers, table saws, and vinyl cutters for people to develop their inventions, moved into the 13,000 square-foot building in August, 2017. With CNM’s Makerspace next door to the Lobo Rainforest Building, aspiring entrepreneurs will have on-site access to the state-of-the-art design and manufacturing equipment they’ll need to build businesses from the ground up.
The next phase, Phase 1-B, will overhaul the church building, which includes the five-story tower, a two-story education wing, and an auditorium. Innovate ABQ’s project manager Danny Dietz said he expects construction to start by the end of this year, with an estimated opening of fall 2018.
Innovation districts are a new urban model being implemented in many cities across the country. These districts align leading-edge companies and institutions and coexist with startups and incubators to create what Forbes magazine calls a “self-perpetuating economic engine.”
This award, rebranded the Cleve Matthews Vision Award in 2015, was named after Matthews, who was a driving force behind NAIOP-NM’s growth. Past winners of the prize, which isn’t awarded every year, include the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority in 2014, Central New Mexico Community College in 2012, and Presbyterian Rust Medical Center and the Rust family in 2011.
Laudick has also been recognized with the UNM Presidential Award of Distinction in 2016, and Nusenda was named the Most Innovative Community-Based Banking Organization at the 2015 Global Banking Awards, hosted by BAI-Infosys Finacle.