ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – After three years of talks and negotiations, the Marriott SpringHill Suites Hotel broke ground Monday.
The project, which is being developed by Albuquerque’s Titan Development and Maestas Development Group, is a nearly 93,000-square-foot, 118-room hotel on Central Avenue. It is also set to be the second home of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of New Mexico, which will occupy the entire third floor and 20 rooms.
In addition to developing the hotel, developers will be constructing a sky bridge over Central Avenue, directly connecting Marriott SpringHill Suites to Presbyterian Hospital, which will be a minority partner in the project.
A full-capacity crowd gathered underneath a tent Monday for the announcement, which included speakers from the city, RMHC-NM, Marriott, as well as Titan and Maestas Development Group.
Mayor Tim Keller called the hotel and the entire Highlands development area key as it lies between East Downtown and the University of New Mexico and will help transform Route 66. Highlands North, a 92-unit apartment complex, was approved for redevelopment bonds by the City Council in December.
Albuquerque-based Jaynes Corp. is the general contractor on the project, which currently has a timeline of 14 months, according to Steve Maestas, CEO of Maestas Development Group. He added that his organization has already invested $1.8 million and hundreds of man hours to get the right infrastructure in place. All in all, about $25 million in capital investment will need to be spent in order to complete the project, he said.
“What was once a gathering spot for homelessness and crime, now becomes a community asset,” Maestas said.
RMHC-NM provides lodging and other amenities for families with children receiving hospital care. The organization had been seeing a heavy need for service that exceeded what it could offer the past few years. With the Ronald McDonald House coming to the Marriott SpringHill Suites hotel, RMHC-NM is set to see a 67 percent increase in capacity, says CEO Jessica Wright.
The hotel is one part of a larger 12-acre, master redevelopment project called The Highlands. The Highlands master plan consists of five city blocks, which will include 300 units of multifamily housing, an artisan food market, retail and restaurant components and a hotel, according to previous Business First reporting.
The Albuquerque City Council unanimously approved $26.4 million in metropolitan redevelopment bonds for the project in January. There isn’t any financial obligation by the city as the bonds are payable from sources including the revenue generated from the project.
By Ron Davis, Reporter Albuquerque Business First | March 11, 2019