Exclusive: Jefferson Green II could break ground next year
It's starting to be nearly a decade since Albuquerque has seen a significant office building development rise from the ground. But the city could see at least two such projects in 2016.
One is Independence Square, an office development in the North I-25 corridor, proposed by ARGUS Investment Realty president Scott Throckmorton. Throckmorton thinks the development will likely begin construction next year with office and other mixed-use components at its location just north of Osuna Road on Jefferson Street.
The other — and one that may get off the ground first — is Jefferson Green II. The development is set to be constructed on vacant land just north of Jefferson Green I — now home to Dekker/Perich/Sabatini's Albuquerque headquarters, located at 7601 Jefferson St. NE.
Jefferson Green II would be smaller, at about 30,000 square feet, than Jefferson Green I — which is 81,000 square feet. However, those involved say the now proposed two-story building could be larger if the right tenant wanted more space.
Rick Davis, the president of R. Davis Cos., is the developer of the project. He finished building Jefferson Green I in 2006. And he's not only moving forward on Jefferson Green II, but on future buildings that would sit on the 12-acre campus. A third building — Jefferson Green II — would be modeled after the original Jefferson Green, meaning another big one. But that project is likely several years away from construction, he said.
"I think the office market in Albuquerque is going in the right direction and there's opportunity for new space," Davis said. "Businesses have contracted so much and now they're looking at opportunities for growth."
Dave Hill, a director with NAI Maestas & Ward, is marketing Jefferson Green II. He said the North I-25 corridor consistently attracts businesses that recognize the area's prime location for both customers and employees.
He said Jefferson Green II already has one tenant interested in leasing 12,000 square feet of space. He needs to fill another 12,000 square feet to get the building off the ground. Lenders are conservative about office space after the recession, and the banks want the building to be 70 percent pre-leased before financing the project, Hill said.
Hill said despite Albuquerque's relatively high overall office vacancy rate, the timing is right for new construction as companies grow and look for new Class A office space.
"It's getting tighter for tenants that need bigger spaces," Hill said.
He said Jefferson Green II's designs have already been drawn and a team is in place to start construction at a moment's notice. The team includesDekker/Perich/Sabatini, Enterprise Builders Corp., Bohannan Huston, and Bridgers & Paxton.
"Once we get that second tenant, we're good to go and can have the building delivered in 12 months."