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CITY RENOVATIONS

City continues with downtown renovations

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With the Church-Water two-way conversion project complete, the city Tax Increment Development District (TIDD) is continuing with four other downtown development projects, City Business Development Administrator Mandy Guss told the Las Cruces City Council at its Jan. 28 meeting as the city TIDD board.

The projects are

  • Renovation of city parking lot 7, including public restrooms, located behind Rio Grande Theatre. Guss said the city has received engineering quotes on the project and will conduct public input before the anticipated start of construction in mid-March. City Director of Public Works David Maestas said it likely will take six months to complete the work because construction will be conducted in sections so that part of the parking lot remains open at all times.
  • Design and reconstruction of Campo Street between Spruce Street and Amador Avenue. Guss said the goal is for Campo Street to help connect downtown with the Mesquite Historic District. She said about $3 million will be needed for the renovation project, and city staff wants to make sure funding is in place before the project is begun.
  • Historic Amador Hotel restoration. Guss said the city has completed a historic structures report on the hotel, which is the oldest property owned by the city. The city will seek a contractor with historic preservation experience to do the work, which should begin this fall and will be funded by TIDD and state capital outlay money, Guss said. The hotel, which dates to 1870s, was built by Martin Amador, patriarch of one of the most powerful and influential families in Las Cruces history.
  • Downtown parking garage. Guss said the city has $2 million in capital outlay funding to begin design and construction of the parking garage, which she said will be needed to meet future demand for parking as downtown continues to grow. Guss said the city will conduct a public input session on the project in March and should have results from parking and feasibility studies in August. Guss said downtown currently has about 3,000 parking spaces, including about 2,000 that are free public parking spaces. She said the location of the parking garage is one of the details the project will decide.

TIDD is a mechanism for funding public infrastructure. It was created by the city in 2009 “to generate revenue within the downtown area and to use those revenues within that area for public improvement projects,” according to city documents. It is funded through existing gross receipts tax revenues, with additional funding from the New Mexico Legislature. TIDD district has a 25-year lifespan.

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