Best Practices and Visionary Ideas Shared at ‘The Case for Downtown’ Event
Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance and its Technology and Innovation Advisory Council hosted a quarterly event focused on the importance of the urban core to the entire regional economy.
ALBUQUERQUE – March 16, 2023 – More than 200 attendees joined the Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance today for its first Quarterly Event of 2023, held in the former Petroleum Club space on the 15th Floor of 500 Marquette Ave. NW in downtown Albuquerque, courtesy of ARGUS Investment Realty.
“We specifically chose this venue – currently a vacant office space on the top floor of a prominent downtown building – to draw attention to the amazing office space and assets in downtown Albuquerque, as well as to shed light on its future potential,” commented Danielle Casey, President & CEO of the Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance. AREA Board Chair and CEO of Bradbury Stamm Construction Cynthia Schultz added,” I am excited for this program as I can recall as a child growing up in Albuquerque and going to the Petroleum Club once a year and feeling very fancy – now, there are all new opportunities ahead.”
AREA’s desire to bring guest experts and local business leaders together for a positive conversation about the future vision of downtown Albuquerque began in a discussion with its newly formed Technology and Innovation Advisory Council, chaired by Charles Rath of RS21. Rath, a business owner with offices in downtown Albuquerque, is a strong advocate for positive downtown investment as a quality-of-life tool critical to attracting and retaining a talented workforce to the region.
According to the International Downtown Association, great cities and regions start downtown and no great city or region can succeed without a strong downtown, the place where compactness and density bring people, capital and ideas into the kind of proximity that builds economies, opportunity and identity.
The event was headlined by guest speakers Amanda Elliott of the Town of Gilbert, Arizona and Brett Roler with the Downtown Memphis Commission. Amanda has served in the Gilbert, Arizona Office of Economic Development since 2012 and leads town-wide redevelopment efforts, including a focus on the downtown Heritage District. She is a founding member for AZDowntowns and is an International Downtown Association Emerging Leaders fellow. Brett is an economic developer and downtown advocate committed to building a Downtown Memphis for everyone. Currently, he serves as Senior Vice President at the Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC), where he directs the economic development programs of the organization. Brett also leads the DMC’s work around mobility & transportation, entrepreneurship & retail, emerging developers, DEI, public art and blight remediation.
Following the guest speaker presentations centered around challenges and solutions implemented in each of their downtown communities, Charles Rath facilitated a fireside chat with several local leaders and visionaries who are excited and optimistic about the future of downtown: Terry Brunner, the Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency Director for the City of Albuquerque; Dale Armstrong, President and CEO of TLC Plumbing; and Mark Baker, owner of 505 Central Food Hall, Humble Coffee Co. and Moonwalk Brewery and Distillery.
Businesses in the greater Albuquerque region interested in learning more about AREA’s various advisory councils and other programs, events and resources can find more information at www.ABQ.org.