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Brewery backpedals on proposed plaza project

Marble Brewery, UNM "agree to disagree" over plans for entertainment venue

Tom Neale, interim director of UNM Real Estate, which manages all property holdings of the University, said they were notified in late May of 
Marble’s withdrawal.

Neale said that despite presenting financial figures of their plan to the Lobo Development Corporation earlier in the year, Marble became uncomfortable as they and the University worked to finalize a contract.

“The proposal that Marble provided was the most attractive in terms of the economics and the design concept,” he said. “When we got into the negotiations, I think they increasingly got uncomfortable on the terms of a long-term ground lease, and then they also got uncomfortable about the ability for them to develop the project in accordance with the economics that they proposed.”

The Lobo Development Corporation, in charge of planning and building such projects that UNM Real Estate oversees, didn’t release monetary specifics from Marble’s proposal.

The development would have been a 1.4-acre plaza located on the corner of University Boulevard and Avenida Cesar Chavez, in an area currently occupied by a parking lot. It would have included a restaurant, coffee shop and taproom as well as a courtyard area for live entertainment.

Soren Peters, co-owner of Marble Brewery, told the Albuquerque Journal that, despite their excitement about the project, they didn’t feel content going forward with it.

“We’d love to work with UNM, (but) that one (development) wasn’t going in the right direction, and instead of wasting their time, we just agreed to disagree,” Peters said.

Neale said the breakup wasn’t ugly, and that they are going to be persistent in looking at other opportunities on 
South Campus.

“It was very professional; we just couldn’t make it happen,” he said. “We’re trying to formulate a follow-up plan at this point.”

Neale said that his confidence in the potential benefits of an entertainment plaza in the sports district hasn’t wavered despite the setback.

“There’s a tremendous amount of public expenditure down there at our athletics venues and Isotopes Park,” Neale said. “We really believe in the opportunity, that it’s something that will benefit South Campus, our students and the community.”

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David Lynch is the assistant news editor at The Daily Lobo. He can be reached at assist
ant-news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @RealDavidLynch.

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