Contact: Ric Richardson 277-6460 or
Carolyn Gonzales 277-5920

January 31, 2001

UNM SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING TO CO-SPONSOR MESA DEL SOL PLANNING FORUM

The University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning and the New Mexico State Land Office are jointly sponsoring a planning forum to discuss how to attract high-tech companies and bring new jobs to Mesa del Sol. More than 200 New Mexico architects, planners and business leaders will attend the forum on Monday, Feb. 5 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Rodey Theater, Center for the Arts, on the UNM campus.

The Mesa del Sol Employment Park is the next phase of the development scheduled to take place since the completion of the amphitheater. The first of 44 soccer, baseball and softball fields are underway.

The forum, "Building a Vision: Mesa del Sol High-Tech Center," will include participation by urban designer Gary Hack, dean of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. Scheduled local panelists include Tom Brennan, former vice president of the Photovoltaics Division of EMCORE Corporation and current president and CEO of Zircle Corporation; J. Howard Mock, chairman and CEO of Jaynes Corporation, one of New Mexico's largest construction companies; and Harry Relkin, Assistant Commissioner of Community Development at the State Land Office.

The focus of the forum will be how to best implement the Mesa del Sol Master Plan and develop the Employment Park, a 1,500-acre site. Forum speakers will focus on their experience with other large, master-planned developments particularly how the creation of jobs and commercial development affected the build out of mixed-used projects.

"Issues of economic development, sustainable design and smart growth are critical to Albuquerque's future," said Dean of the UNM School of Architecture and Planning Roger Schluntz. "This forum on Mesa del Sol is an opportunity to engage with the public in a discussion of an issue of considerable importance to the future of this region."

"Mesa del Sol's employment center is the key to future employment opportunities in the Albuquerque area," said Commissioner of Public Lands Ray Powell. "We are taking a jobs first - housing second approach to the Mesa del Sol development. Residents will have the luxury of short, convenient trips to work, via pedestrian-friendly bicycle paths as well as the many recreational areas and open spaces at Mesa del Sol. This input from well-respected planners, architects, and business leaders at the forum will help us maximize the potential for creating good, new jobs."

In February 2000, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the State Land Office and Sandia National Laboratories to share future business from the research and development areas at the labs with the Mesa del Sol Employment Center.

In May 1999, the President's Council on Sustainable Development recognized Mesa del Sol's compact design for urban sustainable living as a model of "smart growth." Mesa del Sol also won the Master Plan of the Year award in 1999 from the New Mexico Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Mesa del Sol is located just south of the Albuquerque International Sunport. Kirtland Air Force Base, the Pueblo of Isleta and Broadway Boulevard border it.

Mesa del Sol is the flagship-planned community of the State Land Office located on 12,400 acres, the largest parcel of undeveloped land under single ownership within city limits in the United States. It is held in trust primarily for the benefit of UNM and the public schools.

For more information, contact Karin Stangl, Assistant Commissioner of Communication, (505) 827-5760 in Santa Fe.

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The University of New Mexico
Public Affairs Department
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Albuquerque, NM 87131-0011
Telephone: (505) 277-5813
Fax: (505) 277-1981