The District

The Midtown Santa Fe site holds many memories for many people – both Santa Feans and people around the world who once studied, taught, lived, visited or worked there. The site served as a military hospital in the Second World War before hosting the first officially recognized institution of higher learning in New Mexico – St. Michael’s College. More recently, it served as the campus for Santa Fe University of Art & Design (SFUAD).

With the departure of SFUAD in 2018, the City recognized the importance of this public asset and assumed control of the site. The City and community saw this as an opportunity to redevelop the area in a way that would reflect local values for social equity, environmental responsibility, and financial prosperity. With that in mind, we have deployed resources and strategies to develop Midtown Santa Fe into a cultural center and innovation hub in the geographic center of our city.

Request for Expressions of Interest

Resources

The City is committed to making as much information as possible available regarding the site and development of the site. In addition, the City is committed to making informed decisions that achieve public policy and community development objectives based on both experiential data in the community, as well as empirical data available through various databases and technical analyses. The City’s Office of Economic Development will continue to serve as a portal for accessing various documents. In addition, the MySidewalk platform provides a wealth of data regarding the site, surrounding neighborhood, Midtown Local Innovation Corridor (LINC), and Opportunity Zone overlay district.

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Real Stories From Real People

I became a student in Fall 1958. I was also a Christian Brother, so I joined the personal commitment of hundreds of brothers before me. This spiritual unity lives among us still, so my relationship is much more than personal — studying, graduating, and teaching at the College of Santa Fe. I graduated in 1961. After studying and teaching for a while outside, I returned to teach at the college in 1965, and remained until it closed in 2009. My entire life was engaged in education in this chunk of God’s brown earth.
I took a job at the College of Santa Fe in 1980, and I worked there for 29 years. I was the Professor of Costume Design in the Performing Arts department. I got very connected with the campus — the physical space — because I was there so long, and I also developed a strong love for the Christian Brothers, and I’m not a Catholic. They taught me how to be a good teacher, and for that I’m very fond of them and very, very attached to the future of the campus.
The reason I still live in this town is because of the education that I received at the College of Santa Fe. It was a very special and unique place in that there were so many different cultures and people from different walks of life bumping up against each other every day, on a really unique campus. There were Christian Brothers walking around who taught us english and math and science. And every day when we walked to lunch, we walked through the old Army barracks that were part of an Army hospital from World War II, and there was a world-class theater on the campus. So it was this very unique combination of facilities, educators, students and staff. It fostered and nurtured and incubated so many dreams.


ABOUT SANTA FE

Santa Fe, which means Holy Faith in Spanish, is the oldest capital city in North America. Founded in the early 1600s, the City is unlike anywhere else because of its unique blend of history and culture — Native Americans, Spanish settlers, Anglo and Mexican communities have all shaped Santa Fe in some way. Known as a very artistic city, Santa Fe is the creative center of the southwest and has an international reputation for artistic and architectural sophistication.

The City’s Role

The City is undertaking horizontal development activities as the Strategic Planner to facilitate a process for public input regarding the redevelopment of the site, increase the value of the property, and to ensure that shared public objectives are embedded in all future vertical development activities. This development is currently underway and will take 16-18 months. 

As the Strategic Planner, the City will move forward with zoning, infrastructure and master planning (horizontal development). Horizontal Development is a term used to described activities related to preparing land or a site for vertical development (buildings and programmed open space). Horizontal Development typically includes zoning and master planning, infrastructure planning and installation of main utility and data lines, circulation and traffic planning, assessment of existing structures for their potential rehabilitation and reuse, as well as other strategic site preparation activities.  These activities are often undertaken by the owner of a site to increase its economic value for development, and if owned by a public entity, to ensure that the redevelopment of the site achieves public purposes and goals. Completing horizontal development prior to disposition of property creates higher levels of certainty and reduces risks for developers, while increasing the land value for the owner. Governmental approvals will be required to begin vertical development and the reuse of existing buildings at Midtown.