More than half of the buildings on the midtown campus are being eyed for demolition, according to a presentation given to the Santa Fe City Council on Wednesday.
Sam Burnett, midtown property maintenance manager, told the council that 16 of the 23 buildings either have limited or no potential for reuse as the city discusses preliminary redevelopment plans for the 64-acre property.
The city recently announced that it was taking on a master developer role at the site after deciding to end its exclusive negotiating agreement with Dallas-based KDC Real Estate Development & Investments/Cienda Partners.
In a letter to the city, KDC/Cienda said a number of buildings on the site held no commercial value and would need to be demolished.
The city purchased the campus — the longtime home of the College of Santa Fe — from Christian Brothers of New Mexico in 2009 for around $30 million. The Santa Fe University of Art and Design later began operating on the property but closed in May 2018.
Of the 16 buildings that are being eyed for demolition, 10 are in limbo. Burnett said some of those buildings could be included in planning for the site as the city works through land use, but would likely have to be demolished. The other six have no value for reuse.
“The buildings won’t be seen in isolation,” said Daniel Hernandez, midtown project manager. “We will look at each one in the context of the overall plan that includes all the guidelines that we all know about.”
The city identified nine buildings that could be used for development, including the campus’ visual arts center, Garson Studio, Alexis Hall, the data bunker and the fitness center.
Garson Studio, named after Academy Award-winning actress Greer Garson, has been identified as a potential home of a film school and studio.
City Councilor JoAnne Vigil Coppler asked for an update on how much the city is spending on overseeing midtown’s development.
She also asked for an inventory of items on campus.
“What are we spending today to get where we want to go?” Vigil Coppler asked. “I think we are leaving a big piece of information off the table.”
Economic Development Director Rich Brown said he would have to check whether his department can put an inventory list online for the public to see.
“We have had some instances where people have tried to case the midtown campus,” Brown said.
An update on assets at the site, including furniture and artwork, will be presented at a June 9 council meeting.