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ALBUQUERQUE-Hunt Development Group LP has opened its office in Albuquerque to pursue developments in New Mexico and rest of the Southwest. The company currently has about $650 million of developments in various stages in the region, with the new office staff hoping to boost it $750 million in the next year.

“Our focus is private projects versus military construction, which is another component of the company,” explains James Dobbie, Hunt’s SVP. Dobbie, a long-time Albuquerque resident who was once an officer with local firm, Goodman Realty Group, is partnering with Hunt’s VP Trenton Stafford, who was with Bank of Albuquerque. Together, with the help of administrative staff, they will develop what Dobbie classifies as “community-defining projects.”

One project is the $200-million, 33-acre ABQ Uptown, a mixed-use lifestyle center at the intersection of Indian School Rd. and Louisiana Blvd. ABQ Uptown is the city’s first lifestyle center. Dekker/Perich/Sabatini Ltd. of Albuquerque was the project architect, and Bradbury Stamm, also local, is building it.

Hunt Development broke ground one week ago on ABQ Uptown’s second phase, a 198-unit, high-end multifamily complex. It is going up beside the delivered first phase of retail, totaling 225,000 sf. The retail component, leased by local firm Sedberry & Associates, is 85% occupied.

Dobbie says ABQ Uptown’s third phase will consist of a 200-room hotel and more retail and residential. “We’re just entering the conceptual design phase and will launch construction in late 2008,” he tells GlobeSt.com.

Hunt Development also has acquired 5.5 acres in Santa Fe, next to the St. Francis Cathedral along Cathedral Place, to build a mixed-use retail and residential project. The estimated $100-million project is still in the planning phases.

Hunt also is working on a $300-million project with the City of Albuquerque. Situated on nearly five acres at Second St. and Central Ave. along Old Route 66, the project will include a 12,500- to 16,000-seat arena, 450-room hotel and convention center, 50,000 sf of retail and a residential component. Hunt’s partner in the project is Garfield Traub Development of Dallas. HOK Sport Inc. of Kansas City, MO is the architect of record and Dallas-based Turner Construction Co. is the general contractor.

Dobbie says that with Hunt headquartered in El Paso, the move to establish a stronger presence in New Mexico was a logical choice. “Hunt has a long history with New Mexico and a close proximity,” he adds. “With a large pipeline of projects in the works due to the explosive growth of Albuquerque and New Mexico in general, that was the motivation for them to put roots on the ground here.”

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