MIDTOWN MONDAY | May 4th, 2020

This is your weekly update on the pre-development phase of the Midtown site.

Today, Monday, May 4 at 5 p.m., the Santa Fe Governing Body will host a Special Meeting to vote whether to enter into an agreement with the proposed development team. This will launch the process for working with the City and communities to understand the vision, aspirations, and grounded objectives for the redevelopment of the Midtown Site.

The meeting will be hosted on the City’s YouTube channel at which City Council hearings are held: www.youtube.com/user/cityofsantafe.

Radio Broadcast, the meeting can be heard on: radio station KSFR 101.1.

The public is invited to submit questions through Monday, May 4 at 1 p.m. to the development team at following email address:

Live questions – YouTube interface (access on the City’s Weekly Meetings website): https://www.santafenm.gov/weekly_meeting_list__agendas

We anticipate there will be on-going questions. So, there will be a series of follow-up meetings titled “Meet the Developer”. Questions may be submitted during the meeting via YouTube chat. Additional questions may also be submitted at any time
at Info@MidtownDistrictSantaFe.comThe City will continue to respond to questions and the Midtown FAQ’s section is also available on the City’s Website.

What’s next: After the vote on May 4, the City and the development team will kick-off the first in a series of sessions for the public to Meet the Developer and learn more about their initial ideas, and for the developer to get a better understanding of the public’s goals and aspirations.

The series will continue with 4-5 subsequent sessions that will be topic specific, e.g. Housing and Housing Affordability; Transportation and Connectivity; Job Creation, Career Training and Job Placement; Sustainable Sites & Green Building; Master Planning and Urban Design. (Topics and dates still in the works). The public will be able to submit questions in advance and live on the City’s YouTube channel where public meetings can be accessed.

How does the public have a voice: Santa Feans’ input on this project has been a roadmap for decision-making since the beginning. The community wanted a place that would provide housing, retail, education, arts and culture, digital entertainment and community services. We are proceeding with a community-focused public engagement process and want to establish a Public Engagement Advisory Group with community and civic organizations and leaders.

The sole charge of the Advisory Group will be to develop a plan of action and make sure Santa Fe voices are heard.  The City still intends to provide small stipends funds (grants) to organizations interested in facilitating public events with outcomes that help inform the Midtown development plan.  A focus of the outcomes will remain on community development and public policies that address the unintended consequences of development and actually work toward intentional development strategies that lead to neighborhood stabilization and anti-displacement.


  4. Midtown Exclusive Negotiation Agreement with Master Developer & Presentation by Development Team. (Rich Brown, Economic Development Director, rdbrown@santafenm.gov, 955-6625)
  •  Introduction Regarding the Request for Expressions of Interest Process, Purpose of Meeting, and Agenda Overview. (Mayor Webber; Richard Brown, Economic Development Director
  • Request for Approval of a Twelve-Month Exclusive Negotiation Agreement between City and KDC Cienda SF Investments One L.P. for the Purpose of Determining Terms for a Disposition and Development Agreement for the Midtown Property, Formerly Known as the College of Santa Fe and Formerly Operated as the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. (Daniel Hernandez, Proyecto, Midtown Project Manager, daniel@proyecto.is, 917-930-0106; Erin K. McSherry, City Attorney, ekmcsherry@santafenm.gov, 955-6512
  • Presentation by Team Midtown Santa Fe (Led by KDC Cienda SF Investments One L.P.) Including Responses to Questions from the Public Submitted in Advance of and During the Presentation. (Daniel Hernandez, Proyecto, Midtown Project Manager; and Team Midtown Santa Fe, Development Team)
  • Presentation of Next Steps for the Midtown Project. (Daniel Hernandez, Proyecto, Midtown Project Manager)

Many different groups are involved in building great city places like the Midtown Site.  Generally, three core entities are engaged in large-scale development like the Midtown District: 1) the Public, 2) Developers, and 3) Government (staff and elected officials).  The entities in this three-legged stool share principles, goals, and aspirations to guide their decisions.

The Midtown Evaluation Committee, a team of 11 members with various professional skill and backgrounds, arrived at a recommended development team through an open and competitive process. They used three core criteria to arrive at a unanimous decision about a qualified development team – approach, experience, and capacity.

  1. The experience and approach criteria considered whether the development team had an understanding of Santa Fe – its history, culture, and community dynamics.
  1. The approach criterion considered the development team’s understanding of the types of development and principles that Santa Fe desired and whether the development team has a commitment to triple-bottom line sustainable development – equity, environment, economy.
  1. The capacity criterion considered whether the development team could manage and implement a large-scale project in Santa Fe.

While the criteria seemed like a tall order to fill, the richness of Santa Fe attracted high quality competitive responses that included development teams with strong ties to Santa Fe.

Stay safe, stay at home, and stay tuned for more information about the upcoming meetings and more Midtown news and information.

About This Effort
Our public mission, driven by our community and the Midtown Planning Guidelines, is to create the most creative location in the United States, where all Santa Fe residents and visitors can interact, collaborate, fuel passions, build skills, find opportunities, live equitably, and create a bright future—for ourselves, our families, and our greater community. Primary land uses for the Midtown site as identified by community members

•         Mixed-Use Development
•         Residential (including affordable housing)
•         Higher Education
•         Arts, Culture & Entertainment
•         Film & Multimedia Production
•         Businesses in Creative Technology and Entrepreneurship
•         Neighborhood serving Retail, Eateries, and Hospitality
•         Community Health and Recreation
•         Civic Facilities and Public Open Space

….and the requirement that all of these land uses be designed under a model of equitable and sustainable development. These community-driven land uses were used as the foundation for the Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI) from master developers, which can be found here.