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Date ArticleType
10/15/2018
MIDTOWN CAMPUS PROJECT - Planning Guidelines

Background

 The City’s “Midtown Property” currently known as the Santa Fe University of Art and Design campus (“SFUAD”) stopped being operated by Santa Fe University of Art and Design, LLC on June 30, 2018. The City owns the 64.22 acre former SFUAD property and some adjacent lands (see Appendix for aerial photo). For purposes of this document, we will refer to the Midtown Property and adjacent City owned properties as the “Site”. All control of the Site reverted to the City of Santa Fe on July 1, 2018. The City assumed substantial debt to purchase and make improvements to the property in 2009. Currently, the City is obligated to pay approximately $2.2 million annually through June 1, 2036 if not paid off earlier.

 In October 2016, City Council approved the Midtown Local Innovation Corridor District (“Midtown LINC”). This is a zoning overlay district in and around St. Michael’s Drive between Cerrillos Road and St. Francis Drive. The 378-acre district is designed to promote higher density housing and complementary commercial uses by heavily incentivizing and removing obstacles to mixed-use redevelopment of existing properties within the district. The Midtown LINC was designed with two anchors: The Site on the west end and the hospital and related medical uses on the east end. On October 25, 2017, City Council passed a resolution No. 2017 -78 available at https://www.santafenm.gov/archive_center/document/18083. This provided guidance to staff and established a strategic goal for the property to have a variety of uses, with a preference for higher education as the anchor. Examples include continuing to pursue discussions with education institutions, pursue the expansion of existing film facilities and programs, develop workforce housing, consider replacing the LaFarge library with the Fogelson library, refine potential approaches to reduce debt service on the property, and examine different governance models to identify ways to maximize opportunities. It directed City Staff to develop and run a process for gathering public input on the possible and desired uses of the Site. This public process was called the “Midtown Campus Project”, a citywide engagement conducted January-April 2018 engaging approximately 3,000 participants that culminated in these planning guidelines. This project was supplemented and informed by other research conducted over the last several years including RE:MIKE, Culture Connects, 2017 National Citizens Survey and Pollinating Prosperity Report all of which are publicly available (collectively referred to as “Research”).

  The Midtown Campus Project is phase one of a three phase process to redevelop the Site. The three phases are:

  (a) Concept Phase which was the market research, idea generation and concept development work done during the Midtown Campus Project,

 (b) Planning Phase which CITY OF SANTA FE - FINAL Planning Guidelines for the City’s Midtown Property 2 will culminate in an appropriately scaled development plan and financial model that can be successfully executed, and

 (c) Implementation Phase which will be the phased implementation of the development plan or modifications thereof. Both the Planning and Implementation phases will also involve public input.

 Guidelines Overview: The following are a set of strategic guidelines resulting from the Midtown Campus Project. These are intended to:  Guide the efforts and decision-making of the Governing Body, City Staff and any partners· or other stakeholders in the Planning and Implementation phases.  Guide the efforts and decision-making of the Governing Body and City Staff regarding· outreach, inquiries, negotiations, proposals or other activities regarding use or other disposition of the Site. These guidelines include principles, preferred uses and non-preferred uses. The guidelines have not yet involved detailed planning or financial evaluation, therefore, are directional not prescriptive. Some uses or principles described herein may need to be modified based on factors discovered during subsequent work.

  Vision: Over time, our community aspires for the Midtown LINC to be an essential hub of Santa Fe reflecting the city’s heritage and culture where all residents are invited to live, work, play, and learn. We want the Site to become the most creative location in the U.S. where a wide diversity of people interacts and collaborate to find their passions; build their skills for a great career; live in a thriving, vibrant neighborhood and city; and create a great future for our community, region and beyond.

 Goal: Utilizing these guidelines, City Staff will continue to take a disciplined, professional approach to develop a phased plan for redevelopment of the Site. We would pursue a space that is beautifully designed; provide residents, especially young people and families, with opportunities to prosper, grow, and continue the tradition of multi-generational families in Santa Fe; encourages creativity in all forms while promoting social equity, environmental sustainability and the special characteristics of Santa Fe’s heritage and culture; and becomes a mixed use area that is a vibrant center at the geographic and demographic center of the City, serving to catalyze the redevelopment anticipated by the Midtown LINC. For the Guiding Principles and any Uses described below, the property shall be developed in accordance with goals, policies or plans adopted by the Governing Body with direction to City Staff responsible for implementation of such Guiding Principles or Uses.

 Guiding Principles: Based on the substantial Research, the following represent core values and beliefs of our community that serve as a foundation for decisions and actions that affect the entire development of the site.

 A. Sustainable Development: Adopt a “triple bottom line” approach to development that seeks to balance and improve social, environmental and economic impacts and benefits of developing the Site. a. Social: Improve social equity by encouraging development of locations, facilities and services on the Site to make it attractive and accessible to all residents, including low and middle income, to live, work, play and learn on or near the Site.

 B. Environmental: Apply best environmental practices in energy production and distribution with emphasis on solar; water capture, treatment and management; uses of living infrastructure, native plants, and green building techniques; and connections to and preservation of existing natural habitats. Increase energy resilience and contribute to City’s carbon reduction goals.

 C. Economic: The redevelopment must be financially sustainable, remove the current debt obligation of the City in a reasonable time, and support the diversification and resilience of our economy by making it easier for people to launch new businesses, grow existing businesses or move their businesses to the site or nearby. B. A City Center: Develop the Site with a variety of uses that make it inviting and affordable for residents of the city and region to live, work, play and learn. Integrate with and rejuvenate neighboring communities by seeking to retain and strengthen unique characteristics and assets of those neighborhoods, minimize displacement and promote social equity and economic vitality. a. Accessibility: i. Connections: Develop a variety of connections to and integration with surrounding neighborhoods, existing commercial development, and all of Santa Fe, including roads, bike paths and walking paths. As an example, create an entrance that makes the campus visible and easily accessible by car, bus, bike, or foot while integrating with the surrounding area and neighborhoods. ii. Transportation: Design for current and future transportation needs, including sufficient parking, shared transportation like cars and bikes, electric vehicle charging stations, bus service, shuttle service to train depots and other key locations.

 b. Density: In accordance with the Midtown LINC, adopt a medium to medium-high urban density connected by and incorporating a variety of open spaces, courtyards, parks, and, possibly, large urban park or new plaza. This is best exemplified in the concepts named Midtown Fusion and Collaborate & Connect (see Appendix for example images).

 c. Aesthetics: Encourage a blend of architecture that modernizes current site styling and is in-synch with Santa Fe’s unique look and feel, as well as with world-class buildings on the Site designed by Ricardo Legoretta. i. Consider a signature building or structure that advances Santa Fe’s brand and iconic status and can be a beacon for the community. d. Variety of Uses: Develop the site to accommodate three primary uses of the Site, namely, higher education, expanding the film and emerging media industry, and housing residents can afford with an emphasis on rental units. See below for more explanation and description of preferred uses for the property.

 C. Adaptable Infrastructure: Develop the physical and digital infrastructure so that it increases accessibility, improves current uses of the property, and supports the initial steps of development which will be part of a future Implementation phase. Additionally, design the infrastructure to remain flexible and responsive to later stages of development and to enable the achievement of any sustainable development goals and plans. a. Physical infrastructure includes roads, bike paths, walkways, electricity distribution, natural gas distribution, sewer, water, and buildings that can support a variety of uses or reuses. b. Digital infrastructure includes broadband, telecommunications, microgrid and other “smart city” technologies to support a variety of residential and commercial uses. This includes achieving broadband speeds to support film and emerging media businesses, and any other businesses that require super high-speed broadband.

 D. Catalyze and Utilize Midtown LINC Overlay: These guidelines were developed based on research focused on the Site and immediate surrounding properties. However, achieving our community’s preferred uses does not all have to occur on the Site. The property is located within the Midtown LINC; therefore, the subsequent phases can consider how the plans for the Site can spur owners of properties in the Midtown LINC corridor to redevelop their properties in ways advance the Principles and Uses described in these guidelines. Preferred Uses: Based on the Research, the following are the top five preferred uses for the site, in ranked order. All of them are highly supported by majority of our community. CITY OF SANTA FE - FINAL Planning Guidelines for the City’s Midtown Property 5 1.

 Higher Education: Pursue and secure premier, accredited higher education, including vocational and skills training programs, that is a great for local and regional students, and attracts students nationally and internationally. Considerations and parameters include: a. Education Village: Attract a single provider or multiple education providers, preferably, with existing national or international reputation for the high quality of the programs. An example would be one college expanding its film school to the property while another expanded its technology and engineering school. b. Collaborate: Encourage any higher education providers on the Site to cooperate or collaborate with existing local, regional and state higher education providers, as well as with local public and private elementary, middle and high schools for the educational and career advancement of all students and residents. c. Types and Subject-Matter: Initially pursue 4-year degree providers, as well as vocational and technical training programs that do not directly compete with local and regional community colleges. Prefer curriculum areas that align well with Santa Fe and New Mexican heritage, resources and business opportunities, as well as build skills for career paths in projected growth areas in the local, regional and national economy. i. Over time consider adding other types of education such as master’s degrees, doctoral degrees and professional development. ii. Support and encourage workforce development. d. Size: At maturity, 2,000 or more students would attend school or training programs on site.

 2. Housing: Utilizing a variety of strategies, provide housing that is affordable for a wide range of residents and income levels, including students. Considerations and parameters include: a. If the Site includes higher education, then the priority is for sufficient housing to be provided for students on campus or in new housing along St. Michaels or Cerrillos corridors within the Midtown LINC. b. 500-1,000+ units attractive to all residents and prioritizing rental units over homes for purchase. c. Develop housing options that align to any housing strategies or plans adopted by the Governing Body or City Staff. d. Include a variety of open spaces and courtyards for both connectivity to and within the Site and the private uses of residents and employees working on the property.

 3. Film & Emerging Media: Expand Greer Garson Studios in order to support television, large film, augmented reality, virtual reality, video game, animation, short-form and other emerging media production. Considerations and parameters include: CITY OF SANTA FE - FINAL Planning Guidelines for the City’s Midtown Property 6 a. Seek to increase gross receipts tax (GRT) by 100% in next 5 years related to film and emerging media industry. b. Additions may include 2-4 soundstages, storage, backlot, offices and a postproduction facility with high speed broadband sufficient to support the users, as well as a mill and/or large “maker-space” that may be shared with local business, schools and workforce development providers. c. Attract a premier film school that can leverage the facilities for educational purposes and help students secure professional development opportunities.

 4. Arts & Creativity: Maintain or expand the use of property as center of arts and creativity leveraging the Greer Garson Theater, Visual Arts Center and the Santa Fe Arts Institute, which is located directly adjacent to the Site. Considerations and parameters include: a. Update Greer Garson Theater as needed, possibly as a performing arts center, to maintain its high-quality status and promote regular, highly attended performances. b. Add one or more mixed-use indoor and outdoor venues, including outdoor pavilion or amphitheater with 200-600 seating capacity. c. Update The Screen movie theater to show digital films and improve sound quality, provided that the market demand and/or academic value supports the upgrade.

 5. New Business & Innovation: Diversify and strengthen our economy to provide more opportunities for more residents of all skill and experience levels. Accelerate entrepreneurship, help existing companies grow, and make it easy and enticing for people and companies to relocate to Santa Fe. Strong preference for enabling a hub of technology-focused businesses, as well as expanding film and emerging media as described above. Considerations and parameters include: a. Promote and attract blend of businesses and entrepreneurs that collectively increase the City’s export GDP and replacement of imports with locally sources goods and services. b. Attract and grow existing businesses, including those that can provide goods and services on site to residents, visitors and employees. c. Foster development of burgeoning industry clusters such as high tech, creative economy, and value-added1 and craft food. d. Develop key physical components of an entrepreneurial and business growth ecosystem including ubiquitous broadband access, high quality telecommunications, co-working space, multi-use buildings, tech transfer center and/or an advanced maker space, which can be combined with mill for educational, private business and film and emerging media industry uses. 1 “Value-added” food is also known as consumer-packaged goods, ready-to-eat or ready-to-cook foods, as distinct from raw agricultural commodities and food items. CITY OF SANTA FE - FINAL Planning Guidelines for the City’s Midtown Property

 7 i. Motivate other interested parties like financial management, venture capitalists, impact investment groups, philanthropies, private investors, accelerators and incubators to locate or work on or nearby the site.

 Other Possible Uses: While the following were not in the top tier of voting, they represent desired uses for the property or perhaps for expansion into adjacent properties or throughout the Midtown LINC. 6. Tech Hub: One or more buildings that may include a business accelerator, financing organizations, new and existing businesses, and/or onsite tech transfer services tied to NM labs and universities. a. Consider an entrepreneurship center and/or small business center to deliver services and support to both local and economic-base businesses. The Small Business Development Center could be a potential partner. b. Consider integrating a technical training center to increase opportunities for young people in coordination with or without duplicating efforts of SFCC.

 7. 21st Century Library: Upgrade Fogelson library to serve both academic and community needs as a 21st century library and replacement for the LaFarge library.

 8. Transit Center: Develop a physical center connecting key routes to promote a greater variety of mobility and access including pedestrian, vehicle and bike sharing, electric charging stations, biking, buses and train shuttles.

 9. Joint Senior and Child Day Care Center: Day care provides support to employees and residents, and the senior facility is housing for active seniors and provides them with opportunities to interact and support children in our community.

 10. Health Care: A small facility that serves the residents of the Site and surrounding neighborhoods. Note that at within 2 miles on St. Michael’s is a hospital and numerous other health services.

 11. Art Park: Variation of large urban park with emphasis on artwork and art events.

 12. Teen Center: Innovation center, mentorship programs, job preparation, internship placement and/or a variety of skills training.

 13. Premier Maker Space: Could be used for educational and business uses. May be incorporated with Tech Hub described above.

 14. Recreation Network: Variety of indoor and outdoor fitness and athletic venues.

 15. “Mixed-Use” Commercial and Residential Buildings: Multi-story buildings located on St. Michael’s or Cerrillos with commercial on ground floor and housing above. Non-Preferred Uses: The following are undesired uses for the SITE. However, these uses may be valid for other locations adjacent to the Site, within the Midtown LINC or elsewhere in the City. CITY OF SANTA FE - FINAL Planning Guidelines for the City’s Midtown Property 8

  City government: People see a need to make government more accessible and easy to· use, but permanent relocation of all or some of the government offices to the Site itself is not currently a community priority.  Contemporary Cultural Center: Residents value community and cultural activities and· gathering spaces, yet an additional cultural center or museum is seen as redundant.  Offices and large amounts of retail: With the exception of medical uses that might serve· residents of the Site, generic offices and large amounts of retail are perceived as leading to a more generic space which would detract instead of increase community value and interaction.  

 Large, single-family housing development: While some residences for purchase may be· desired as part a desired mix of housing options, fitting a “suburban layout” into the Site or making the Site primarily a single-family housing development would diminish its community value and economic potential.  Avoid homeless shelters: However, consider enabling and encouraging job training for· homeless people on the Site.  Dog park: Amplify the effects of outdoor space. Do not minimize the use of green spaces· by developing a dog park which can be perceived as a “one-off” instead of encompassing the needs of all residents.

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