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NMSU Board of Regents OKs lease plans to relocate Albuquerque offices, classrooms

The New Mexico State University Board of Regents today approved plans and the cost of leasing new offices and classroom space in Albuquerque, which will allow NMSU to expand its footprint in the region, offering programs that are not in competition with the University of New Mexico.



This is a partial view of the PineTree Corporate Center at 4501 Indian School Road NE in Albuquerque. New Mexico State University's Board of Regents on Friday, May 8, approved the 40,447-square-foot lease proposal, which may allow NMSU programs and operations in Albuquerque to move to the new site in July. The lease proposal also must be approved by the New Mexico Higher Education Department, which will be reviewed on June 12.

At a time when there was a need for more classroom space for NMSU's successful academic programs in Albuquerque, the PineTree Corporate Center, a 40,447-square-foot complex, became available. NMSU has academic programs in Albuquerque in social work at the master's level, criminal justice, and hotel, restaurant and tourism management (HRTM). Also in Albuquerque are some of NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service programs, the Waste Management Education and Research Consortium (WERC), which runs its pollution prevention and energy efficiency technical assistance program from Albuquerque, and alumni and communications offices.

The property, at 4501 Indian School Rd. NE, is owned by Tomorrow 33 Pinetree Center LP, a Delaware limited partnership, and is brokered by Argus Investment Realty, Inc. The Regents' acceptance of the 10-year lease proposal also has to be approved by the New Mexico Higher Education Department, which it will review on June 12.

"This is just a perfect location and the perfect type of space for us," said Ben Woods, senior vice president for planning, physical resources and university relations. Woods said they approached Argus and offered to lease the entire 40,447 square feet.

"By acting quickly we were able to get great space, at a great rate that allows us to do what we believe we owe the citizens of the region, and the courses we offer are not in competition with the University of New Mexico," Woods said. "It just allows us to meet the natural growth that's occurred because of our presence there for the past five years."

The three-story complex offers several classrooms, office space, conference rooms and a cafe, said Frederick Ayers, director of real estate at NMSU. The PineTree Corporate Center is visible from I-40.

"Officially, the lease starts on July 1, and we could start moving some people on July 1," Ayers said. He said if things go as planned, there is a possibility that classes could be opened in the fall at the new complex.

NMSU is currently leasing space in the Compass Bank Building on Louisiana Boulevard in Albuquerque. Some of these leases are up for renewal at the end of June and others in November, Ayers said.