It’s no secret that the folks at Bernalillo County (at least the Democrat majority on the Commission) want to break up with the City of Albuquerque. For a variety of reasons, they say, being “roomates” with the City at their shared downtown office building. The idea is to snap up one of the many available office buildings to be found around downtown.
I honestly don’t know whether new County headquarters would be a good thing or not, but there are concerns not the least of what is the County’s burgeoning real estate empire (a full list of the County’s holdings can be found here). Several vacant properties are included. Perhaps it is time for the County to sell off some of its land holdings to raise funds for the new headquarters? At least the public should be given an idea that some of the properties currently owned by the County will be sold off once the new headquarters comes online. That’s the way most families do it.
The second, added benefit of selling some County property is that it could collect taxes as those properties return to private hands. After all, whatever property the County winds up buying will likely be pulled off of the tax rolls. It would be great to see something added back elsewhere.
Either way, there’s no rush for the County to buy. The local real estate market remains relatively depressed with more than 25% of downtown office space vacant according to recent data.