Economy, commercial real estate lagging in New Mexico

Millennials are a main ingredient to an economic recovery.

Local real estate chapters in Albuquerque, N.M., petitioned for years to get the city on Urban Land Institute's Emerging Trends report, according to a local commercial real-estate consultant.

Todd Clarke, an apartment broker and consultant who serves on the Urban Land Institute's New Mexico chapter, told the Albuquerque Journal Business that local chapters spent years trying to get Albuquerque placed in the report in order to raise the city's national profile.

In 2011, Albuquerque made the list, but it didn't have the impact most were expecting.

"The focus had been to get Albuquerque on the map," Clarke said. "When we got on the map, we weren't very happy with our position. Now, it's like what do we need to do as a community to improve? Everything we do over the next few years is totally dependent on jobs."

In the most recent Urban Land Institute Emerging Trends report, Albuquerque's rank fell from  42 the previous year to 46. The study accounts for 51 major metro areas. "The decline in Albuquerque's overall rank is attributable to a failure of this improvement to keep pace with other markets," the Emerging Trends report stated.

"I think we got a fair assessment," Dale Dekker, architect with Dekker/ Perich/Sabatini and a board member of the Urban Land Institute's New Mexico chapter, told the Albuquerque Journal Business. "We lag the country. A lot of that has to do with our dependence on federal spending. The challenge for us moving forward is how do we improve our economy with a more robust private sector."

It all starts with employment
A limited amount of job growth has been the primary issue that's slowed Albuquerque's economic recovery, according to the Albuquerque Journal Business.

"We haven't created high-paying jobs for them," said Tom Jenkins, qualifying broker at Real Estate Advisors, referring to millennial job placement. "If I had a child who graduated from college over the last five years or so, I think they would have had to go elsewhere for a decent job."

The report stated that growth in millennial populations was more significant in recoveries than overall population growth.

"They are the human capital that builds economies," Dekker said. "This gets into the question of building a quality city that has the amenities and opportunities to attract millennials. Building a quality place is as much about economic development as it is real-estate investment."

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