ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Local dignitaries today joined representatives from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas), Wells Fargo, and YES Housing for the grand opening of the Imperial Building in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico. Among those in attendance were U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-District 1), Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, Bernalillo County Commissioner Chair Art De La Cruz, and City Councilors Isaac Benton and Klarissa Peña.
The Imperial Building, a 74-unit mixed-use, multifamily rental property, received a $378,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) Grant in 2014 from FHLB Dallas and Wells Fargo. The grant provided gap funding, which aided in the construction of the building that opened in May. Developed by YES Housing, the $19 million apartment community is anchored by a 10,000-square-foot grocery store, retail services, and underground parking.
“I am gratified that our office was able to help ensure federal tax credits were available for this project,” Congresswoman Lujan Grisham said. “Now we have more housing, including affordable housing, in the heart of downtown. We have this wonderful grocery store that supports not only these residents, but the entire region so we can address hunger and promote nutrition in these neighborhoods.”
Mayor Berry echoed Congresswoman Lujan Grisham’s sentiments, also applauding Wells Fargo and FHLB Dallas for contributing to the revitalization of Albuquerque’s economic landscape.
“This mixed-use building is one of the great catalysts for downtown,” the mayor said. “The grand opening of the Imperial Building is a testament to the great things that happen when the private and public sectors come together on a project such as this one.”
The opening of the new apartment community comes at a time of growth and economic development for downtown Albuquerque, according to Chris Baca, president and CEO of YES Housing.
“The Imperial Building will have a substantial impact on the livability and walkability to a population that is critically underserved,” Mr. Baca said. “The apartment community, including the commercial space and the grocery store, will help stabilize one of the oldest sections of the city and revitalize the downtown core of Albuquerque.”
The Imperial Building will provide affordable housing for very low-income residents, as well as those who have special needs. For many who fall into these categories, the Imperial Building is a breath of fresh air.
Ron “RC” Casias, 56, is a resident of the Imperial Building and founder, president, and chair of the Silver Barelas Downtown Neighborhood Association. The former on-air radio personality – who is known to friends as “The Verbal Assassin” – moved into the Imperial Building in May from a nearby apartment building, where he said he paid more money for less space.
“Moving into the Imperial Building changed my life,” said Mr. Casias. “I deal with chronic daily pain and getting around can be kind of a challenge for me. How cool is it that I can take an elevator to the grocery store? Plus, I have a view of the beautiful Sandia Mountains.”
Mr. Casias also expressed his gratitude for the AHP.
“When I fell into health setbacks, I was blessed that programs like this existed because they helped people like me,” he said. “YES Housing, Wells Fargo, and FHLB Dallas are redefining affordable housing with projects like the Imperial Building.”
Additional funding for the project was provided by the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority, and the MFA Primero Loan Program.
Pat Nie, vice president of Community Development at Wells Fargo, expressed her excitement about the opening of the Imperial Building and the development of downtown Albuquerque.
“We are proud to support this community in any way we can,” she said. “Wells Fargo is honored to partner with FHLB Dallas and play a role in seeing this project come to fruition.”
FHLB Dallas annually returns 10 percent of its profits in the form of AHP grants to the communities served by its member institutions, like Wells Fargo. AHP grants fund a variety of projects, including home rehabilitation and modifications for low-income, elderly, and special needs residents; down payment and closing cost assistance for qualified first-time homebuyers; and the construction of low-income, multifamily rental communities and single-family homes. In 2016, FHLB Dallas awarded $7.8 million in AHP grants across its five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas.
Greg Hettrick, FHLB Dallas first vice president and director of Community Investment, said the AHP grant provides tremendous opportunities to underserved areas and strengthens members’ ties to the community.
“The AHP grant provides critical gap funding for affordable housing projects like the construction of the Imperial Building,” said Mr. Hettrick. “It is a community investment tool we are happy to provide through our member, Wells Fargo.”
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.7 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,700 locations, 12,500 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 266,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 30 on Fortune’s 2015 rankings of America's largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $54.4 billion as of June 30, 2016, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 850 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. For more information, visit our website at fhlb.com.