Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.2 million grant to the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, to provide infrastructure improvements needed to aid the redevelopment of the city’s historic Rail Yards. The EDA grant, to be located near two Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $1.2 million in local funds and is expected to help create 316 jobs and generate $9 million in private investment.
“The Trump Administration is committed to not only retaining jobs in this country, but also to creating new opportunities through infrastructure improvements,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project will help Albuquerque expand its film production sector and attract new retail, office, restaurant, and hospitality businesses.”
“EDA is pleased to support Albuquerque’s strategy to redevelop the Rail Yards site, which served as a center of commerce for generations,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming. “Having been heavily used by the film industry, the redeveloped site will house Central New Mexico Community College’s Film Production School of Excellence and the projects location near two Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zones will help revitalize and drive private investment into the region.”
“Albuquerque’s downtown has the potential to drive economic opportunity, and the Albuquerque Railyard is a significant part of the city’s history,” said Senator Udall. “I’m glad this federal grant can help the Railyard open the door to diversifying the local economy. It is essential that we lay the groundwork for growth with investments that ensure New Mexico’s communities have the infrastructure they need to thrive.”
“I applaud Mayor Keller, the City of Albuquerque, and Central New Mexico Community College for making major progress in redeveloping and revitalizing the historic Rail Yards in the Barelas neighborhood,” said U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich. “For decades, when they were still active rail maintenance facilities, the railyards provided jobs to hundreds of hardworking families and served as the economic backbone of Barelas and surrounding neighborhoods. It has been an immense undertaking to find a new path forward and cement the Rail Yards’ new place as a premier location for New Mexico’s booming film industry. I will continue working to bring forward-looking federal investments like this to provide economic opportunity in every corner of New Mexico.”
“The Rail Yard continues to pick up momentum, and this funding will accelerate our infrastructure improvements to create jobs,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “This $1.2 million, along with matching funds from the State, will help us make the Rail Yards a vibrant mixed-used destination that celebrates our culture, history, and community.”
The funding announced today goes to a designated Opportunity Zone, created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Treasury Department resources page here. To learn more about the Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage.
For information on New Mexico’s Opportunity zones visit this webpage.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.