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Since 2008, Bernalillo County has been investigating the development of a county administrative building that could provide a single location for customer service. A number of ideas were evaluated over the years – a new building, several existing buildings, potential renovation of a current county building etc.

A new building would have been more than twice the cost of a building renovation, and was thus determined to be too expensive. In, 2016 a RFI (Request for Information) for property owners and realtors was solicited to determine what was available for purchase that would meet the county’s needs. Two buildings emerged as top contenders from this RFP (Request for Proposal), and ultimately the Alvarado Square Building was purchased in May 2017.


The construction cost was contracted with HB Construction for $45.8 million. This equates to $142 per square foot for renovating Alvarado Square and $412 per square foot for constructing the new County Commission chambers.

Around 60% of the cost is for improvements to the data system, electrical upgrades, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, heating, ventilation and cooling system upgrades and improved building security. New LED lights will be installed throughout the building. The improvements also include replacement of water lines and other building systems. Investment in the new center is expected to give the building a useful life of 30 years and bring BernCo’s home into the 21st century.

At purchase, the total cost estimate for Alvarado Square was $37.5 million. Subsequently, the county contracted with a local architecture firm, Sam Sterling Architects, to evaluate the building. The result was a detailed 200-page building plan, and higher estimate of cost. The higher cost of renovations relates directly to the county’s desire to have the finished product operate for years to come without major disruption to building staff and constituent visitors, as well as the inclusion of a new chambers building, and security enhancements that were not initially proposed.


  • The Housing Department building located at 1900 Bridge SW is on the market. Housing Department employees are not relocating to Alvarado Square. In December 2019, Housing employees will move to another county-owned building at 2400 Wellesley NE. The ABC Community School Partnership offices, at 111 Union Square, will also relocate to 2400 Wellesley NE in December 2019.
  • Former Animal Care Services building at 1136 Gatewood SW is on the market.
  • Assessor’s Office building at 501 Tijeras NW is on the market.
  • Annex Building at 415 Tijeras NW is on the market.
  • Union Square at 111 Union Square SE - for sale process on hold.
  • Atrium building at 6840 Second NW - for sale process on hold.

For additional information, contact county real estate manager, Deanna Miglio at dmiglio@bernco.gov.


Bernalillo County contracted with HB Construction for Bernalillo County @ Alvarado Square to be completed by the end of February 2021. The new County Commission chambers should be completed by April 2021. BernCo departments are expected to move into the building in March and April of 2021. Once ready, department moves are expected to take less than a month.


Bernalillo County contracted with Management Partners out of Cincinnati to do an evaluation of the way the county handles its customer service departments. The goal from this endeavor is to help the county become more efficient and nimble. Services that used to happen in multiple sites can now be streamlined with the consolidated facility.

Management Partners did a peer review of other municipalities throughout the Southwest to understand how the county can better serve the community. One of the key recommendations is to use technology to offer more services online.


The first, second and third floors will focus on customer service to constituents. Click here to see a floor plan.


To meet the completion deadline of February 2021, the county has also done the following:

  • Finalized a contract with HB Construction/Dekker-Perich-Sabatini design-build team for the completion of the new Bernalillo County Government Center.
  • Purchased the Annex Building and the customer service parking lot from PNM.
  • Abated the Annex Building and Alvarado Square Building for asbestos.
  • Demolished the Annex Building to create space for construction of new County Commission chambers.
  • Set in place all financing with the budget and bond sales.
  • Developed 11 internal committees to shepherd specific areas of interest and concern. The committees include IT, security, fixed assets and move management, budget, interiors, exteriors, transportation, change management, records management, communications and a committee of all committee chairs.

Bernalillo County has secured parking at Fifth Street and Silver Avenue. The lot is intended for constituents conducting business. A few slots will likely be allocated to Planning & Development Services to have space available to accommodate food trucks while the trucks are inspected.

Bernalillo County is securing a garage lease with PNM. The garage is located west of Alvarado Square on Fifth Street. PNM is expected to have a lease ready for review in the next couple of weeks. The garage will allow 107 spaces to accommodate some fleet parking. Negotiations are ongoing for spaces to accommodate elected officials.

Metered parking is also available along the streets near Bernalillo County @ Alvarado Square. Metered parking would be targeted to constituents. Approximately 130 spaces are available. Several options for employee parking are being explored and evaluated.


Bernalillo County has begun testing alternative computer platforms from Dell Corporation. Dell provides services that can simplify the deployment and management of desktop computers. The price point is similar to existing solutions but the services they offer could improve our productivity and thus allow us to lower our overall costs.

The county has been working with vendors over the last several months to evaluate designs for new data center equipment. We are nearly ready to issue the first shopping cart. This equipment strategy is necessary for the new Bernalillo County @ Alvarado Square, to refresh existing server infrastructure and providing the necessary data center infrastructure for the new jail management system.


$37.5 million from gross receipt tax bonds

In 2017 the County Commission approved the sale of gross receipts tax revenue bonds. Basically, the $37 million is a loan that the county has to pay back. The payback will come from gross receipts tax or sales tax. Simply put, the county will take a portion of the tax on every sale and use it to pay off the bond (loan). This is what’s known as “pledging,” when a part of the tax is dedicated for a specific purpose, like paying back a bond. The county has 20 years to repay the $37 million, plus interest. The county gets a really low interest rate because of its outstanding bond rating. It’s like having good credit.

$5 million in general obligation bonds

General obligation bonds are a little different than tax revenue bonds. The biggest difference is that general obligation bonds are approved by the voters for large projects. These are called capital projects. The voters are giving the county the ability to sell bonds to investors. The investors get a return on their money. It’s like paying interest and the interest is divided among the investors in the bonds. The county makes payments on the general obligation bonds, similar to a loan. In this case, the money for repayment will come from property taxes collected by the county. Bernalillo County has 15 years to pay the money back. And again, the county got a low interest rate on these bonds because of its good bond rating.

$10.9 million from general operating budget

This money basically comes from the county’s day- to-day operating budget. Just like you, when there’s a little extra money that isn’t used, it gets put into a savings account called the fund balance. In 2018, $1.9 million was set aside for this project and $2.9 million was dedicated in 2019 for renovations. Additionally, $3.5 million has been set aside for furniture purchases and $3.2 million for the new data center. These monies are what are called “one time” allocations. That means they’re only available once and won’t be available again. Typically these types of dollars are used to purchase items with a shorter lifespan than say a building.


View All Events
    • This year’s election consolidates the following local governments on one Bernalillo County ballot: City of Albuquerque, Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, Village of Tijeras, Albuquerque Public Schools, Central New Mexico Community College, Ventana West Public Improvement District, Paradise Hills Special Zoning District, Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District, Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District, Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority.
      Location:
      Clerk's Annex, 1500 Lomas Blvd NW
      Time:
      10/16/2019 8:00 AM - 10/16/2019 5:00 PM

    • Join us for pickleball Mondays through Saturdays at Los Vecinos Community Center!
      Location:
      Los Vecinos Community Center, 478 1/2 Old Hwy 66, Tijeras
      Time:
      10/16/2019 9:00 AM - 10/16/2019 12:00 PM

    • Please be advised that the Bernalillo County Labor Relations Board will meet on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Government Center building, One Civic Plaza NW, Tenth (10th) Floor, county manager’s Conference Room B, Albuquerque, NM 87102. Please see the attached agenda.
      Location:
      Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Government Center building, One Civic Plaza NW, Tenth (10th) Floor, county manager’s Conference Room B, Albuquerque, NM 87102
      Time:
      10/16/2019 1:30 PM

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