“505 Central” Food Hall on Pace to Open Spring 2020

By Ron Davis, Albuquerque Business First

Mark Baker

October 28, 2019 – Construction is underway on one of several food halls set to pop up in Albuquerque.

Mark Baker, the developer of the 13,000-square-foot 505 Central food hall project Downtown, confirmed to Business First that the project is “about 25% of the way” complete with construction and slated for a spring opening. Baker said he has secured four of the nine tenants at the food hall, which includes Humble Coffee Co., of which Baker is a co-owner. The two food-focused tenants are in pizza and burgers, while the other secured tenant will be a bar. He declined to name the confirmed tenants.

Baker’s firm, Baker Architecture + Design, is the project’s architect, while a general contractor has not been selected. Baker said Kate Gerwin, an acclaimed restaurateur and mixologist, will be the general manager of the food hall when it opens in the spring.

Baker said he’s fielding inquiries for the remaining five tenants as he’s handling the leasing in house. He declined to disclose the cost of the project “at this time” in a phone interview with Business First on Thursday.

Business First reported on Baker’s plans to develop a mixed-use project at 505 Central after buying the building in 2016. The project was reported to include apartments, office and retail space, along with restaurant space.

Baker said he often travels and has seen the food hall concept resonate in several cities he’s visited, which inspired him to bring one to Albuquerque. The idea is to create a meeting place for friends and family with local food and beverage options, he said.

“Working Downtown for the last few years, I’ve seen an increased demand for food and beverage options, as well as a need for a central place to meet friends and simply congregate and enjoy our beautiful Downtown,” Baker said in a statement. “Our goal is to provide that community hub while also showcasing local culinary talent.”

505 Central is one of a few proposed food halls in Albuquerque. The Sawmill Market, a 34,000-square-foot, $20 million project developed by Jim Long, is expected to open in February at 1909 Bellamah Ave. The Highlands Central Market food hall, which is being developed by Maestas Development Group and Titan Development, is set to open in early-to-mid 2020.