We transformed Albuquerque’s historic Sandia Theater into the Aveda Institute, salon, and corporate offices for Mark Pardo. The space also includes spa retail services and a call center which generated new employment opportunities for the community.

Built in 1946 in the Art Deco Pueblo style, Albuquerque’s historic Sandia Theater, located between downtown and old town on Route 66, was only open as a film theater for ten years. After closing it remained vacant for 14 years, and was then used as an auto repair shop for 35 years; after that, it was vacant again until we repurposed it in 2011 as an Aveda Institute, salon and corporate offices for Mark Pardo. The site also includes spa retail services and a call center, which generated new jobs in that neighborhood.

We faced significant challenges on this project. The site needed remediation for oil and asbestos, which was a very complicated, eight-month process that required state inspections. There were also structural issues that added significant costs. But everything we did added value to the pedestrian experience and to the neighborhood. And the investment has paid off; we’re now attracting some of the best local talent, including an Albuquerque location for the Santa Fe restaurant Vinaigrette. And we’re going for more.

Project Team

Developer: Rembe Urban Design + Development | Architect: Mullen Heller | Structural Engineer: Walla Engineering | Civil Engineer: Isaacson Arfman Consulting & Engineering  | Landscape: Heads Up | Contractor: Insight Construction