PLACE to Report Back to Community


Imagine a place in our downtown designed to address housing and other needs of our early career “idea people” … scientists, technologists, artists and innovators of all type … and entrepreneurs.

What would it look like? Where might be a good location? What related amenities would benefit both the residents and the larger community?

The Los Alamos Creative District Steering Committee facilitated by Los Alamos MainStreet has been putting thought and effort into these and other questions.

An early outcome from this work was a visit to Los Alamos in March by representatives of PLACE, a non-profit niche developer based in Minneapolis.

PLACE ( is one of the developers targeted in the Los Alamos Creative District plan completed by the Steering Committee last year (see plan at

The plan was adopted by the County Council as a plan of Los Alamos County earlier this month.

Following completion of the plan last year, MainStreet started contacting developers who specialize in the niche of affordable housing development that connects with the cultural assets of a community.

Based on those contacts, PLACE was invited to visit Los Alamos to assess the feasibility of a project here.

“The Creative District vision that the steering committee put together is impressive,” PLACE CEO Chris Velasco said. “It is intriguing to us because not only is it about the arts, but also brings together the idea of including science, technology, and history in presenting the story of a very unique place in the world. We were really excited about what we learned during our team’s visit to Los Alamos in early March.”

During their visit, the PLACE team conducted focus groups, toured the downtown to familiarize with potential sites, and held an open community forum for all interested people to learn about PLACE and contribute their ideas, questions, and concerns.

The Community Forum will take place 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, June 6 p.m. at the lecture hall at the UNM-Los Alamos Student Center.

PLACE representatives will review what they learned during their March visit to Los Alamos, what they see as a feasible project in Los Alamos, and the steps they are taking to pursue community interest in the project.

The public is invited to attend this gathering.

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