Orpheum Community Hub
The Orpheum serves as our new Albuquerque Homeownership Center and Community Hub. Completely renovated, it includes a large classroom/performance space, community meeting space, gallery space, affordable residential apartments, and our Homewise offices.
Why we chose the Orpheum
In 2012, Homewise expanded to Albuquerque (prior to that, we only had an office in Santa Fe). When we were deciding where to establish our Albuquerque Homeownership Center, we knew that we wanted to be located in a neighborhood where we could put down roots and build strong community ties. Around this time the Orpheum Theater came up for sale and we decided that rehabilitating this one-time landmark would allow us to restore its former vibrancy as a cultural and economic hub of the area. By making both a physical and financial commitment to Barelas and the greater downtown, we are able to model the kind of ownership and financial stability that we help our clients achieve.
The Albuquerque Homeownership Center and Community Hub features a large classroom equipped to hold our Financial Fitness for Life and Homebuyer Education Workshops. This space is open to the community for gallery shows, performances, workshops, and other community events. It will also include Homewise offices to enable us to support our mission of creating successful homeowners.
The Orpheum was built in 1898 and has served as one of New Mexico’s first movie theaters, the Denver Hotel, the Viaduct Garage (an auto repair shop), and more recently, as a performance and studio space with affordable housing catering to the area’s thriving arts community.
The building’s namesake, Orpheus, was a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. It is said that his talent was so transformative that his “music and singing could charm the birds, fish and wild beasts, and even coax the trees and rocks into dance.” We see the potential of the Orpheum Community Hub to embody that same kind of transformative power to create new economic opportunity in the heart of Albuquerque.
With the Orpheum Community Hub as our Albuquerque Homeownership Center, we are positioned to create over 600 new homeowners and help more than 60 homeowners make necessary home improvements in Albuquerque over the next three years. This venue allows for almost twice as many participants as we are currently able to accommodate. The space will also be offered to other organizations in the community as an arts performance venue and meeting space. The Orpheum building will be preserved and improved as part of our renovation process. A community of artists, creative entrepreneurs, and young families make up the majority of current tenants.