Outdoor view of the entrance to Warehouse 505

Grantee Stories – Warehouse 505

Outdoor view of the entrance to Warehouse 505

In 2022, the owners of Warehouse 505 fulfilled a years-long dream of expansion, acquiring and remodeling a new, larger facility in a historic building in downtown Albuquerque. The youth center, which has been in operation since 2009 (originally called Warehouse 508), spent more than $200,000 on the remodel.

“It’s a three-story old hotel building. To make it work, we had to demo walls and open the whole space up into one giant room,” said Thierry Gonzalez, Warehouse 505’s Executive Director. He noted that the move was long overdue after the pandemic interrupted earlier plans for expansion.

The nonprofit venue and teaching space provides a place for young people aged 13-20 to learn and develop skills through creative arts and individual sports. After-school and summer programs include classes on music performance and production, DJing, sewing, painting murals, digital drawing and more. And all the classes are free!

By adding a skateboard shop, screen-printing shop and retail store, the center is embracing a variety of new opportunities for growth, including the ability to serve a greater number of young people. “With this new facility we can grow four to five times larger. Whereas before we only had one classroom, now we have space to hold eight classes,” said Gonzalez. “The concert venue is double the size of the old one. And once the remodel is complete, we will be able to offer even more.”

The new space also houses the Boy & Girls Club, allowing both organizations to share resources and provide even more offerings for Albuquerque youth. “We realized we are way more powerful together than competing with each other, so we decided to collaborate,” said Gonzalez. The Boys & Girls Club vans make it possible to bring kids in from different parts of the city, vastly expanding both organizations’ reach.

What’s next for the center? “One of the biggest things we want is self-sustainability,” said Gonzalez. “Within two to three years, we want to be generating our own revenue and be less dependent on external funding.”

Gonzalez is so gratified by how far the center has come in the last few years. “It’s an insane transformation from where it was to what it is today,” he said.