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LGI Homes Offers Affordable Single-Family Homes in Albuquerque

8 Mar 2014, 12:02 am

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Albuquerque has a new option for inhabitants who want to change their housing status from renters to homebuyers. The newest community constructed by Woodlands-based LGI Homes Inc., Camino Crossing offers affordable homes starting at $799 per month in the city of Rio Rancho.

Located 15 minutes northwest of downtown, the community’s floor plans include three-to-five bedroom, single-family homes that range in size from 1,300 to 2,500 square feet. Standard features are granite kitchen countertops with undermount sinks, energy-efficient appliances, upgraded 36’’ maple cabinets with crown molding, brushed nickel hardware and fixtures, and raised two-panel doors. Two car garages, covered back patios, and ceramic tile flooring in the entryway, kitchen, dining rooms, and bathrooms are included. A 10-year homeowner warranty is part of the offer, as well as fenced backyards and landscaping.

A large park, children’s playground, and walking and biking trails are part of the surrounding areas, and the proximity to the Sandia Mountains offers magnificent views. Camino Crossing is serviced by the Rio Rancho School District. It is located five miles from grocery stores, restaurants and shopping, and 10 miles from Cottonwood Mall. Entertainment opportunities aren’t missing: the community is also located near the Rio Rancho Sports Complex, Indoor Aquatic Center, Sandia Peak Ski and Tramway and Loma Colorado Public Library.

“There is no better place in Albuquerque to fulfill your dreams of homeownership,” Jody Pauza, vice president of Operations, said in a statement. “In Camino Crossing, homebuyers will find Rio Rancho’s best housing value in a picturesque location that they can feel proud to call home.”

Photo courtesy of LGI Homes



Edgewood Town Council Approves Master Plan for State Trust Land

28 Feb 2014, 11:07 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The Edgewood Town Council has approved the master plan for Edgewood Commons. After holding public meetings, it has signed the Joint Planning Agreement (JPA). State Land Commissioner Ray Powell and Edgewood Mayor Brad Hill have given the go-ahead to the revision of the master plan for the state trust land, also known as Section 16.

The JPA goes beyond the cooperative working relationship between the State Land Office and the Town of Edgewood on Section 16. It targets the marketing of state trust lands for economic development purposes. Based on the open discussions with the public, the master plan includes a town center, recreational trails, public buildings, land, the expansion of the healthcare facility, economic development, and residential opportunities.

The Edgewood Commons master plan was initially produced in January 2000 by the New Mexico State Land Office. This is an update that details the process of turning a parcel into a central piece of the developing community.

“I greatly appreciate the outstanding working relationship we have with the elected, community, and business leaders of Edgewood. These relationships extend over 20 years and are based on mutual respect,” said Powell in a press release. “Edgewood has developed an outstanding vision for the future that will make it a wonderful place to live, do business, raise a family, and retire in. The healthier and more vibrant the community is, the more valuable state trust lands become and result in additional revenues for our public schools, universities, and hospitals and thus keep our taxpayer’s bills lower.”

“The master plan was designed to foster a community with a strong identity, while preserving the rural character of Edgewood as expressed by the public during the three public meetings,” added Edgewood Mayor Brad Hill. “The master plan exemplifies the Town’s desire to incorporate the residents’ vision of what their community should be.”

The Edgewood Commons master plan is posted on the website of New Mexico State Land Office.



Seven-Acre Townhome Project Breaks Ground in Rezoned Sawmill District

19 Feb 2014, 10:50 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Located north of Albuquerque’s Old Town, the Sawmill district is an area that recently has been rezoned from industrial to residential. The scenery changes progressively into a colorful mix of housing, commercial spaces and industrial lots. A groundbreaking event was by Sawmill Community Land Trust and Sawmill Crossing Partners last week to welcome Sawmill Crossing, a 78-unit townhouse complex.

The residential development, west of 12th Street and along Aspen NW, will be built on seven acres in the biggest private residential subdivision in the district so far, reports Albuquerque Journal. The first phase of the project encompasses six units and will be silver-certified through Build Green New Mexico and is scheduled to become available in May. Floors plans range in size from 1,200 square feet to over 1,600 square feet, with prices starting in the mid-$100,000.

Keith Cheshire of Sawmill Crossing Partners differentiates the 78 planned townhouses from the majority of the owner-occupied housing built in the last 20 years in two major ways:

  • They will be market rate units unsubsidized by government tax credits and income restrictions.
  • The units will be sold in a traditional “fee-simple” manner, unlike owner-occupied homes on trust land, which one buys and leases the land they sit on.

Last but not least, the Sawmill Crossing will differ from the existing housing through its architectural style: no New Urbanist vision here, no front porches, but garage doors are the dominant feature of its building’ fronts. Out of the 78 units, 44 have the potential for two-car garages. Garages are rare in this area, and the properties that lack them are usually deal breakers, stated Lynette Manzanares of Mercury Properties, the marketer of the townhomes in collaboration with Joe Corso.



Walmart Develops Two Neighborhood Markets in the Albuquerque Area

13 Feb 2014, 5:16 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

With about 300 Walmart markets throughout the country, the retail giant is in the process of adding two more in New Mexico: one in Albuquerque and the other in Rio Rancho, reports the Albuquerque Journal. New Mexico has four Neighborhood Markets, three in Albuquerque and one in Rio Rancho, and 13 Supercenter Stores.

The Albuquerque neighborhood market store will be built in Northeast Heights; the one in Rio Rancho is already in pre-construction at the site of a former movie theater at Southern Boulevard and NM 528, the Rio Rancho Twin Cinema, that’s currently being demolished. The grand opening is scheduled for later this year. It will encompass about 40,000 square feet, just a fifth of the super center at Unser and Southern boulevards that has 200,000 square feet.

The new store will eventually employ 65 people, said spokeswoman Delia Garcia. “We’ll be staffing for various positions, including sales, cashiers, the pharmacy,” Garcia added. “For anyone, whether they have experience in retail, or want to begin a career in retail, it will be a great opportunity to join a company that’s growing and is continuing to focus on its presence in New Mexico and in the Albuquerque area market in particular.”

“The focus is the convenient grocery shopping experience,” continued Garcia. “There are services like a pharmacy, health and beauty, pet supplies, household supplies — what you would find in a traditional grocery store.” The estimated cost for the development has not been made public, but the spokeswoman said the store is a “multimillion” dollar capital investment that has as objective the revitalization of the area.

Photo courtesy of Walmart



Former Nob Hill Parole Building for Sale or Lease through Allen Simon RE Group

6 Feb 2014, 10:58 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

The building at 3010 Monte Vista Blvd. NE in Nob Hill has been placed on the market. The property, which also offers redevelopment possibilities, is now available for sale or for rent.

The 30,000 square-foot property, which sits on .3496 acres, has previously served as the probation and parole offices of the corrections department. It is listed by Allen Simon Real Estate Group at $1.8 million, with additional land available for parking.

Nob Hill is located at the connection point between the commercial and residential areas of Albuquerque. It is one of the state’s best preserved areas, overlapping with the renowned Route 66. The famous road goes through many neon signs and deco-inspired towers in the epicenter of Albuquerque.

Vice Presidents Jeff Martinez and Allen Powell have started working with local architects to determine the possibilities of the building, and the types of updates the property needs in its current condition. The complex stands in close proximity to the main campus of the University of New Mexico and area tenants include Urban Outfitters, Starbucks, Yanni’s Mediterranean Restaurant, Wells Fargo, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. Transit is offered through Rapid Ride Bus.

The property is listed as redevelopment opportunity which, due to its location, can become a new office or retail space, or even multifamily project.

Photo courtesy of Allen Simon Real Estate Group.



Albuquerque’s Area Plans Will Be Scrutinized

30 Jan 2014, 8:14 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

City Councilor Chuck Wilkins has set a new goal for the beginning of 2014. He wants to bring clarity, simplicity, and coherence in the land-use plans the city has adopted in the recent years by having them re-examined. A series of work sessions will be held in the following weeks to investigate the plans and the proposed changes.

In the respective 12-area plans there are lots of land on which there is chance of future development. These plans set requirements for building height, materials, access management, zoning and infrastructure. The problem is not the existence of these requirements, but the fact that they are not consistent with the zoning ordinance the council approved last May. A pertinent example is the building height: the zoning ordinance restricts the building height to 50 feet, and the area plans limit is at 32 feet, said Wilkins. Land use and access management guidelines are good, he said, but stricter standards are not, and some street access rules could be fixed.

His proposal found supporters especially in the commercial sector represented by an organization present at the meeting. The president of the Albuquerque branch of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, Lynne Andersen, said that dozens of similar plans often overlap, causing confusion, frustration and delays for the development projects. NAIOP board member Paul Wymer added that the city’s sector plans increase costs and uncertainty.

On the other hand, councilor Tamara Gutierrez made a point when she said that some of these plans were created with input from residents. She didn’t say “no” to the work sessions, but didn’t agree with getting rid of area plans.

It has not yet been decided who will participate in the work sessions, but NAIOP, businesses and developers are most probably going to attend as they are directly affected by these area plans.



Harley-Davidson Announces Second, 12,000-Sq.-Ft., Retail Store in Albuquerque

22 Jan 2014, 8:32 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Albuquerque proved to be so prosperous an environment for the Harley-Davidson product that a second retail store has been announced to open to meet customer demands. The new location will open in March at 8605 Lomas Boulevard NE.

Industry leader Scott Fischer Enterprises is behind the expansion and named the new store Duke City Harley-Davidson. The space encompasses 12,000+ square feet and is only 10 miles from the sister Harley-Davidson Thunderbird store. It will feature retail space for motorcycles, parts and accessories, and will offer more service bays for customers needing motorcycle maintenance or repair. Currently the site is undergoing renovations and has scheduled two openings in March.

Around 30 employees will be hired for sales and service positions. Thunderbird General Manager Sean Delaney and Assistant Manager Karen Henz will oversee Duke City as well. The store will also share the local Turquoise Trail H.O.G. Chapter.



Community College’s Technology Center Receives LEED Gold Certification

15 Jan 2014, 8:04 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

A $4.5 million renovation has exceeded expectations. The Central New Mexico Community College Advanced Technology Center (ATC) has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. ATC is the third CNM building and the second renovation project to receive the recognition.

“We thought we were going to meet silver requirements with this building,” stated Luis Campos, executive director of CNM’s Physical Plant, in a press release. “The gold came as a surprise. We met all the challenging standards that were required for the gold award.” The revamp works were completed in five months.

Previously a Motorola factory, ATC opened to students in fall of 2011. The renovation decreased the water usage by 30 percent; the restrooms are equipped with low-flow, motion-detecting faucets and water-saving toilets and urinals. CNM also invested in green power by purchasing off-site renewable power.

Tymn Waters is the project manager who coordinated the renovation of the 82,000-sq.ft. building. He stated that 62 percent of the interior architectural elements in the original building were restored, including interior walls, ductwork and steel mezzanines that were recycled as shade structures. In all, more than 1,036 tons of potential construction waste was diverted from landfills. “Blending the old and the new saved cost but was a design challenge,” Waters stated in the press release.

The ATC facility offers 18 career technical education programs, including Aviation Maintenance, Truck Driving, Film Technician, Landscaping, Architectural Drafting, Construction Management and Geographic Information Technology.

Photo courtesy of Central New Mexico Community College.



$8.3M Library Broke Ground in Albuquerque’s Westside

19 Dec 2013, 11:13 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

A new library has broken ground in Albuquerque at the intersection of Central Avenue and Unser Boulevard NW.

HB Construction Inc. is the contractor, and local design company Rhode May Keller McNamara is the architect for the project.

The project raised $8.3 million, through GO Bonds in 2009, 2011 and 2013, and through private donations, Bernalillo County, and the NM State Legislature. “One of the best ways to help bring the gift of reading to our children is our library system,” said Mayor Berry at the breaking ground event. “As City Councilor for district one, I am proud to be a part of this very important project. One of the ways we empower a community is through literacy and education. With the efforts and teamwork of the community, we were able to obtain $8.3 million to make this project a reality in a short time,” Council President Sanchez said.

The development will boost the economy not only through the job openings it will offer, but also through the role it will play in the community, as Council President Sanchez stated:  “The Central and Unser library will serve as a valuable resource for many of our families to work on school projects, apply for jobs, and stay engaged in community events.  It will also serve as a catalyst to much needed development on the Westside.”

The new library will encompass 25,305 square feet, featuring a 23,250 square feet main level and a 2,055 square feet lower level for advanced mechanical systems. It will include an adult general collections area, adult lounge area, adult computer area, adult reading area, young adult room, three group rooms, children general collections area, children learning center, six children reading areas, children computer area, quiet reading room, community lecture room, storytelling/children’s activity room, administrative offices/operations support areas, restrooms and accessory support/utility rooms.

Construction is expected to be finalized by the end of next year. The Department of Municipal Development will manage the institution.

Photo courtesy of the City of Albuquerque



NextCare Opened its Second Clinic in Albuquerque

12 Dec 2013, 11:10 pm

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

A new urgent care clinic which was a partnership between Phoenix-based NextCare Holdings Inc. and Lovelace Health System opened in Albuquerque. This is the second clinic the two entities opened in the last months. The first clinic had a ribbon- cutting ceremony on Oct. 1st.

“We have received such a warm welcome in Albuquerque and value being part of the community,” said in a press statement NextCare CEO John Julian. “We plan to open additional centers in the Albuquerque area to offer the community more options to receive exceptional health care, in their urgent care needs.”

The firm has planned to open five urgent care centers in the area by the end of 2014. Those additional centers are expected to create around 100 jobs.

The clinic is located at 9551 Paseo Del Norte Blvd., NE Unit D and is open every day of the week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. One new feature of the clinic is WAHOO® (Wait at Home or Office), NextCare’s signature online check-in that allows patients to be seen without waiting in the lobby. The urgent care centers will accept most insurance plans such as Lovelace Health Plans, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Molina Healthcare, Medicare, Workers Compensation, and more.

Dr. John Cruickshank, CEO of Lovelace Medical Group and CMO at Lovelace Health System, stated “We are proud to align with one of the nation’s leading urgent care operators. NextCare is known for the same high standards of patient care that is at the core of our values. We look forward to more growth together in the future.”

Photo courtesy of NextCare Urgent Care