Tuesday, February 22, 2005


************Call to Action*************** The final East Downtown (EDO) Master Plan will be heard in the Albuquerque City Council on Wednesday, February 23, 2005, 5:00 p.m. in the basement of City Hall. The EDO Master Plan is supported by the AMBR/CARNM Legislative Committee. What Can You Do to Help? Please attend if you can and express your support for this community effort. If you cannot attend, please contact your councilor and ask for a vote to pass the EDO Master Plan. Summary of the East Downtown (EDO) Master Plan The plan is a comprehensive vision for the redevelopment of Central Avenue and Broadway Boulevard between I-25 and downtown and between MLK and Coal. With historic Albuquerque High taking the lead, the area is rapidly and positively changing. In the past 3 years, there have been 70 new residential lease units and 110 residential sale units in addition to retail and office space. This plan extends those efforts with a 20 year roadmap providing for over 1,500 new residences and 600,000 square feet of ground level commercial space. The plan was a collaboration of the Broadway Central Corridors Partnership, a non-profit official Neighborhood Association with approximately 200 members who are residents, business owners and property owners, surrounding neighborhoods and key City of Albuquerque staff. These groups went to the neighborhood to solicit feedback and synthesized the feedback and detail into the Draft Master Plan.. This was followed by public hearings by the Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission (LUCC) and the Environmental Planning Commission (EPC). It has broad-based support from the business community in Albuquerque. Miguel A. Gómez, Vice-President District 1 Michael L. McCan, Staff Assistant (505) 768-3106 Debbie O'Malley District 2 Kelly Sanchez-Pare, Staff Assistant (505) 768-3159 Eric Griego District 3 Kelly Sanchez-Pare, Staff Assistant (505) 768-3159 Brad Winter, President District 4 Diana Trujeque, Staff Assistant (505) 768-3101 Michael J. Cadigan District 5 Diana Trujeque, Staff Assistant (505) 768-3101 Martin Heinrich District 6 Javier Benavidez, Staff Assistant (505) 768-3152 Sally Mayer District 7 Patricia Galindo, Staff Assistant (505) 768-3136 Craig Loy District 8 Michael L. McCan, Staff Assistant (505) 768-3106 Tina Cummins District 9 Patricia Galindo, Staff Assistant (505) 768-3136

Monday, February 21, 2005


Sunday, February 20, 2005 Infill Uses Suggestions From Historic Santa Barbara-Martineztown Area Albuquerque Journal By Jane MahoneyFor the Journal Thirteen single-family houses are rising out of the ashes of an abandoned, fire-damaged property in the shadow of one of Downtown's oldest neighborhoods. What's more, plenty of folks have expressed an interest in buying and living in the development spearheaded by the Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership, a private, nonprofit, housing developer that works with the city, the neighborhood and finance institutions. With an emphasis on creating affordable housing for first-time homeowners in the city's oldest neighborhoods, the Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership is selling houses in the new infill El Porvenir subdivision near Lomas and Arno NE in the heart of the Santa Barbara-Martineztown neighborhood. Six houses have been completed. With three distinct designs and ranging from 920 to 1,300 square feet, the houses are reserved for first-time buyers whose individual or family income does not exceed 80 percent of the area's median income. The houses are valued on the market at between $110,000 and $135,500; qualified buyers will be given a subsidy to make mortgage payments affordable. The aptly named El Porvenir, or "the future," is taking shape after months of dialogue with residents of Santa Barbara-Martineztown, who contributed input on the development's flavor and style, right down to requesting single-family houses rather than town homes or apartments. The developer is also working on two additional affordable housing projects elsewhere in the city. A 22-home development is slated for a late spring groundbreaking in the Barelas neighborhood, and an 18-unit townhouse development overlooking the Puerto del Sol Golf Course near the airport is in the early stages of construction. "It's important to maintain and revitalize these older neighborhoods for the wellness of the entire city," said Louis Kolker, the GAHP executive director. "It empowers families living in these areas by providing access to the American dream of homeownership." Though the Santa Barbara-Martineztown houses are not large, each has two or three bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, a single-car garage and a front porch. Kolker says the houses' exteriors are as important as their interiors in the eyes of neighbors, who likely have lived in the neighborhood for years, often generations. Community residents repeatedly suggested that the new houses should blend in with the styles, colors and sizes of older houses in the neighborhood. Some residents, in fact, are buying the new homes, breaking a history of renting dictated by income level. "Eyes on the street" is the GAHP's philosophy for home design, Kolker said. "When people move in here, we want them to be part of the community. That's why we put on front porches. That's why we design homes with the living areas toward the front of the house. It's deliberate. We want people to have their eyes on the street and enjoy it. We want neighbors who can talk over the fence. That's why the garages are to the rear— so there is room to park a couple of cars in the driveway and get them off the street." The 11/2-story house has 1,300 square feet of living space, with a market price of $135,500. The first level has the living room, dining room, kitchen (with stove and dishwasher furnished), bathroom, and a downstairs bedroom or study with a walk-in closet. Upstairs, under the steep-pitched roof, are two more bedrooms, another bathroom and generous storage spaces. Old-fashioned touches, reflecting the neighborhood's pre-1900s style, include transoms over interior doors and windowsills. Design work was done by Isaac Benton & Associates Architects.

Monday, February 07, 2005


Monday, February 7, 2005 Home Permits Reach Metro Area Record By Rory McClannahanJournal Staff Writer Growth on the west side of the Rio Grande drove metro-area home building permits to a record in 2004, a 12 percent jump above the previous year. The hottest spots in 2004 for new home construction compared with 2003 were Rio Rancho with 43 percent growth, the Southwest Mesa with 26.6 percent, and Valencia County with 46 percent. Albuquerque's Northwest quadrant fell by a half-percent and the city grew by only 0.6 percent. During 2004, 7,719 permits were issued in the metro area, according to the Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico. In 2003, 6,879 permits were issued. "I knew we would be over last year's numbers, but not that much," said Jim Folkman, vice president of the association. In addition to the cities of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, the metro area includes Los Lunas and unincorporated Bernalillo and Valencia counties. Rio Rancho, the West Side and the Southwest Mesa together accounted for 48 percent of the home building market last year. Of that, Rio Rancho accounted for about 22 percent of the market. In the city of Albuquerque, 5,071 permits were issued— a 0.6 percent increase from 2003— and unincorporated Bernalillo County dropped 9.6 percent. "Construction (within) Albuquerque has leveled off," Folkman said. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that Rio Rancho construction is exploding." Folkman is predicting Rio Rancho probably will issue more than 2,500 permits during 2005. The city is off to a fast start with 204 permits issued in January, according to the city's planning department. Despite Albuquerque's lackluster growth, developers have not abandoned the Duke City. The Northwest quadrant accounted for 2,482 home construction permits during the year and the Southwest quadrant had 1,525. What really isn't surprising, Folkman said, was that construction in Rio Rancho has increased. During 2004, 1,715 home building permits were issued, compared with 1,198 in 2003. Los Lunas and Valencia County also had a record-breaking year with more than 46 percent growth in the number of permits. The growth in Rio Rancho and Valencia County, he said, indicates builders are looking outside Albuquerque for land to develop. Albuquerque doesn't have much land left for home construction and some builders complain about the difficulty of developing within the city, Folkman said. Outlying areas offer cheaper land and less restrictive development, he said. Builders in Albuquerque expect 2005 to be as good as 2004. Mark Kinsley, president of KB Home's New Mexico Division, said he expects building in the Albuquerque area will continue at a steady pace. During 2004, KB Home got construction permits for 606 homes compared to 452 in 2003. Kinsley said the company likes the area because it can count on growth. "Some places tend to have peaks and valleys in home growth," he said. "Albuquerque has been slow and steady. It's a healthy market." KB Home has started a new subdivision on the Southwest Mesa called Anderson Hills, which will have 1,300 houses, three parks and a trail system. The company will also continue work in Enchanted Hills in Rio Rancho, as well as several other smaller subdivisions. "We are expecting a very good year," Kinsley said. The top home builder in the metro area for 2004 was D.R. Horton Homes, which got 788 construction permits during the year. The company was also the top builder in 2003 with 750 permits issued. Folkman said the overall new home market will probably slip in the coming year with interest rates the main culprit. For most of 2004, rates stayed under 6 percent for a home mortgage. Folkman said he expects rates to climb to at least 6.5 percent, which could drive some consumers out of the market. "Some people just won't be able to pay the higher rates, which will trickle down to builders," he said. Copyright 2005 Albuquerque Journal

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Double Eagle Airport and Eclipse Aviation

Saturday, February 5, 2005 Double Eagle Gets Funds for Upgrades Journal Staff Report The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded a $201,184 grant for upgrades to Double Eagle II Airport. Funds will be used to help bring electricity and natural gas to the airport, which is undergoing improvements to become a center for economic development in Albuquerque. "It is important to ensure that Double Eagle II airport is ready to accommodate Eclipse Aviation when they move into their new home in Albuquerque," said Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., in a prepared statement Thursday. Bingaman helped secure the funding in a 2003 spending bill and has also worked to secure millions for other airport-related expenses, such as road and runway improvements and construction of a new control tower. Last year, the airport received a $3.13 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to begin runway improvements to the airport as part its phase II project. Eclipse plans to open a production facility at the West Side airport in 2009 in a 300-acre Aerospace Technology Park. Eclipse currently employs 380 people in Albuquerque. Additionally, two other aviation firms have announced plans to manufacture jets at the airport.

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