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.
Post a Comment

Blog Archive