Construction Industry Booms in New Mexico

Construction industry booms in N.M.

With work underway on a Facebook data center in Los Lunas, a major rapid transit project in Albuquerque and hospitals and roads in Santa Fe, New Mexico’s construction industry is off to one of its best starts in years.

The number of construction jobs statewide in March hit 46,000 — the highest since the middle of 2009. The jump from February employment represents an increase of 3.4 percent, the best gain in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That’s nowhere near the peak for the state, which saw 60,000 industry jobs just before the recession in 2007-08, but March numbers are higher than the past few summers and the best in 90 months.

With the state budget facing spending cuts, it’s too early to tell whether the trend will be enough to offset shortfalls in areas such as retail or manufacturing, but preliminary data show construction is helping the city of Santa Fe’s bottom line. Construction-related payments from the gross receipts tax are up 11 percent in fiscal year 2017 compared with the same period in 2016 — that’s a boost of $780,000.

In the village of Los Lunas, construction is well underway on the new data storage center for Facebook. The work so far is dirt moving, trenching and utility extensions, but this summer the first building of a million square feet will start to take shape, said Ralph Mims, director of economic development for the village.

Over the next several years, the site will see anywhere from 200 to 1,000 construction workers a day. “If they go ahead and do all six buildings, we’re looking at nine years of construction,” Mims said.

In Santa Fe, the city is seeing ongoing work at the new Presbyterian Healthcare medical center in Las Soleras near Interstate 25 and Cerrillos Road, as well as an expansion of Christus St.Vincent Regional Medical Center on St. Michael’s Drive.

Both sites have large cranes, something not seen in Santa Fe since completion of the New Mexico Rail Runner tunnel at St. Francis Drive.

Another high-profile project is a retirement center north of N.M. 599 at the intersection of Avenida Aldea and Camino Botanica. Houston-based PinPoint Commercial is building The Legacy at Santa Fe with a total of 84 units offering a mix of limited assistance, traditional assisted living and memory care

The facility also will house a restaurant, a movie theater, a general store, a gym and a library. The company has other facilities in Texas, Florida and Georgia.

Another retirement complex along Caja del Rio Road in the unincorporated area was set to break ground this spring. The Place at Caja del Rio has been given full development approval by county commissioners with plans to complete it in phases over five years.

The initial phase will open in 2021 and, when completed, will have 180 units for independent living, 200 for assisted living, 120 skilled nursing beds and 80 units for memory care, according to information on file with Santa Fe County. The project is being developed by Cauwels & Stuve Construction of Albuquerque.

Closer to downtown, Vital Consulting Group is installing concrete beams and managing the slab jacking across St. Francis Drive for the new underpass of the city’s Acequia Trail. The entire project is expected to be complete by the end of September and has its own Facebook page — AcequiaTrailUnderpass.

The city also has started work replacing the narrow DeFouri Street bridge over the Santa Fe River. The $500,000 project will replace the span between West Alameda and Alto streets that was built in the late 1930s and reconstructed in 1959.

That work continues through the summer and will require some traffic detours around the work zone just west of downtown.

Homebuilding is also picking up in Santa Fe, said Kim Shanahan of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association. He said a project by the Pulte Group in Las Soleras is advancing quickly and will eventually have 300 homes. Pulte also recently purchased a tract of land for higher-end, single-family homes in Las Campanas, according to Shanahan.

Twilight Homes and Palo Duro are building new homes in Cielo Azul off Aga Fría Street near South Meadows Road. Also on the south side, the Santa Fe Housing Trust and Homewise have more affordable projects moving forward.

“We signed up 15 homes yesterday for the Parade of Homes,” Shanahan said of the annual new-home tour in which builders highlight their inventory. He expects if building continues at the current pace, the home tour will be bigger than last year.

In Albuquerque, the city’s newest hotel opens next week in Old Town. The Hotel Chaco by Heritage Hotels is 118 rooms and five stories with a price tag of $40 million.

Albuquerque is also in the middle of a bus and mass transit redevelopment project along Central Avenue known as ART — Albuquerque Rapid Transit. The $120 million project, a headache for drivers and businesses, will include new buses, but construction spending alone is $86 million, said Joanie Griffin, project spokeswoman.

“At any given time, there are 350 workers” on the project, she said. Many live in Albuquerque and can now work without having to travel, she added.

“Everything is local except for the buses. Obviously, we don’t have bus manufacturers here.”

Source: JCCAYER.

CNN – 16 intriguing things to see and do in the U.S. in 2016

Green Chile Cheeseburger

Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail, New Mexico

New Mexico’s Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail — with nearly 100 spots to sample — is a tasty way to add a little spice to your life this year.

Though their exact origins are unknown, the distinctive burgers laden with cheese and green chiles have appeared on menus across the state since at least the 1950s.

At Sparky’s in Hatch, a town defined by chiles, you can wash your burger down with a green chile shake.

At 5 Star Burgers — a chain with locations in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos — green chile mayo amps up the green chile cheeseburger experience.

But we all know that the Santa Fe Bite has the best green chile cheeseburger anywhere.

Copy and past the link below for the other 15.

BEST Burger in New Mexico


SANTA FE (KRQE) – It’s the stuff that causes furious debate. It’s even a state competition. Who cooks up the best green chile cheeseburger in the state? Yahoo has declared a winner as it went out to find the best burgers in all 50 states.

After the three months of researching, eating, and yes, fighting, Yahoo believes the best burger in New Mexico can be found at Santa Fe Bite in our capital city.

“It’s a great article. It’s always good to be recognized,” said John Eckre, owner of Santa Fe Bite.

Eckre previously owned Bobcat Bite and earned a reputation for mouth-watering burgers there.

“I’ve been doing it for 15 years now, so I should start getting good at it pretty quick,” he joked.

“We always do our best. We grind our meat fresh every day: whole boneless chuck and sirloin; it’s like ground steak,” he said.

Eckre set out to cook with the best ingredients he could find. But that’s not his only secret behind the kitchen door.

“We take our time with the burgers. We don’t hurry them and mash them down. We let them cool slow. That leaves you with a savory flavor that longer cooking gives you,” Eckre said. “I made my grills myself. I used to be a welder, so I built three cast iron grills that really do enhance the flavor of the burger. It makes a big difference,” he said.

Customers, whether first-time diners or longtime patrons, raved about their meals over their Friday lunch.

“When you order a medium, it’s just a perfect medium. The meat is very well made, and it’s juicy. It’s never dried out, and the vegetables are always fresh,” said Lewis Smith. “I’ve been coming here every other Friday,” he added.

A Huffington Post article also recognizing Santa Fe Bite is what led Sandy Usita of Rio Rancho to choose to dine here this particular Friday.

“I’m glad I had a chance to read the article because it’s great. I missed this for I don’t know how long,” Usita said. “I absolutely love a good burger. This is quality,” she said.

Shane Plossu developed his cravings back at Bobcat Bite and visits Santa Fe Bite when he returns to Santa Fe. “It’s just a real treat for me to do that. Get a green chile fix everytime I come back home,” he said.

“The Bite is really the best burger I’ve had. I’ve traveled a lot myself as well, tried lots of burgers and to me the green chile cheeseburger is just the one,” Plossu said.

In its review, Yahoo said, “The chuck and sirloin beef mix complements the smoky heat of the chiles, and makes you wish more people from other states would start putting green chiles on everything.”

But was there a runner-up in New Mexico?

Yahoo began its burger choice for the Land of Enchantment by saying, “With apologies to the delicious burgers at Manny’s Buckhorn Tavern in San Antonio, we had to go with Santa Fe Bite’s green chile cheeseburger.”

Santa Fe Bite is located at 311 Old Santa Fe Trail.

Santa Fe Top 10 Art and Architectu​re Destinatio​n

Santa Fe Top 10 Art and Architectu​re Destinatio​n

Santa Fe has been ranked in the Top 10 Art and Architecture Destinations in the World by Hotwire. The highest ranking US city.

But we already knew that…

LONDON | Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:51am EDT (Reuters) – From Picasso in St. Petersburg to sculptures in Sydney, has compiled a list of the top 10 places to admire famous art around the world. Reuters has not endorsed this list.

1. Paris, France.  It may seem obvious, but there’s a reason why Paris always ends up on top of most art-lovers’ lists. Start with one of the largest and most well-known museums in the world, the Louvre (Musee du Louvre). This museum displays an estimated 380,000 objects and 35,000 works of art including Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. And of course, the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) is one of the most famous architectural works of art in its own right. Beyond the Louvre, visitors can experience impressionist and post-impressionist French art at the Musee d’Orsay, the surrealist movement at Espace Dali or view modern works by artists like Pablo Picasso at the Musee d’Art Moderne.

2. Florence, ItalyKnown as the “cradle of the Renaissance,” Florence is overflowing with beautiful pieces of art and architecture. Before even setting foot inside a museum, visitors can take a tour of Firenze to bask in all of the great architecture that makes up the city. From palaces to monuments to religious buildings, the city itself is a giant museum of master architectural work that is sure to leave folks breathless. Once inside these beautiful buildings, be sure to visit Galleria dell’ Accademia (Academy Gallery), which is home to Michelangelo’s David, or the Galleria degli Uffizi (Uffizi Galleries), to view works from artists such as Giotto, Botticelli, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci.

3. Vatican CitySt. Peter’s Square is an architectural masterpiece designed by Gian Bernini in the seventeenth century, but it’s the Vatican museums and churches that are the stars. These museums hold an immense collection of sculptures, paintings and artefacts that have been collected by the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. This includes some of history’s most renowned works of art, such as Michelangelo’s painted ceiling at the Sistine Chapel and the Last Judgment. Famous works by Raphael can also be found throughout the Vatican but are mostly concentrated in the Apostolic Palace. And don’t forget, just outside the Vatican walls sits Rome, which could stand alone as an art lover’s delight with its museums and Roman architecture.

4. Berlin, GermanyOver the last 20 years, Berlin has emerged as one of the biggest art venues in Europe with an impressive selection of new architecture, exhibits and art galleries. But even with its new art scene, Berlin will always have strong ties to the past, which can be seen at one of the 17 Berlin State Museums that are divided into five clusters. Museumsinsel (Museum Island), a complex of five museums, is the largest in Europe, and is comprised of the Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode Museum, and Pergamon Museum, which were all built on the site of the original city settlement. The museums’ collections range from Roman and Greek Classical Antiquities, to 19th century sculptures and paintings, to prehistory and early history.

5. Amsterdam, the NetherlandsAmsterdam is a great destination to experience the out-of-the-ordinary, and the art is no exception. If you are craving something a little unusual, The Florescent Art Museum, also known as “Electric Ladyland,” is a tribute to Jimi Hendrix and has a vast collection of psychedelic pieces. But the Dutch also have a wealth of classics, and gave the world such famous painters as Rembrandt and Van Gogh. The Van Gogh Museum displays the most extensive collection of his work including 200 paintings, 550 sketches and hundreds of letters from Van Gogh to his brother Theo.

6. St. Petersburg, RussiaSt. Petersburg is arguably one of the most picturesque cities in the world, and at its center is the State Hermitage Museum. This museum contains three million pieces, including works by Leonardo Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso and Nicolas Poussin. It is also one of the most extensive museums with objects from around the world, ranging in time from pre-historic to post-modern. St. Petersburg also has a wealth of museums dedicated to Russian art, with the State Russian Museums housing the largest collection of pieces from Russia. For something out-of-the-box, be sure to stop by the Museum of Non-Conformist Art, which features the art movement under the Soviet Union.

7. Santa Fe, New Mexico. The community of Santa Fe has long been considered both a haven for creativity and an important gathering place for the American art community, especially those who love Native art. In August, the annual Santa Fe Indian Market attracts thousands of visitors to the city for the largest showing of authentic Native art in the world. Other art enthusiasts with eclectic tastes can venture to the art district on Canyon Road, which features more than 100 art galleries and studios. Finally, Santa Fe was home to many well-known artists including Georgia O’Keeffe. O’Keeffe became famous for her depictions of enlarged flowers and paintings inspired by her time in New Mexico, which are on exhibition at The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

8. Los Angeles, California.  As one of the most eclectic cities in the United States, Los Angeles is a giant melting pot of art that is just waiting to be explored, with a lot of it on the cutting edge of modernity. Visit Chris Burden’s iconic Urban Light display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in West Hollywood, or travel downtown to the Museum of Contemporary Art MOCA.L, where artists such as Banksy and Tim Burton have shown their work. LA is home to not only one, but two Getty Museums. Whether travellers feel like exploring the beautiful gardens at the Getty Villa, or admiring the collections of European and American art at the Getty Center, both venues provide breathtaking views of the City of Angels.

9. Sydney, AustraliaEven though Sydney is more known for its beautiful beaches, it still offers travellers a unique artistic experience. Visitors can explore the city to see the architecture, local galleries and the Sydney Sculpture Walk, which features Australian and contemporary artists. In March, Sydney celebrates its vibrant art scene with a month-long festival. During Art Month, visitors can not only expect an abundance of art exhibits, but can experience art talks, tours, performances, art bars and gallery openings. Or for a more intimate look into Sydney’s local art, Sydney Art Tours lead people through the smaller galleries and provide an up-close look into artists’ studios. Travellers can also head over to Balmain, the suburb of Sydney where artists, writers, musicians and filmmakers are known to hang-out. And don’t leave Sydney without touring its most famous piece of architecture, The Sydney Opera House.

10. Tokyo, JapanTokyo offers art enthusiasts a chance to experience amazing Asian styles that were created independently of the West. The city is home to more than 240 museums, such as the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum and the Nerima Art Museum, plus an array of magnificent temples and shrines. For the arts and crafts lover, visit Tokyo’s arts and crafts scene at the Edo Shitamachi Traditional Museum, and for someone with an ear for music, stop by the Musashino Music College Musical Instrument Museum, which has more than 5,000 instruments from all over the world.

Santa Fe Named “Most Artistic City in America”

Eldorado homes for sale in New Mexico

Home of Lisa Smith and Johnny Boggs, Eldorado, Santa Fe, NM, May 6, 2018. For Eldorado Living Magazine


Santa Fe grabs ‘most artistic’ spot

Santa Fe was rated the “Most Artistic City in America,” in a feature article published in The Atlantic this week.

Richard Florida, a senior editor at the magazine and director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to rank cities based on the number of artists who live there compared to the overall population.

After Santa Fe came cities with major art scenes: San Francisco, then New York, Los Angeles and Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.

“It’s time to get over the notion that only large urban cities like New York or L.A. can make it as artistic centers,” the article says. “While it’s true that large cities and metros dominate in terms of sheer numbers of artists, smaller communities are home to vibrant artistic communities as well — many with national and international reputations and reach.”

Santa Fe has been named a top destination in several national publications this year. It ranked high on some lists in Travel + Leisure and was the third-favorite city to visit in the 2011 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice survey.