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. If you are looking for a great construction company visit

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.


Best Sunset Views in Santa Fe

Best Sunset Views in Santa Fe

Cross of the Martyrs

Cross of the Martyrs

The 25-foot-tall reinforced concrete cross sits on top of Paseo de la Loma Hill in Fort Marcy Park and commemorates the 21 Franciscan priests and many more Spanish colonists who died during the Pueblo revolt of 1680. Easily accessible via a gently sloping staircase that starts on the eastern corner of Paseo de Peralta, the summit provides both a close-up of the adobe walls and giant cottonwood trees of downtown Santa Fe and giant vistas of the Jemez Mountains in the west beyond.

Santa Fe Scenic Overlook

Santa Fe Scenic Overlook

Start out a half-hour before sunset to give yourself time to drive the 18 miles up windy New Mexico 475 from Santa Fe through the towering Ponderosa Pines of Hyde State Park. The whole way up you’ll have ever-shifting views of the Sangre de Cristos ahead and the Jemez Mountains. At the Overlook, a parking area with a fence between the cars and a steep abyss a half-mile before you hit Ski Santa Fe, pull off to enjoy the massive western panorama.

Rooftop Pizzeria

Rooftop Pizzeria

On the top floor of the Santa Fe Arcade, Rooftop Pizzeria has a height advantage over other outdoor restaurants. Ask to be seated along the west-facing bar on the patio and you’ll have unhindered sunset views to the Jemez Mountains. Order the Number Four pizza (smoked duck, green pepper corns, spinach, basil, roast garlic, and four cheeses) on a blue corn artisan crust and a bottle of rosé.

Picacho Peak

Picacho Peak

Not many cities have an 8,577-foot peak out the back door. Don’t let the hour-long climb to the summit of Picacho deter you. This two-mile (one way) hike on a well-maintained trail is a fast track to joy—at the top, take your pick of two views: One overlooking the city, the desert, and Albuquerque’s Sandia Peak in the far off distance, the other overlooking the Jemez to the west and the forest-green, rolling carpet of the Sangre de Cristos to the northeast.

Atalaya Trail

Atalaya Trail

More popular than Picacho, Atalaya starts behind St. John’s College and is a straight 3.0-mile shot up to the 8,800-foot summit. It’s a lot of vertical—1,800 feet— in a short spurt, but the payoff is nice. On the top you’ll find a few slabs of west-facing rock—the ultimate place to watch the sun go down over Santa Fe.

Below is the link to the complete Travel + Leisure story about Santa Fe.


Plan would lift restrictions but requires all units to pay taxes

Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 10:30 pm | Updated: 10:57 pm, Tue Mar 22, 2016.
Original posted by Santa Fe New Mexican

The city of Santa Fe is moving forward with a plan to lift many of the restrictions on short-term rental units, but stops short of removing the cap on the total number of rentals allowed citywide.

Members of the Lodgers Tax Advisory Board approved a plan Tuesday to more than double the number of short-term rental permits from about 400 to 1,000. It goes next week to the city Public Works Committee, and will be reviewed by two other panels before consideration, then a public hearing by the Santa Fe City Council on April 27.

The new law would set an initial number of permits at 1,000 and allow all unlicensed units to come under the new law within 90 days.

If an owner is unlicensed after that, the city would impose a fine of $500. If the violation continued for another 14 days, the fine could be continued at $250 a day or the unit could be shut down.

Read the entire article


New Mexico Restaurant Named American Classic

CHIMAYO, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico restaurant built on tradition is getting national attention from a very prestigious source.

Rancho de Chimayo has been named an American Classic by the James Beard Foundation.

The restaurant is known for its friendly staff, rich history and tasty menu.

“You can order anything here and it’s good,” said customer Frank McGuire. “I like huevos rancheros.”

This week the James Beard Foundation, a top-notch New York culinary arts organization, announced five recipients of its 2016 America’s Classics Award.

Only restaurants with a timeless appeal and quality food that reflects their community can receive the award.

“I didn’t believe it. I honest to God didn’t believe it,” Rancho de Chimayo Owner Florence Jaramillo said.

Florence Jaramillo and her husband Arturo opened the restaurant in 1965.

“We were in the middle of nowhere, we had never worked in the restaurant, we had never had a restaurant, so we were starting it from scratch,” Jaramillo said.

Rancho de Chimayo is located in the same home Arturuo’s grandparents lived in decades ago.

“We wanted people to feel like they were coming into our house to eat and that we wanted to serve good food,” Jaramillo said.

They wanted to serve food that reflects the heritage of New Mexico and so much more.

“When I heard about this award I said this is for Chimayo. It’s for the Chimayo chile. It’s for the families that have lived here so many years. This is for them.

Four other restaurants around the country were also named American Classics. They will all be honored in May.

Click the link below for the Channel 13 story.

New Mexico restaurant named American Classic



10 Most Charming Small Towns in New Mexico

Here Are The 10 Most Charming Small Towns in New Mexico

New Mexico is the fifth largest state in the nation, but the population continues to hover just above two million. As a result, we have an abundance of small towns. Here are 10 of the most quaint small towns in New Mexico.