Monday, April 24, 2006

A midrise?

Is anyone as excited as I am for last weeks announcements? First and foremost, the city is making a commitment to implimenting light-rail along Central Ave. from Old Town to Nob Hill with a spur to the airport. Now, I'm slightly disappointed that the planned system, that is most commonly known as a "streetcar," is a slightly less intense version of the RTD in Denver or TRAX in Salt Lake city. However, the slightly sleeker looking streetcar is probably more in context with the setting along Central Avenue.

This is more of what I had in mind for downtown:

It has been shown that the level of development due to civic investment is directly proportional to the amount invested. This type of system should be successful in attracting redevelopment along the route without the intesity that so many people are fearful of (for whatever reason). It really is a great compromise. I personally would much rather see the latter type system.

Next, Vincent Garcia announced his next development downtown, a 7-story mixed-use building called the Anasazi. This building is going to replace the dilapidated building on the southeast corner of 6th and Central with 45 condo's and more retail space. This is the largest project to happen downtown since the Gold Avenue Lofts, yet somehow, I've only seen it mentioned in the Journal. I guess the papers really only like to talk about the drunk kids and shootings downtown. That too bad because this is more indicative of the actual market in downtown. Two days after this project was announced, over 20 of these units has been spoken for. Not so bad for a violence infested, can't-be-as-great-as-Rio Rancho, unsprawled hell. (Was that over the top?)

Last but not least, someone in one of my previous posts posted information from the Emporis website that shows a 20-story building is being planned for the Noon Day Ministries site downtown across from the Old AHS Lofts. Now that is great news. From rumblings I've heard before, I'd bet Rob Dickson has something to do with this plan and I cannot wait for an announcement. It had been know that they were aiming for a midrise in that area, but 20-stories is a highrise in any city. I hope we see some renderings for this project.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Some exciting announcements have made it to the press: First and foremost is the announcement that Jonathan Rose Companies will be leading the development of the current Greyhound bus site and nearby properties when Greyhound moves across the street into the phase II portion of the Alvarado Transportation Station. This company was chosen over Rob Dickson (the developer of the AHS Lofts) and Sheffield Partners (the developers of Aliso Nob Hill), both of whom have shown an ability to get things done. Apparently it will be approximately a year before any designs come forward, but seeing as this is the same company that put together Highlands' Garden Village, I am enthusiastic to see what they come up with.

Nob Hill is coming along nicely with a planned 130 new residential units either under construction or in planning. There is some fuss about the intensity of the Sierra Condominiums project but hopefully the city will agree that there is very little in the way of any "neighborhood" to affect in this vicinity and the project will move through quickly. If I hear any more fuss about solar rights in this area...

Further west on Central, well, about two miles, Infill Solutions has pieced together four acres near old town and plans call for nearly one hundred residences in a mixed-use area called, Country Club Plaza. Unfortunately, I have a feeling affordability will be on the scale of what's considered affordible in, say, Santa Fe.