Commissioner Art De La Cruz and community leaders today broke ground on a major commercial construction project that aims to bring hundreds of jobs and new services to the South Valley and the Southwestern metro area.
Commissioner De La Cruz and Bernalillo County have worked closely with Albuquerque developers Steve Maestas and Mike Mechenbier, who are developing the project.
“This project is going to change the face of the South Valley and bring new jobs to the region,” Commissioner Art De La Cruz says. “For too long, South Valley residents have had to travel far and wide for medical services, supermarkets, clothing stores and certain restaurants that are taken for granted in other parts of the metro area. I am proud to lead this effort and I am hopeful that these new jobs and such significant construction work will breathe new life into our economy in central New Mexico.
“Once again, Bernalillo County is leading the way on job creation. We’re dedicated to tackling the No. 1 issue of our time, which is helping the business community create jobs in Bernalillo County,” Commissioner De La Cruz says.
Las Estancias is a 79-acre planned development south of the intersection of Rio Bravo and Coors Boulevards Southwest. The total planned size of the project is 550,000 square-feet and would cost about $70 million. The total number of construction jobs could equal 1,100 over time.
The first occupant of the project is an 88-bed skilled nursing and healthcare facility that is scheduled to break ground later this year. That healthcare facility is expected to create 110 permanent new jobs.
In August 2012 the County Commission approved a $1.5 million Local Economic Development Act grant to help pay for infrastructure such as drainage and roadway improvements.
The Las Estancias development is required to create 230 new, permanent jobs by 2020 per that agreement. The agreement includes “clawbacks,” or protections for taxpayers in case the project fails to produce enough jobs.
Project developer Steve Maestas noted that the southwest metro area has access to about 9 square feet of retail space per person, while the rest of the city averages about 40 square feet per person.
“We’re honored to partner with Bernalillo County on such a significant project that will bring much-needed jobs to the metro area,” SteveMaestas says.
State Sen. Michael Padilla, community leaders from the Valley Gardens, Anderson Hills and Adobe Acres Neighborhood Associations as well as students from Atrisco Heritage Academy High School and El Camino Real Academy joined today’s celebration.
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