A rapidly-expanding microbrewery based in Centennial, Colorado has announced plans to build a new location in Albuquerque.
Growler USA says plans are being worked out for a site in the vicinity of the Albuquerque International Sunport that will open in late 2019.
This will be the company’s second Albuquerque site. Growler USA is currently working on opening a new location at the intersection of Unser Boulevard and La Morada Place on the northwest side of the city.
Formed in 2014, Growler USA specializes in American-produced craft beers, and has enjoyed a rapid expansion with nearly two dozen locations in operation today.
The company is currently working on new sites in Houston, St. Louis, and Tucson.
Growler USA usually spends an average of anywhere from $500,000 to $900,000 building locations that typically vary in size between 2,500 and 3,500 square feet.
By Garry Boulard
A bill designed to secure funding for infrastructure projects in poor communities across the country is currently being considered before two Congressional committees.
The Generating American Income and Infrastructure Act will require the selling of what are described as “distressed assets” held by a number of federal agencies.
Those assets are thought to have a market value of more than $2 trillion. Once sold, the revenue would be distributed by the Treasury Department to communities whose populations are below the national poverty line.
“Even in this time of historically strong economic growth, some of our country’s poorest communities are still waiting for significant infrastructure improvements,” noted Representative Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania in a statement sponsoring the legislation.
The legislation, H.R. 6104, will directly benefit such communities, added Kelly, “and boost their economics without raising taxes or adding to the deficit.”
The fact that the legislation would not entail new taxes is seen by its backers as one of the more appealing aspects of the proposal, given that attempts earlier this year to raise the nation’s fuel tax as a mean of funding infrastructure projects met with great opposition on Capitol Hill.
Supporters of the legislation additionally point out that the funded community infrastructure projects would more than likely lead to new employment opportunities for below-income African American and Hispanic residents in those communities.
The proposal is currently under review in both the House Committee on Agriculture, as well as the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
By Garry Boulard
Opened in the summer of 1892, the Brown Palace Hotel is a 9-story wonder made of sandstone and red granite and designed by well-known Denver architect Frank Edbrooke in the Italian Renaissance Revival style.
The triangular-shaped building has long been praised by critics, one of whom, G.E. Kidder Smith, in his Source Book of American Architecture, lauded the hotel’s “onyx-lined lower floors, the enormous stained-glass skylight, and the bronze balcony panels, all of which are scrupulously maintained.”
Visited by everyone from Dwight Eisenhower to Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton, and even, during their tumultuous 1964 tour, the Beatles, the Brown Palace Hotel at 321 17th Street was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.
Now the property, today officially called the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, has been purchased by the Fort Worth-based Crescent Real Estate with plans in the works for an upgrade of all of its rooms.
The real estate investment firm, as part of an overall $125 million package, also purchased a 22-story Holiday Inn Express, with the idea of creating what will be a larger “Brown Palace Hotel Complex.”
The new owners say the two hotels, connected by a bridge across adjacent Tremont Place that was built in 1959, will see “significant capital investments and service upgrades.”
Those upgrades will particularly center on the top two luxury suite floors of the Brown hotel.
In a statement, Crescent also said that any enhancements “will retain the Brown Palace’s appearance, while honoring the Denver spirit and history.”
A timeframe for when those upgrades will begin has not yet been announced.
By Garry Boulard
Plans have now been made official for the construction of a 100,000 square foot building in downtown Mesa that will house a portion of Arizona State University’s film program.
The structure will be a part of a new $65 million satellite campus going up on property owned by the City of Mesa at Pepper Place and Centennial Way.
The result of ongoing talks between Mesa and ASU officials, the new campus is also being seen as an economic generator for downtown Mesa and a strategic move on the school’s part to open a campus in what is now, with a population of over 470,000 residents, the third largest city in the state.
ASU, based in Tempe, currently has three other satellite campuses in Lake Havasu City, Phoenix, and the West Valley.
According to an intergovernmental agreement approved earlier this year by the Mesa City Council, ASU, in a 90-year contract, will pay around $100,000 annually in rent for a building that Mesa will build.
An earlier effort in 2016 to create an ASU campus in Mesa failed after voters rejected a proposed sales tax, revenues of which would have been used to fund the building of the campus.
This time around, Mesa officials emphasize that the campus will be built with money from the city’s Enterprise Fund, which is primarily comprised of revenue collected from consumer utility bills.
The next phase of the project will see both Mesa and ASU officials working together on the design of the new building, with plans for construction to begin later this year.
It is expected that the new campus, which is intended to serve around 750 students, will be completed in time for the fall 2021 semester.
By Garry Boulard
More than two dozen liquefied natural gas plants nationally are currently in the planning stage, awaiting final investment commitments.
Those new plants, according to industry experts, are partly in response to a move by China to reduce its current trade surplus with the U.S. through increased energy imports.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the plants are expected to have a positive impact on the manufacturing construction sector for the rest of the year and beyond.
According to the EIA’s Today in Energy news service, what is being called the Elba Island liquefaction project in Georgia will see the construction of six out of an expected ten modular liquefaction units.
The Houston-based Chenier Energy, meanwhile, has just announced that work will soon begin on its billion-dollar Corpus Christi Liquefaction project.
That work will see the construction of a tank and loading dock, as well as the completion of a loading berth.
By Garry Boulard
Work could begin in the fall of 2020 on the building of a new 10,500-foot runway at the Grand Junction Regional Airport.
Officials with the airport, located at 2828 Walker Field Drive, have long been talking about the need for a new runway, noting that the current runway, of roughly the same length, was originally constructed in the 1950s.
Those same officials have also noted that that current runway is no longer up to Federal Aviation Administration standards.
After years of planning, the airport is now receiving two grants from the FAA totaling $5.2 million to be applied to the runway project.
That money is coming from the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program and is part of a larger $3.2 million in grants just announced by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
It was earlier thought that the original runway could be simply rebuilt, but Grand Junction Regional Airport officials eventually decided that the airport could not afford to be closed for the period of time required to bring that runway up to date.
Instead, the airport will remain open as work takes place on a new runway located about a quarter of a mile to the north of the current runway.
Upon the new runway’s completion, the current runway will be repurposed as a taxiway.
Originally opened as the Grand Junction Municipal Airport in 1930, the facility sees up to 45,000 aircraft operations on an annual basis, serving more than 452,000 passengers.
Design work on the new runway project has already begun. Actual construction of the runway could take up to 10 years to complete.
By Garry Boulard
Members of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission are expected to announce a decision sometime in September regarding right of way issues for the proposed $2 billion Sun Zia Transmission Project.
That project, which has been several years in the planning stage, will upon completion move electricity from wind farms in eastern New Mexico to customers in Arizona and California.
In all, two transmission lines belonging to the project will travel across more than 520 miles of land owned by a number of parties, including the federal government, the New Mexico State Land Office, and private landowners.
The private land component of the project, just in New Mexico alone, will comprise around 90 miles.
Sun Zia Transmission officials say they have so far entered into easement agreements with more than eighty landowners for the project.
Although not all of the right of way agreements between the company and the various landowners have to be approved by the commission, some of them do.
Sun Zia Transmission is specifically asking the commission to approve both the locations designated for the lines, as well as the right of way widths to accommodate them.
By Garry Boulard
Apartment industry officials, looking at an ongoing market demand for more affordable units across the country, are urging developers to become more involved with their surrounding communities in the process of building a better product.
Meeting at the National Apartment Association’s Apartmentalize conference in San Diego, industry leaders noted that public perceptions of affordable income projects usually include the idea that such buildings are destined to be ugly, will lower area property values, have high crime rates, and be available only to those receiving government assistance.
But speakers said a greater community input during the planning stages of such projects, and more open communication, could combat such negative images, leading to a wider acceptance during the city approval stage.
“Knowing what these communities will look like helps paint a picture of what’s to come,” remarked Tami Fossum, executive director of GEM Management, an affordable housing management company based in Charlotte that manages more than 8,500 units in the southeast U.S.
“So many times when people think of affordable housing, they envision distressed housing,” continued Fossum. “Showing the plans for these properties will really shed light on the positive aspects it will bring to a community.”
Speakers noted that with rent increases being seen in most major areas nationally, and the average rents now nearing $1,400 a month, more people are looking at affordable apartment units where they won’t have to contribute 50 percent or more of their income to housing.
It was also revealed at the conference that the risk level of renters continues to improve, especially in places where job market is healthy and rental prices have remained affordable.
A company called TransUnion Rental Screen Solutions revealed figures from their study of more than 500,000 move-ins showing that 34 percent of renters in early 2018 had credit scores of 720 or higher, up from 32 percent last year at the same time.
The lowest scores of 540 or less, meanwhile, have dropped from 6 percent of all renters last year to 5 percent this year.
By Garry Boulard
Opened more than a century ago, an 85-acre tree-filled park around 2 miles southwest of downtown Fort Collins is on the verge of an extensive upgrading.
City Park, at 1500 W. Mulberry, has been used and enjoyed by generations of Fort Collins and larger north central Colorado residents attracted to its playgrounds, picnic space, and tennis and pickleball courts.
A particularly popular feature of the park for some 60 years was the small train known as the City Park Railway, which offered rides to children until a derailment mishap caused it to be put out of commission in 2010.
Now Fort Collins officials are contemplating a major redevelopment of the park that will include new tennis and pickleball courts, restrooms, a recommissioned train, and new playground space.
What is being called the City Park Tomorrow project has already been the subject of several community and neighborhood input meetings and is expected to cost as much as $12 million to complete.
As planned, the project would be done in three phases, with the first $1.8 million phase including the installation of a new train and some 900 feet of track; and phase two devoted to the building of new tennis and pickleball courts, restrooms, and playground space with multi-level wooden play structures, costing around $6 million.
The final $4 million or so phase of the project, which might not begin until 2021, would bring the construction of additional picnic shelters, a pedestrian promenade and boardwalk along the shores of Sheldon Lake, among other features.
The project, which will also result in the creation of a botanical garden and an additional 46,000 square feet of green space in the park, is now awaiting final city approval before work on it can launch sometime next year.
By Garry Boulard
The Holloman Air Force Base, 6 miles southwest of Alamogordo, is expected to see the construction of a $20 million container storage facility for its Basic Expeditionary Airfield Resources program.
The BEAR program is designed to deploy assets anywhere in the world in support of both combat and humanitarian missions.
The $20 million award for the construction of what is called the Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications War Reserve Material Storage and Shipment facility was announced by the U.S. Air Force.
That investment, said New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich in a statement, “is a reflection of the importance of the BASE base mission, and the exceptional training environments and expertise New Mexico has to offer.”
Upon construction, the new facility at the 60,000-acre air force base will, among other functions, house fuel support equipment.
The $20 million award comes in the wake of a vote by the Senate Appropriations Committee approving $80 million for the construction of a Formal Training Unit that will house three MQ-9 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft attack squadrons, as well as offices, classrooms, and training simulators, also at the Holloman Air Force Base.
By Garry Boulard
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