Construction could begin later this year on a plan to expand the already massive Intel Corporation facilities in Rio Rancho.
The company says it will invest as much as $3.5 billion to support and enhance its advanced semiconductor packaging technology.
More specifically, Intel wants to grow its Foveros 3D technology. In so doing, the company will establish the Rio Rancho campus as a hub for advanced semiconductor manufacturing.
Introduced in 2019, Foveros allows for processors to be built in three dimensions, not spread out flat in just two dimensions.
The company’s advanced packaging abilities, said Keyvan Esfarjani, “allows us to mix and match compute tiles to deliver the best products.”
Esfarjani is a vice president and general manager of manufacturing and operations with Intel.
The company is expected to spend an initial $550 million this year building the new infrastructure needed at the Rio Rancho site.
Last month Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law legislation allowing for part of construction-related gross receipts taxes to be returned to companies taking on large projects involving the hiring of a significant amount of new workers.
Intel has said it will mostly like hire at least 1,000 construction workers for the expansion project.
To date, Intel, which first opened operations in Rio Rancho in 1980, has taken on more than $16 billion in capital investments at the site.
Founded in 1968, the Santa Clara, California company is the largest semiconductor chip manufacturer in the world, with last year revenues in excess of $77 billion.
By Garry Boulard
In welcome news a long time coming, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that the Covid-19 pandemic may essentially be under control by mid-summer.
That announcement comes as coronavirus infections have hit a new low, with a majority of Americans now vaccinated.
The latest projection models released by the CDC provide “a road map out of the pandemic,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
“We have a path out of this, and models, once projecting really grim news, now offer reasons to be quite hopeful for what the summer may bring,” Walensky added in a press conference.
In one of four models looking at the pandemic’s rate of growth, the CDC is showing a plummet in new cases as of late spring, with what the Washington Post describes as a “dramatically improved viral landscape this summer.”
The most optimistic model also suggests that the average current rate of upwards of 4,000 people a week dying from the pandemic could drop to well less than 100 a week by September.
Despite the hopeful projections, infectious disease experts have warned that variants of the virus could still appear that may include new mutations immune to the covid vaccine.
“Variants are a wild card,” Walensky remarked, noting that their presence “could reverse this progress we have made.”
To that end, Walensky emphasized the importance of vaccinations, noting: “The sooner we get more and more people vaccinated, the sooner we will all get back to normal.”
By Garry Boulard
Around $1 billion in rental construction projects are in the planning stage for a Phoenix-based financing company.
With funding secured through the Tower Capital company, at least five of those projects will go up in the Phoenix metro area, including a 114-unit complex in the city of Surprise.
The build-to-rent residential market entails any number of detached, single-family rental units, usually built within a community.
Established in 2015, Tower Capital provides the vital service of connecting builders and lenders for such projects, offering customized structured financing to investors.
The company has taken on student housing, senior housing, office, and retail projects, among other market segments ranging in price from $2 million to $300 million.
The build-to-rent market has seen a double-digit growth in the last decade nationally as the demand for single-family rental housing has increased.
Such projects have proven to be particularly popular in the South and West.
According to the Houston Chronicle more than 7,500 build-to-rent homes have been built in recent years in the just Houston market alone.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based Crescent Communities just announced plans to build up to 200 single-family build-to-rent homes in metro Atlanta and three other southeastern markets.
Last month it was announced that the Scottsdale-based Camelot Homes is entering the build-to-rent market with communities ranging in size from 10 to forty units.
Meanwhile, the Family Development company of Palm Desert, California, is in the application process for a 204-unit build-to-rent project in Gilbert, Arizona.
By Garry Boulard
The New Mexico portion of the massive Permian Basin is expected to see more road construction, now that state funding to the tune of $87 million has been secured for such projects.
Earlier this year, members of the New Mexico State Legislature approved that amount for road projects in the southeast part of the state.
That funding has since secured the signature of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.
In a statement, Tracee Bentley, chief executive officer of the Permian Strategic Partnership, said the planned projects to be funded by state money “will allow for direct action to improve priority road projects in local communities, as well as expedite work already underway on state roadways.”
Some of that work is specific to east-to-west US Route 380 and New Mexico State Road 128, which runs in roughly the same direction.
Local officials are now hoping to secure additional funding for road projects in the region through federal Department of Transportation grants.
The Permian Basin, one of the largest oil and natural gas producing areas in the country, spans 250 miles from west central Texas to southeast New Mexico. It produces up to 30% of the nation’s oil and 15% of its natural gas.
According to a report issued late last year by the Texas Department of Transportation, the heavily-used roads of the basin saw an annual haul in excess of 1 million tons in 2018, a number that is expected to only increase in the decade ahead.
By Garry Boulard
Plans have been confirmed for the building of a new jail in Pueblo County, Colorado.
The project has been long in the talking stage, but now members of the Pueblo Board of County Commissioners have given their approval to a resolution calling for the facility’s construction.
It is thought that it will cost at least $90 million to build the new detention facility, which will house around 650 beds and include an on-site infirmary.
The current county jail at 909 Court Street in the city of Pueblo was built in 1980 and is said to be in a deteriorating condition. Earlier reports indicate that, among other things, the bricks and mortar of the structure were coming apart.
A county jail task force in 2017 determined that the facility often suffers from overcrowding, with, on some occasions, upwards of 200 or more inmates beyond the building’s capacity.
The jail is primarily used to hold those arrested and accused of a crime on a temporary basis until they enter the court system.
Funding for the project will primarily come from the county’s marijuana sales tax revenue.
Work on the new jail could begin by the fall of 2022, with an anticipated completion date of late 2024.
By Garry Boulard
Plans for the construction of a new performing arts and conference center in lower downtown Longmont have entered the development phase.
Longmont city officials for years have talked about building such a facility, contending that demand for its use would be great enough to justify construction.
Now a feasibility study compiled by Chicago-based C.H. Johnson Consulting Incorporated has been submitted to the Longmont City Council saying that it would likely cost nearly $159 million to plan, design, and build a modern performance center.
As discussed, the facility could be built in phases that would include a multipurpose hall measuring around 25,000 square feet, allowing for any number of conventions, conferences, trade shows, and banquets.
An auditorium with up to 1,500 seats would include a stage with wing space designed to accommodate any number of musical or other entertainment events.
An additional feature of the facility would likely see the building of some 10,000 square feet of rehearsal rooms, classrooms, and meeting rooms.
Said the study: “At least one of the rooms should be specifically geared toward dance, and at least one of the rooms should be specifically geared toward music.”
Upon accepting the feasibility study, members of the council directed city staff to begin investigations into the first phase development of the center.
Although an exact site for the new facility has not been decided, the feasibility study pointed to an area south of 1st Avenue between S. Martin Street and Pratt Parkway, as well as several other locations for the project.
By Garry Boulard
Construction spending surpassed the $3.5 trillion mark in March, a nearly 1% increase over the month before, according to a report just issued by the Associated General Contractors of America.
Moreover, those figures are up by 5.3% over March of 2020—the first month of the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent national economic shutdown.
While those numbers are strong, the AGC report notes that vast majority of projects this spring are in the residential sector, which overall has seen an impressive 23% increase from March of 2020 to March of this year.
A separate report issued by the National Association of Homebuilders says that overall residential construction spending has increased 23.3% in the last year, with single-family projects leading the sector.
According to the AGC report, nonresidential construction remains flat, with a 9% decrease between March of last year and March 2021.
Other sectors seeing declines include public construction, which is down by 4.6%, with highway and street construction taking a 10.9% hit.
Education institution construction also saw a 4% decrease in the 12 months leading to March 2021.
Ken Simonson, chief economist with the AGC, noted that an additional challenge confronting the national construction industry comes with the growing backlog for needed building materials.
Adding that shortage to a lack of rail and trucking services for delivering goods, added Simonson, means that “even projects that are underway are likely to take longer to complete.”
By Garry Boulard
Plans have been announced for the construction of a new Church of Latter-Day Saints temple in Farmington.
The project is one of a handful of new projects the LDS Church hopes to build across the country in the next several years and will be the second such LDS facility in New Mexico.
The first New Mexico temple at 10301 San Francisco Road NE in Albuquerque was completed in early 2000 and measures around 34,200 square feet.
In a statement, Set Bingham, a spokesman for the church in Farmington, told the Farmington Daily Times he thought the new temple “will be a welcome addition to the Farmington community.”
Reflecting the growth of the church, there are now around 250 LDS temples under-construction or completed internationally.
Such facilities can range in size from just over 100,000 square feet to more than 253,000 square feet. Each of the temples are architecturally distinct, with some designed in Gothic, Colonial Revival, and Neo-Renaissance styles.
The multi-tower LDS temple in Salt Lake City is thought to be the most easily-identified such temple in the U.S.
Completed in 1893, the temple sits on a 10-acre site and measures more than 253,000 square feet.
According to LDS figures there are currently around 70,000 church members in New Mexico, out of a total worldwide membership of more than 16.5 million.
It is not yet known where in Farmington the new LDS temple will be built, nor when construction is planned.
By Garry Boulard
A prominent postmodern Phoenix high-rise and complex built in the year 2000 may soon be undergoing an extensive renovation.
The company Transwestern Real Estates Services has announced plans to renovate and upgrade what was formerly called the Collier Center, at 201 E. Washington, into more of a mixed-use space.
The centerpiece of the complex is the 23-story Bank of America Tower which was designed by Opus Architects and Engineers.
In a statement, Jim Achen, senior vice-president with Transwestern, said plans are proceeding for “top-of-the-line renovations that will elevate the iconic building beyond recognition from its previous appearance.”
Achen added that in response to the pandemic, “We have given special consideration to incorporating advanced touchless technology and safe space planning strategies.”
The renovation will additionally see the building of a conference center, library, fitness facilities, and locker rooms.
With the Collier Center name since discarded in place of simply 201 E. Washington, the structure at 360 feet in height, is one of the top ten tallest buildings in Phoenix.
Measuring some 600,000 square feet and sitting on just under 3 acres, the structure was purchased in late 2019 for $190 million by the Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, which has offices in Denver and Los Angeles.
By Garry Boulard
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