In a continuing effort to redevelop and repurpose a site that was once the home to the nationally-known Frank Paxton Lumber Company, members of the Bernalillo County Commission have approved new funding for the new Sawmill Market inside the larger Sawmill District.
That funding is coming in the form of industrial revenue bonds worth $10 million.
Those bonds will be used to pay for land acquisition, design and engineering work, as well as actual construction in the district at Bellamah Avenue NW and 10th Street in Albuquerque.
According to county documents, the ongoing Sawmill District redevelopment is regarded as an “adaptive reuse project,” incorporating “elements from the historical character of this area.”
From the start, the Sawmill District redevelopment has focused on transforming a one-time lumberyard industrial site into a vibrant cluster of hotel, restaurant and food market space.
Besides the Sawmill Market, the site has seen the opening of the $40 million Hotel Chaco earlier this year, and will soon serve as the home to Tierra Adentro: the New Mexico School of Academics, Art and Artesania; as well as the National Institute of Flamenco.
A staff report prepared for the Bernalillo County Commission noted that the overall Sawmill District project “encourages the use of a re-development strategy that encourages sustainable, smart growth in conserving land resources by attracting new infill development.”
In a statement, County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley lauded the creation of the Sawmill Market, describing it has a “unique and exciting dining experience in the emerging Sawmill District.”
By the conditions of the IRB vote, the developer of the Sawmill Market project, Sawmill Bellamah Properties, will be responsible for repaying the bonds, which have lower borrowing costs.
By Garry Boulard
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