The Boulder campus of the University of Colorado, with nearly 36,000 students - up from 29,000 a decade ago - is making plans to build new housing facilities on land it owns.
The housing, which has been talked about for several years now, is planned for development on just under 130 acres, and will include an additional 30 acres to be set aside for community playing fields.
As discussed, the new development will see apartments and/or townhouses built within a village-style setting, with none of the structures being taller than 55 feet.
The housing would be set aside specifically for upper-level students, faculty, and members of the university’s staff.
Additional structures over time could include small-scale research or educational facilities that would be available for use by both the university as well as the surrounding community.
In a press release, the university has also said that it is committed to “designing buildings to protect and complement the city’s mountain views and to model future resiliency and sustainability.”
University officials are currently in the process of negotiating with the City of Boulder in the hope that the city will annex the nearly 130 acres.
That annexation would then allow the school to connect to city utilities, roads, and multiuse paths.
Members of the Boulder City Council are currently studying the possibility of agreeing to a flood mitigation effort with the university for the land in question, which both city and school officials hope will be announced in the coming weeks.
By Garry Boulard
A national pizza chain that saw its revenue reach $393 million last year is making plans to build dozens of new locations this year.
MOD Super-Fast Pizza Holdings LLC opened 64 new stores last year for a current total of 468, adding to a map with stores that are located in some 29 states, primarily along the West Coast, East Coast, and throughout the Midwest.
Scott Svenson, chief executive officer of MOD Pizza said that because the company recently secured $160 million in equity financing, the chain is now positioned to develop and build yet more properties this year.
Ultimately, the company wants to build up to 500 new stores between this year and 2025, with at least 20 new locations in the works for just Colorado and southern Wyoming alone.
Within the last month, the chain has also opened new outlets in Bellaire, Texas; Salem, Oregon, and Ammon, Idaho.
MOD pizza outlets typically measure around 2,600 square feet, although some have been as large as 3,100 square feet, with adjacent patio space.
Launched in 2008, the Seattle-based MOD Pizza is known for allowing customers to build their own pizzas at a price that remains the same no matter the number of toppings chosen.
By Garry Boulard
In a move to describe what the future of the vast Albuquerque Railyards could someday look like, the University of New Mexico is asking for writing submissions focused entirely on the well-known site’s future and meaning.
A competition sponsored by UNM’s School of Architecture and Planning will review poems, short stories, and other forms of fiction related to the site.
According to a news release from UNM, the competition is deigned to “imaginatively re-inhabit the area in ways that encourage the establishment of a vibrant community.”
Up to three winners in each of the submission categories will receive $200 each and have their submissions published in the Weekly Alibi.
Submission deadline for the competition is March 15.
Located in downtown Albuquerque, the railyards comprise just over 27 acres off of 2nd Street SW and is the former home to the Atlantic and Pacific railroad.
Since 2007, when the city of Albuquerque purchased the site, various ideas and plans for redeveloping the property have been aired.
The city is now seeking public input on how to proceed with a redevelopment that could eventually include new affordable housing, office, and retail space.
As part of the redevelopment process, remediation at the north end of the site has now been completed at a cost of around $1 million.
It is thought that it will ultimately cost tens of millions of dollars to fully redevelop the railyards, a process that could take more than a decade.
By Garry Boulard
Plans have been announced for the construction of a $7 million scrap metal processing plant that will go up in Santa Teresa, New Mexico.
The facility will belong to W. Silver Recycling, Incorporated, which has been processing everything from aluminum, brass, copper, and even electric motors, among many other items, for the last century.
With locations in Albuquerque, as well as the Texas cities of Amarillo and McAllen, W. Silver Recycling hopes to build a 120,000 square foot facility in Santa Teresa that will also include an adjacent 40,000 square-foot outdoor operating pad.
Because the company will be hiring at least 50 people for the new plant, it has secured a $200,000 grant from the New Mexico Economic Development Department to build the facility.
Four years ago, W. Silver Recycling purchased the long-time El Paso Iron & Metal company. In 2018, it opened another processing plant and shipping yard inside the Santa Teresa Gateway Rail Park.
With a high public profile, the company for years ran ads in the El Paso Times noting such things as: “U.S. consumers discard enough aluminum every 3 months to rebuild the nation’s entire commercial air fleet.”
By Garry Boulard
The demand for more smart technology in new office construction and upgrading projects is expected to continue unabated for most of the coming decade, says two new reports.
The movement, whose roots can be traced to the mid-1990s with the advent of built infrastructure for the Internet, substantially picked up steam between 2000 and 2010 as more and more offices began to see the use of smart phones, apps, and cloud computing.
Now, smart office features include the building of collaborative workspace, enclosed privacy booths that look a lot like phone booths from the 1960s, and isolated wellness spaces.
Such offices are also increasingly seeing light controls that turn off automatically if no one is in a room, or even on an entire floor of a building.
Global Smart Offices Market Analysis & Trends, published by the Dublin-based Research and Markets, pegs the growth rate of smart office design and construction at around 30 percent per year over the course of the last decade.
At the same time another report, Smart Offices by Product, published by Markets and Markets Research of Pune, India, is predicting that the smart office market will have a dollar value of more than $46 billion, up from $18.8 billion in 2016.
Although all global regions have witnessed smart office growth, according to industry experts, North America is currently leading the smart office market trend worldwide.
By Garry Boulard
For years, officials and residents of the town of Shiprock in northern New Mexico have wanted to see the establishment of a new emergency command center.
Because the San Juan River slices through the town, exactly where the new center might be built has been a matter of no little importance.
While a police station already exists at the intersection of US Route 491 and US Route 64 on the north side of the San Juan River, there have been concerns that it may be too far away to adequately respond to emergencies on the south side of the river.
Now, members of the New Mexico State Legislature have voted to approve up to $3 million in funding for the construction of what will be a multi-purpose command center to the south of the river.
As envisioned, the two-story center will include dispatch services, a police substation, and fire station, with the exterior of the structure featuring firetruck and ambulance bays.
As designed by the Albuquerque-based firm of Dyron Murphy Architects, the structure would also measure around 25,000 square feet.
It is expected that it will ultimately cost around $12 million to build the center, with funding coming from a variety of sources.
Shiprock, with a population of around 8,200 people, comprises the largest Navajo community in the Navajo Nation, some 30 miles to the west of Farmington.
The $3 million capital outlay funding for the new center is currently being reviewed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Altogether, state lawmakers approved more than $25 million in capital outlay funding for Navajo community projects.
By Garry Boulard
A school in central Lafayette, Colorado that serves at risk-students is now in line to receive a substantial facility upgrading.
Located at 805 Excalibur Street, the Justice High School is attended by students with substance abuse and juvenile delinquency issues.
Built in 1979 and expanded in 2002, the school, sitting on a 2.5-acre site, has long been challenged by space, lighting, and plumbing problems.
Last summer Colorado’s Building Excellent Schools Today program approved a grant of just over $921,000 to upgrade the facility. But that funding was contingent upon the Boulder Valley School District coming up with enough matching funds to tackle the project.
Now members of the Boulder Valley School District’s board of education have voted to approve up to $1 million in funding.
The work will include facility security improvements, a new fire alarm system and interior lighting, and the reconfiguring of two classrooms into a centrally located commons area.
By Garry Boulard
Two airports in Arizona, nearly a dozen in Colorado, and seven in New Mexico are receiving vital airport infrastructure grants from the Department of Transportation.
Altogether, the DOT is awarding just over $520 million in such grants to airports in some 41 states.
In announcing the grants, Elaine Chao, the Secretary of Transportation, said the funding is simply designed to “help keep our nation’s airports in good shape and make air travel a better experience for passengers.”
As part of the same announcement, Steve Dickson, Administration of the Federal Aviation Administration, remarked that support of the nation’s airports was important because “It’s in our national interest to make them the crown jewel in our transportation system.”
The funding is specifically coming through the DOT’s Airport Improvement Program, which was established in 1982 and is specifically designed to support airports in their planning and development projects.
The largest Arizona grant is seeing $4.3 million for the Grand Canyon National Park Airport to rehabilitate a terminal building and improve the airport’s drainage system.
The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, meanwhile, is slated to receive around $3.7 million for the construction of a new control tower, replacing an existing structure that was built in 1970.
The largest funded project in Colorado is going to the Denver International Airport: $6. 1 million for the rehabilitation of a taxiway and new taxiway lighting.
The second largest Colorado project is seeing $1 million for a runway lighting upgrade project and a taxiway rehabilitation work at the Centennial Airport in Englewood.
Among the smaller funded Colorado projects, the Montrose Regional Airport is slated to receive nearly $710,000 to expand its existing terminal building, the first since expansion of that facility in nearly a decade.
The largest New Mexico project, the reconstruction of an apron at the Carrizozo Municipal Airport, is receiving $405,000.
Other New Mexico projects include apron reconstruction and pavement upgrades at the Cavern City Air Terminal in Carlsbad, the Deming Municipal Airport, the Ohkay Owingeh Airport near Espansola, the Gallup Municipal Airport, the Hatch Municipal Airport, and the Portales Municipal Airport.
In a press release announcing the funding of the New Mexico airport projects, Congressman Ben Ray Lujan noted that “local communities, especially in our rural regions, depend on our regional airports to boost the economic and support travel.”
By Garry Boulard
The site for a project that will significantly add to the affordable housing stock in Las Cruces has been granted a new zoning designation.
Developers and entrepreneurs Scott Bannister and Rick Morales say they want to build up to 64 new single-family homes on the southwest side of the city, on vacant property near the intersection of West Boutz Road and Stern Drive.
The project, as planned, will also see the construction of some 60 affordable apartment units.
The site was formerly categorized as A-2, a one-time farming classification that is no longer used by the city. The approved rezoning will give the property an R-1A for single family housing, and R-4 for apartments.
The rezoning was earlier approved and recommended by the Las Cruces Planning and Zoning Commission.
The zoning approval comes just days after Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima, in his annual State of the City address, emphasized the need for more affordable housing.
The Mayor said the issue was important for people of all ages, in particular, “young families with children, even when both parents are working.”
Miyagishima said he wanted to see the city move on acquiring more infill property for the construction of single-family homes, apartments, and artists’ loft workspaces.
Earlier studies have suggested that Las Cruces has a roughly 7,800-unit gap between the number of affordable units that are available and those that are needed.
By Garry Boulard
A South Korean subsidiary has announced plans to build a new solar plant in southwest Arizona.
Expected to be built in La Paz County, the facility will go up on just over 4,600 acres of land belonging to the Bureau of Land Management.
The 174 Power Global Corporation, based in Irvine, California, says the planned 800-megawatt facility will be built at almost the exact midway point between the western edge of the Phoenix metropolitan area and the Arizona/California border.
That location is fortuitous, with the company saying that, upon the facility’s completion, its energy could be sold to markets in either or both Arizona and California.
As proposed, the project will first have to be approved by the BLM, while also being subject to an environmental review as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.
The 174 Power Global company is part of the larger Hanwha Corporation, which is based in Seoul, South Korea and is regarded as a multi-profile conglomerate.
One pubic information meeting sponsored by the BLM has already been held on the project.
If built, the solar plant would include a nearly 5-mile long 500 kilovolt transmission line that would connect the solar facility to a regional electrical system.
Site for the project is located inside what is known as the BLM’s Western Solar Plan that allows for utility-sized solar energy projects in 6 states including Arizona.
Last summer 174 Power Global began work on a $200 million, 150-megawatt solar facility in western Texas near the city of Odessa.
By Garry Boulard
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