Work is set to begin on the renovation of a one-story facility that will house a popular food service program in downtown Las Cruces.
Officials with the Casa de Peregrinos Food Program have long talked about the need for new space to provide food storage, client interview areas, and a demonstration kitchen, among other features.
The structure will additionally include a dock with space enough for three trucks.
The 12,000 square foot building, located at 991 W. Amador Avenue, formerly served as space for the Horse N Hound store. That store moved to a new location in the spring of 2021.
The program’s current office is located at 999 W. Amador Avenue, which Casa de Peregrinos officials say is too small for current needs.
Late last year members of the Las Cruces City Council approved $3.7 million in funding for the renovation program. That vote was on top of an initial $1.3 million in early 2020 to purchase the structure.
According to city documents, Casa de Peregrinos distributes nearly 5 million pounds of food on a yearly basis.
Founded in 1979, it originally provided food primarily for the city’s homeless population, but soon expanded its services to any resident in Las Cruces in need.
By Garry Boulard
The price of structural steel shapes and tubing has seen substantial increases in the past two weeks owing to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Data Digest, which is published by the Associated General Contractors of America, is additionally reporting that “disruptions in the supplies of clay from Ukraine and soaring natural gas (fuel) prices” have prompted Italian and Spanish ceramic tile companies to suspend production.
Russia moved into Ukraine on February 24, bombing any number of cities and prompting up to four million Ukrainians to flee their country.
In the process, because Russia is a significant supplier of aluminum and copper, those materials have seen a double-digit price increase globally. “Input costs have almost doubled for many of the materials,” the publication Decan Chronicle has reported, adding that “builders and contractors are unable to complete their constructions.”
According to the World Steel Association, aluminum and steel prices have increased by 28% and 17% respectively since the Russian invasion.
The price increases, according to various reports, are not only impacting the cost of construction projects in the U.S., but also projects throughout Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Two weeks ago Britain’s Construction Leadership Council announced that on average all materials costs are now up by 10%.
In a statement, the CLC also said that the military action in Ukraine, combined with international sanctions on Russia, “are likely to constrain the supply of pallets, birch plywood and oriented strand board.”
Meanwhile, the Associated Builders and Contractors is reporting a double-digit increase in a variety of materials, resulting in an overall construction input price increase of 2.4% from a year ago.
In a statement, Anirban Basu, chief economist with ABC, predicted that matters will “get worse before they get better.”
Basu additionally raised the likelihood that as the cost of materials continue to rise, thus impacting the bid prices, “more project owners will choose to delay project starts.”
By Garry Boulard
Initial papers have been submitted to the City of Scottsdale for the construction of a $1 billion residential community that will go up on the north side of the city.
The project, as proposed by Optima Incorporated, which is also based in Scottsdale, will see the building of up to 1,500 upscale residential units.
Set to go up at the southeast corner of Scottsdale Road and Loop 101, the project has already been the subject of one neighborhood outreach meeting.
With offices also in Chicago, Optima specializes in the development of both urban and suburban luxury communities. Founded in 1978, the company puts an emphasis on the design of its projects and earlier this year was given an American Architecture Award for its Optima Sonoran Village project.
That project, located at 6895 E. Camelback Road in Scottsdale and with rents topping out at $4,000 a month, was completed in late 2019.
A construction schedule for the latest Optima project in Scottsdale has not yet been announced.
By Garry Boulard
A modernistic building in downtown Colorado Springs that has been the home to dozens of different businesses over the course of the last century is being listed for sale.
Located at 201 N. Weber Street, the one-story structure measures around 12,600 square feet and includes a spacious open floor plan, as well as many of the interior architectural details from the time of its construction in 1901.
Listed by the Colorado Springs-based Westward Properties real estate, the building, which underwent a comprehensive renovation in 1954, has an asking price of just under $3 million.
Located in a neighborhood of both residential and commercial development, the structure is categorized as a Class B building and formerly housed a car dealership as well as the Junior Achievement Business Center.
By Garry Boulard
Student housing developers frequently promote projects not just by mentioning the given size of apartment units, and the availability of swimming pools and fitness centers, but also the likelihood of grocery or retail stores on the development’s ground level.
Such developers, the site WealthManagement.com has noted, dread the idea of completing a multi-use project and being left with large amounts of empty store space.
But for projects built near a campus, “retail space can add significant value.”
According to the analytics site Axiometrics, around 35% of all new student apartment projects built between 2016 and 2021 included first-floor retail.
In an article published by Due Diligence magazine, it is noted that the potential of “net income earned on the space compared to the construction costs” of the building itself, remains alluring for developers and builders, as does the visual appeal of a busy store fronting a project.
But of four multi-story student housing projects put up in the last decade in the vicinity of the University of Florida campus, all the retail space at two of those projects remains vacant, while the percentage of vacant space ranges between 54% and 83% in the other two.
Despite those numbers, developers and investors continue to see ground floor retail as a marketable asset.
In recent weeks deChase Miksis, with offices in Eugene, Oregon, announced plans to build a multi-story apartment building geared for students near the University of Oregon in Eugene that will feature first floor retail.
The Buccini/Pollin Group, a Wilmington-based developer, says it wants to build an apartment complex near the University of Delaware campus. In an interview with the Newark Post, company spokesperson Claire Neste said the project will “provide amenity-based retail that will serve both the workers on the campus as well as visitors and residents.”
CRG Acquisition of Chicago is making plans for the construction of a 10-story student housing project near the University of Wisconsin’s campus in Madison that will very much include commercial space at the ground floor corner of the structure.
Despite advertisements promoting such amenities, student housing projects around the country continue to see vacant space due to retail operations that never materialized, or stores moving out of complexes as a result of too-high rents and too-low store revenue.
In Starkville, Mississippi retail space on the first two floors of the College View apartments, which was opened in early 2019, remained empty well into 2021. The Pugh Centre in State College, Pennsylvania opened in 2020 with 6,000 square feet of retail space that has yet to be filled.
A Target shop on the ground floor of a project called The Standard near the University of Florida announced recently that it is closing what is described an “underperforming store.”
According to the Due Diligence article, the goal of successfully combining retail with apartment housing has proven all too often elusive. Despite the good intentions of building retail under apartments, “the reality is that a tremendous amount of vacant retail space is the result.”
By Garry Boulard
A more than 150,000 square foot building that may be used for warehousing and distribution, among other purposes, is planned for construction in a new 100-acre business park in Albuquerque.
Titan Development, based in the Duke City, says the new structure will go up inside the borders of the Westpointe 40 business park on the west side of the city off Interstate 40 at the 98th Street exit.
The building, which could also be used for light manufacturing purposes, will include a 32-inch clear height, dock-high and grade-level doors, and space for trailer parking.
In a statement, Brian Patterson, senior vice president with Titan, remarked that the business park itself will “attract new jobs and employment opportunities for both current residents and newcomers to our great state.”
The building will also feature a rear-load configuration and is expected to be completed next year.
Launched in 1999, Titan Development has emerged as one of the largest real estate developers and managers in the southwest, with projects in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, among more than half a dozen states.
By Garry Boulard
Officials with the Prescott, Arizona-based Yavapai College, in anticipating future growth, are working on a campus master plan designed to document all the school’s coming facility and infrastructure needs.
Founded in 1965, the community college, whose main address is 1100 E Sheldon Street, has been conducting a series of public input meetings exploring facility growth priorities.
Meanwhile, a survey sponsored by the school, which has an enrollment of nearly 7,500 students, has indicated that overwhelmingly those students would like to see more private study workspaces on campus, as well as collaboration and event spaces.
According to school officials, the campus master plan, as developed by the Phoenix-based Smith Group architectural firm, is expected to provide a roadmap for all capital investments at the school over the course of the next 8 years.
That plan, according to a release sent out by the school, will also help to determine “where and when to invest resources” centered on the building, upgrading, and enhancement of Yavapai’s infrastructure.
Late last year, Yavapai President Lisa Rhine remarked that the plan will be “a living document that is bold, visionary, and adaptable to change,” without compromising the school’s mission and values.
The plan will not be limited to the Prescott campus, but rather all six of the campuses that the school maintains throughout Yavapai County.
By Garry Boulard
Construction and business groups are going on record in opposition to a proposal by the Department of Agriculture in the form of an amendment to the existing Agriculture Acquisition Regulation act.
That amendment, if enacted, will require contractors to report any labor law violations, including those that may be committed by subcontractors and suppliers.
The amendment also would require that contractors must document and report any implemented measures designed to correct labor law violations.
In a statement, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said that the Agriculture Department “provides no specific authority” pertaining to the amendment, adding that the proposal has not been accompanied by any discussion or analysis regarding the “impact and burden these new requirements will impose.”
Officially responding to the Department of Agriculture proposal, the Associated Builders and Contractors said it supports a “level and transparent playing field for federal contractors and believes bad firms should be held accountable.”
But the association added that the proposed amendment is “over broad, arbitrary and capricious, and violates the statutory and constitutional rights of responsible ethical contractors.”
In proposing the amendment, the Agriculture Department said it hoped to align the Agriculture Acquisition Regulation with “changes to acquisition law, regulations, and internal USDA policies since the AGAR’s last major revision in 1996.”
When and if the Agriculture Department implements the amendment is not known. But in an analysis of the proposal itself, the National Law Review is predicting: “One can expect legal challenges if the rule is eventually finalized.”
By Garry Boulard
A Denver project that has been in the talking and planning stage for upwards of three years is finally taking a step forward with the rezoning approval of the city council.
In a unanimous decision, the council has given a green light to the building of an eight-story structure that will go up in the Five Points neighborhood at 2000 Blake Street in downtown Denver.
The project, on a less than half-acre site directly across from the Coors Field in a vibrant part of the city filled with restaurants and stores, will also see the building of retail and commercial space on its first two floors.
According to city documents, the project, at the 12,600-square-foot site, will feature a two-story base with large-scale fenestration framed in metal, a masonry façade on the upper floors, and below level parking.
According to city documents, the building will additionally “incorporate visually interesting and human-scaled facades in an expression, timeless, yet rooted in adjacent historic neighborhoods’ context.”
In securing the approval of the city council, the project’s developers, Fillmore Capital Partners, said that one of the ideas behind building the new structure is to transform the site into a destination stop for cyclists and pedestrians owing to its location along the proposed 5-mile loop known as the 5280 Trail.
As earlier announced, the project is expected to see the building of up to 72 apartments, with a small portion of those units allotted for affordable housing.
By Garry Boulard
Work is slated to begin early next year on a project that will see the building of 64 micro studios in a popular Denver neighborhood known as the Art District on Santa Fe.
The project belongs to the New York-based Madelon Group, which envisions each studio apartment measuring around 400 square feet, with kitchenette and bathroom space, along with storage room.
The apartments, as with previous Madelon projects, will be built as prefabricated units.
The building, which will also include ground floor retail space, will go up at 801 W. 8th Avenue, in a formerly industrial section of Denver populated with one and two-story commercial structures.
The prefabricated units represent a move on the part of Madelon to respond to the Mile High City’s ongoing demand for new apartments. In an interview with the Denver Business Journal, Alfonso Medina, the company’s chief executive officer, remarked that Denver is “a city where you can still build, but it’s also a city that’s in desperate need of housing.”
It is thought that the construction of the new micro studios complex will be completed sometime in 2024.
The Art District on Santa Fe is home to dozens of galleries, studios, and restaurants. Rents in the area range from roughly $1,500 to just under $3,000 a month.
By Garry Boulard
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