Plans are expected to be submitted to the city of Rio Rancho this summer for the construction of an imaginative 65-acre village project geared for medical-related tenants.
The Health Village at Rio Rancho will go up next to the Presbyterian Rust Medical Center in the 2400 block of Unser Boulevard SE, and could ultimately cost upwards of more than $100 million to fully develop.
Beverly Hills, California-based Geringer Capital is proposing the project, which will place an emphasis on walkable space and will also include a grocery store, movie theater, and, possibly, a hotel.
A boutique real estate investor, Geringer Capital has developed a 394-unit Class A multifamily project called the Falls at Westover Hills in San Antonio, as well as a 136,000 square-foot office and warehouse for the baby product manufacturer Munchkin in North Hills, California.
Geringer Capital has long been interested in developing the Unser Boulevard site, which it purchased some 15 years ago.
By Garry Boulard
The Senate has now passed a $2.2 trillion bill designed to offer relief to both individuals and small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
What is called the CARES Act, providing direct aid to those who may have lost their jobs due to the spread of COVID-19, also offers some $350 billion in loan money for small businesses that may also be enduring hardships caused by the virus.
In particular, the legislation is targeting companies with fewer than 500 full and part-time employees, allowing them to apply for loans through the Small Business Administration of up to $10 million.
The bill also makes small businesses, which have not been closed down by the virus, eligible for tax credits for maintaining their payroll. That eligibility will allow for such companies to receive in credits up to what they pay their workers in wages, topping out at $5,000 per employee
The 880-page bill, comprising the largest peacetime relief expenditure in history, passed the Senate on a 96 to 0 vote and is expected to be swiftly approved in the House.
In a statement, Stephen Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors, hailed the bill for providing “construction employers and employees with critically needed access to capital, expedited cash flow, worker benefit protection, and critical tax relief.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the measure is a “step in the right direction,” that will “keep American families and businesses afloat through the crisis.”
Rebates under the legislation will see individuals receiving checks of up to $1,200.
In a just-released analysis, the Joint Committee on Taxation says those rebates will decrease federal revenue by some $292 billion in the next decade.
By Garry Boulard
A vacant slice of land in Thornton, Colorado that was once proposed as the site for Amazon’s second headquarters, may be the future home of a sprawling mixed-use development.
The Omaha, Nebraska-based Noddle Companies has purchased 192 acres of the site located off the intersection of the E 470 toll road and Interstate 25.
When Amazon, in the fall of 2017, announced that it wanted to build a second headquarters, it also invited cities to make pitches regarding why certain sites in those cities might fulfill the online commerce giant’s needs.
Thornton was one of what would prove to be 200 cities responding.
In their pitch, Thornton city officials mentioned the vastness of the site, its access to highways, and the metro area’s high education levels.
Ultimately, in the fall of 2018, Amazon decided on building its new headquarters in both New York and Arlington.
Now the Noddle Companies has announced tentative plans to develop the Thornton site, with work initially expected to take place on some 82 acres of the property.
The developer of several shopping centers in metro Denver, the Noddle Companies has taken on more than 150 office, retail, and mixed-use commercial developments in nearly two dozen states.
One of its most recent projects is called the Aksarben Village in Omaha, on the site of a former horse racing track.
That mixed-use development on some 70 acres has seen the building of restaurants, entertainment space, walkable space, and bike trails.
By Garry Boulard
As the metro Phoenix area continues to boom with a population that is expected to increase by 1 million people over the 4.7 million who already call it home, one homebuilder is banking on the growth of two of the region’s most vibrant areas.
The Salt Lake City-based Woodside Homes, with a long history of building in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, wants to build new houses in Queen Creek and Glendale.
Both Phoenix metro communities have witnessed explosive growth in the last two decades.
Queen Creek’s population has jumped from 4,300 in the year 2000 to more than 42,500 today. At the same time Glendale, just under 50 miles to the northwest, has seen its population increase during that same period of time from 218,000 to 250,000.
Altogether, Woodside Homes hopes to build up to 800 new entry-level homes in both locations that will be designed to appeal to the metro area’s growing employee base across the swath of metro Phoenix.
Last year, Woodside launched the master planned Elegance community in Mesa, with homes ranging in price from $465,000 to $565,000. Homes in the company’s Crestwood Estates section in Roy, Utah start at around $270,000 and pass the $500,000 mark.
While still in the planning stage, the company’s plans for Queen Creek and Glendale are expected to see construction between this year and 2022.
By Garry Boulard
The Washington-based Construction Industry Safety Coalition has just issued a series of recommendations emphasizing both the prevention of and response to the coronavirus in the construction industry.
Job site protective measures, according to the guidance, will require employers to order any employee, contractor, or visitor at a job site to “leave the work site and return home,” should they show any COVID-19 symptoms.
Employers and employee should use the six-foot “personal space” rule in all meetings: “Where work trailers are used, only necessary employees should enter the trailers and all employees should maintain social distancing while inside the trailer.”
Employees are additionally encouraged to “stagger breaks and lunches, if possible, to reduce the size of any group at any one time to less than ten people.”
The practice of employees sharing tools should also be discouraged, says the guidance, adding: “To the extent that tools must be shared, the company will provide alcohol-based wipes to clean tools before and after use.”
Employees should also use or drive the same equipment and truck when possible, while also avoiding ride-sharing.
Common sources of drinking water, such as a cooler, should be discontinued in favor of employees using individual water bottles.
“Site deliveries will be permitted, but should be property coordinated in line with the employer’s minimal contact and cleaning protocols. Delivery personnel should remain in their vehicles if at all possible.”
The Construction Industry Safety Coalition is made up of just over two dozen trade associations representing the building and demolition industries, as well as commercial and home building, road repair, and material suppliers.
By Garry Boulard
Exactly $600,000 has been approved for renovations to the busy Roosevelt Science Hall on the Portales campus of Eastern New Mexico University.
Originally built in 1953 as a men’s residence hall, the 42,000 square foot Roosevelt building was repurposed in the mid-1990s as the center of the school’s science department, housing classrooms, labs, and offices.
Renovation work on the structure, which is a part of ENMU’s five-year capital improvement plan, will include upgrading the building’s heating, cooling, and electrical systems.
The building is also the home to the Miles and Minerals Museum, which features a collection of animals, plants, and insects indigenous to New Mexico.
ENMU officials have said that they expect to see work begin on the Roosevelt building early next summer.
The Governor also signed off on $350,000 for the construction of a covered storage facility on the Portales campus, as well as just over $800,000 for the building of a new video surveillance system, along with electrical system upgrades, on the Roswell campus.
The main Silver City campus of Western New Mexico University is receiving $390,000 for campus pathway improvements, along with another $70,000 for the renovation of its Veterans Resource Center.
The largest WNMU capital outlay, at $2.5 million, will go for the construction of a new learning center, which will go up on a 42-acre site at the school’s Deming campus.
By design, the center, currently housed in a building at 2300 E. Pine Street, is dedicated to English as a Second Language and General Education Development instruction for a primarily rural, multicultural, and multilingual population.
By Garry Boulard
Up to $1.6 million in state funding for cosmetic improvements to the Dreamstyle Arena on the main campus of the University of New Mexico has been secured.
That money was originally passed by members of the New Mexico State Legislature in the recently-concluded winter 2020 session.
The project at the Dreamstyle Arena, which is the home for UNM’s Lobo basketball team, was the largest of 36 facility construction and upgrade projects approved for the state’s largest university by lawmakers.
Of that number, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed off on 31 with a capital outlay funding total of some $6.8 million out of the nearly $7.6 million in funding originally approved by the legislature.
Other large UNM projects winning the support of the Governor include $800,000 for improvements to the school’s Popejoy Hall; $750,000 for an Olympic Sport Training Center; and $300,000 for improvements to a learning commons space at the Zimmerman Library.
Two smaller projects approved for UNM’s Taos campus are seeing $75,000 for improvements to the school’s internationally known Harwood Museum of Art; and $85,000 for elevator work and access improvements to the same structure.
The $7.1 million approved by lawmakers for UNM projects was the largest total amount for an institution of higher education in the state.
By comparison, the legislature approved $6.1 million in capital outlay funding for New Mexico State University; $3.0 million for Western New Mexico University projects; and $3.2 million for Eastern New Mexico University.
Just over $400,000 each was approved for projects at Highlands University in Las Vegas and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro.
By Garry Boulard
Plans are underway for the building this year of at least 1,000 new outlets for the Dollar General Corporation.
In December, the Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based chain said that 1,000 new store target would exceed the 975 stores Dollar General opened last year.
Besides opening 1,000 new stores for this year, the company has also said that it will remodel up to 1,500 existing but older properties, and relocate another 80 stores.
Dollar General’s expansion plans come on the heels of a robust 2019 which saw overall sales hit the $27.8 billion mark, substantially up from $25.6 billion of the previous year.
The chain is now projecting a net sales growth of up to 8 percent this year, and a capital expenditure that could reach the $975 million mark.
According to company sources, the role that the COVID-19 outbreak may play on the store’s fortunes remain unknown.
In a statement, Chief Executive Office Todd Vasos said “There is no guarantee that this outbreak will not have a more significant impact” on Dollar General’s business.
In fact, the company’s stores have been booming in the wake of the coronavirus, with plans to hire up to 50,000 new employees to meet with a growing customer demand in the last month.
In a statement, Kathy Reardon, Dollar General senior vice-president, said, “We believe our customers are relying on us now more than ever to provide an affordable, convenient retail option.”
New Dollar General stores have opened in the last several weeks in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Abilene, Texas; Youngstown, Ohio; and Pine Bluffs, Wyoming.
The company’s outlet presence has been particularly strong in the South and Midwest. It is thought that the one region of the country that will see the construction of the most new stores will be in the West.
By Garry West
A unique playground built for those with severe special needs may soon see construction in Montrose, Colorado.
The project is set to go up at the site of the Centennial Middle School at 1100 S. 5th Street and will include a ramped play structure, seesaw, swings, a music station, and picnic tables.
Part of the project, to be built by Montrose County, will also include the construction of artificial turf surfacing and fencing.
All of the elements of the playground will be specifically designed for children with significant cognitive challenges and is partly being funded through a $350,000 grant from the Great Outdoors Colorado program.
That initiative funds any number of facility and infrastructure construction and upgrade projects related to recreation and an enjoyment of the outdoors in the state.
Altogether, the group has just awarded some $5.2 million in funding for just over two dozen park, playground, and trail projects in Colorado.
Among the recipients: the City of Greeley, which is receiving $350,000 from GOCO for work at its Balsam Park, a project that will see the transformation of soccer field space into a nature play space with boulders and logs, two shade shelters, and a walking loop around the park’s perimeter.
A two-acre lot once belonging to the former Brick and Tile Company in La Junta will be turned into a universally-accessible playground with climbing structures, wheelchair-accessible spinners and swings, picnic shelters and shade structures through a $350,000 grant.
Another $350,000 grant will go for the development of a 16,000 square foot skate park in the City of Salida’s Centennial Park.
That project will include a variety of ramps bars, and ledges, as well as new restrooms, additional lighting and shade structures.
The various grants awarded by GOCO this year range in size from $130,000 to $350,000.
According to a statement released by the group, the funding will pay for the purchase of some 85 acres of land, with half of funding providing “new outdoor recreational opportunities to rural and underserved communities in Colorado.”
By Garry Boulard
Plans may soon be underway for the expansion of a nearly 40 year-old wastewater treatment plant on the northwest side of Grand Junction.
The Persigo Wastewater Treatment plant, located at 2145 River Road, was opened in 1983 and processes about 8.2 million gallons of wastewater per day.
By federal law, because the facility has reached the 80 percent capacity level, a plan must be rolled out detailing its future expansion.
While Grand Junction’s Wastewater Services Division is currently in the process of updating the city’s Wastewater Master Plan, a more important indication of the plant’s future has come with a vote by the city council.
That vote gave the green light to contracting out with the Denver-based Carollo Engineers to develop a roadmap for the expansion of the plant.
Along with that expansion could come an updating of the current facility, which was built at a cost of $28 million.
Three years ago, the plant made national headlines when it launched a $2.8 million process transforming raw sewerage into renewable natural gas carried through an underground pipeline and used as fuel for the city’s garbage trucks, among other vehicles.
City officials think the updated master plan will be completed sometime next year, at which point the design phase for the expansion of the wastewater plant is expected to begin.
By Garry Boulard
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