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Feb. 19, 2014

Seven-Acre Townhome Project Breaks Ground in Rezoned Sawmill District

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Located north of Albuquerque’s Old Town, the Sawmill district is an area that recently has been rezoned from industrial to residential. The scenery changes progressively into a colorful mix of housing, commercial spaces and industrial lots. A groundbreaking event was by Sawmill Community Land Trust and Sawmill Crossing Partners last week to welcome Sawmill Crossing, a 78-unit townhouse complex.

The residential development, west of 12th Street and along Aspen NW, will be built on seven acres in the biggest private residential subdivision in the district so far, reports Albuquerque Journal. The first phase of the project encompasses six units and will be silver-certified through Build Green New Mexico and is scheduled to become available in May. Floors plans range in size from 1,200 square feet to over 1,600 square feet, with prices starting in the mid-$100,000.

Keith Cheshire of Sawmill Crossing Partners differentiates the 78 planned townhouses from the majority of the owner-occupied housing built in the last 20 years in two major ways:

  • They will be market rate units unsubsidized by government tax credits and income restrictions.
  • The units will be sold in a traditional “fee-simple” manner, unlike owner-occupied homes on trust land, which one buys and leases the land they sit on.

Last but not least, the Sawmill Crossing will differ from the existing housing through its architectural style: no New Urbanist vision here, no front porches, but garage doors are the dominant feature of its building’ fronts. Out of the 78 units, 44 have the potential for two-car garages. Garages are rare in this area, and the properties that lack them are usually deal breakers, stated Lynette Manzanares of Mercury Properties, the marketer of the townhomes in collaboration with Joe Corso.

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