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Utility ‘spaghetti’ delays Central Ave. development

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Delays in removing old utilities are pushing back the construction timetable for the first phase of The Highlands, according to the development team behind the $90 million mixed-use community.

Construction that was scheduled to start this summer on the 74-unit The Broadstone Highlands now will begin in September or October, said Josh Rogers, Titan Development’s director of the multi-family division.

Rogers and Kurt Browning, Titan’s chief development officer, said building permits probably will be pulled with the city in early July, once removal crews work through the old infrastructure issues.

“There are aging water lines and a spaghetti-like network of utilities that no one knew existed,” which are being decommissioned and replaced, Browning said.

Albuquerque-based Titan, which is known for developing luxury apartments with high-end amenities, is partnerning with Maestas Development Group on the ambitious, three-phase master plan to revitalize 11 acres across from Presbyterian Hospital.  The project area is bound by I-25 to the west, Central to the south, Sycamore Street to the east and Copper Avenue to the north.

Once done, The Highlands will include a 228-unit apartment community, a hotel, multiple retail establishments and a food hall modeled on the kinds found in Denver and Portland.

The delay on the initial 2.2-acre buildout, which will cost $12 million, is not without some advantages, according to Browning.

Construction on the ART  project “will be farther along once we start gaining steam”on The Broadstone, he said, meaning there should be fewer traffic impacts. In addition, construction will be close to completion at Presbyterian, where a multi-million project is underway to improve parking and move the hospital’s main entrance to Spruce Street.

Most of the older buildings and homes on the property slated for redevelopment have been demolished, save for couple in use as construction offices.

Alliance Residential will be the contractor and leasing agent for the residences, which will feature controlled access, a pool, garages with dedicated spaces and a fitness center.

The developers said The Highlands name was chosen because it was the original name of the neighborhood in 1886.

Browning estimated the five-block development would generate 1,150 construction jobs and 425 permanent jobs.