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Group buys large chunk of Mesa del Sol

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

A large chunk of property at Mesa del Sol has a new owner.

MDS Funding, LLC, a newly formed investment group and a New Mexico-based company, said Tuesday that it had acquired 2,800 acres of land within the 12,900-acre master-planned community.

MDS Funding, LLC, a newly formed investment group and a New Mexico-based company, said Tuesday that it has acquired 2,800 acres within the 12,900-acre master-planned community.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed in a news release announcing the deal.

MDS Funding was established for leading the development of Mesa del Sol, and includes New Mexico business leaders Steven B. Chavez, chief executive officer of SC3 Development, the owner of the Aperture Center, a 78,000-square-foot office building at Mesa del Sol; construction company owner Rudy Guzman; Texas-based businessmen Eric Wieser, M.D.; and Dustin Ritchey.

Chavez said he is the principal investor, but he didn’t provide a full breakdown.

The seller was Land Advisors, which acquired the acreage in 2016 under a court-ordered receivership. Mesa del Sol is south of the Albuquerque International Sunport.

The purchase is another Albuquerque investment by Chavez, who, along with Guzman and Pete Daskolos, are partners in Gold Mesa Investments, which owns 80 acres of commercially zoned land and two buildings previously owned by Schott Solar in Mesa del Sol. That entity “will remain as is,” Chavez said in a phone interview.

Chavez also is the owner of Integrated Control Systems, an energy conservation-focused, automated building controls company. He recently sold WisePies Pizza & Salad to a St. Louis-based investment group.

“Mesa del Sol is key to Albuquerque’s long-term development plan,” Chavez said in the news release, adding that the land just acquired is mostly vacant. “The initial vision for Mesa del Sol was a creative and viable master-planned community for its time; however, the declining economy and numerous other factors did not allow for the execution of the vision. We have a team that is focused on renewed economic development in Albuquerque and determined to realize Mesa del Sol as a safe, smart and sustainable community.”

Already developed at Mesa del Sol is Innovation Park, home to the International School, ABQ Studios, Fidelity Investments and Molina Health Care Data Center, among others. The development also includes a small residential component.

The commercial/industrial land parcels acquired by MDS are positioned for future businesses, manufacturers and newly located corporations.

“For years, financial barriers kept Mesa del Sol from being considered as a serious opportunity,” Chavez said. “Today, we are bulldozing down those walls, and Mesa del Sol is open for business.”

The 2,800 acres was previously owned by Mesa del Sol LLC, a partnership between Covington Group, a Texas firm, and Forest City Enterprises of Ohio, which began development of Mesa del Sol in early 2005.

In 2015, PNC Bank filed a complaint against the companies regarding a $25 million loan. The bank alleged Mesa del Sol LLC had stopped making payments on the loan, which had an outstanding balance of about $17 million.

Geoff Wagner, president of First American Bank, an Albuquerque community bank, provided financing support for the purchase. Land Advisors Chief Executive Officer Greg J. Vogel and broker Rick Bressan were the seller’s agents for Mesa del Sol.

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