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Fourth/Osuna may draw mixed-use development

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A large tract of land in the Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque could soon fill with residential and commercial development.

The 12.5-acre site on the southeast corner of 4th Street and Osuna Road, the bulk of which is owned by the village, is envisioned as a pedestrian-friendly and vibrant mixed-use hub, a Los Ranchos official said.

The municipality issued a request for proposals in April, and three bidders are vying to become the master developer of the project, said Kelly Ward, village administrator. According to the RFP, the Village Center project calls for “high-quality commercial (development) at medium density in addition to some residential use and a public plaza.” The village seeks to partner with an experienced developer with the requisite finances to acquire, develop, operate and own the land, the majority of which was acquired by Los Ranchos during the past 10 years, said Ward. He said the village owns 11.5 acres and has agreements in principal with the rest of the landowners to sell.

The site includes properties that meet the criteria for blight set out in the Metropolitan Redevelopment Act, including deteriorated or deteriorating structures, said Ward.

The three groups seeking to develop the site are:

— Palindrome Communities. While based in Portland, Ore., the company is behind the recent El Vado redevelopment on Central.

— Yes Housing Development Communities and Maestas Development Group, both of which are based in Albuquerque

— Osuna Mercado LLC, an entity formed by Mosher Enterprises Inc., the company behind the One Central project Downtown and homebuilder Las Ventanas, both of which are based in Albuquerque.

“We are pleased with the submittals in terms of the companies’ reputations in the community,” said Ward.

At this stage, he said the contents are confidential while a review committee “drills down” on the merits and specifics of each proposal.

Chad Rennaker, president of Palindrome Communities, in a previous interview with the Journal said his bid would encompass a microbrewery with an “instructional” component, micro restaurants and small retail shops like those at El Vado. He provided no other details on the project or its estimated cost.

According to development guidelines set out by the RFP, the Center, when completed, “will serve as an economic catalyst, promoting business and retail activity in the surrounding area. Any plan for the Center should incorporate a format that favors pedestrian traffic and activity.”

It also calls for a broad range of retail and commercial activities, which could include an incubator, “tiny shop” and co-op spaces.

“The village will offer parcels that it owns through the sale or long-term ground lease to the selected developer for ‘fair value,'” according to the RFP.

The village is planning to present a proposed contract to the board of trustees on Sept. 12.

Maestas Development Group/Yes Housing declined to provide any specifics about their proposal and representatives from Osuna Mercado LLC did not return calls seeking comment.