City takes control of the Rail Yards - Albuquerque Journal

City takes control of the Rail Yards

Mayor Tim Keller tears up a contract with the previous developer of the Albuquerque Rail Yards as he announces that the city has taken over control of the site at a news conference Sunday during the market held on the property every week. Rail Yards Market manager Alaska Piper, left, applauds the announcement. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

The city is taking over efforts to remediate and revitalize the historic Albuquerque Rail Yards after breaking ties with the out-of-state contractor tasked with redeveloping the property.

During a news conference Sunday at the Rail Yards Market, Mayor Tim Keller tore apart a contract between the city and Samitaur Constructs, a California-based contractor hired in 2012 to develop the site.

“We have decided to take back control over the Rail Yards. That’s right, the city’s taking it back,” Keller told reporters and a crowd of market-goers. “And so it’s gonna be a long road ahead, but it’s gonna be our road. It’s gonna be a path we take together.”

Keller said the city will, for now, stick to a previously approved “master vision” for the 27.3 acre property, but it will break the plan into phases. The first priority after extensive environmental remediation will be to “activate” the building adjacent to the already-updated blacksmith shop, which is home to the weekly market. A second updated building will mean additional event space and market expansion.

“We’re also going to look at how it might be a workspace for the creative economy during the day and not on the weekends, and then at night and on the weekends we’ll use it for event and community space,” Keller said.

As far as the market goes, manager Alaska Piper said she will have no trouble filling that extra space. The event receives around 500 applications from potential vendors each year, and the blacksmith shop can hold about 110 booths.

To make that a reality, Keller plans to ask for help from the City Council, the state Legislature and the governor. He estimated that remediation would cost around $8 million and rehabbing the second building would be another “couple of million dollars.”

The announcement follows a finding by the Albuquerque Development Commission in July that Samitaur had not employed reasonable diligence for a second consecutive year, which meant the city could terminate its contract with the company.

Keller said the city is also switching management of the facility over to SMG, the company contracted to run the Albuquerque Convention Center, in hopes of increasing its use.

“Eventually we are gonna get this place to be the community treasure that we know it is,” Keller said.

Home » News » Albuquerque News » City takes control of the Rail Yards


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Emptying the Notebook: House showing growth
ABQnews Seeker
More notes, quotes, stats and analysis ... More notes, quotes, stats and analysis from Saturday's Lobo game, including how Jaelen House's game continues to grow this season.
2
WIPP begins filling new disposal area
ABQnews Seeker
New area consists of seven separate ... New area consists of seven separate rooms for placing special boxes and barrels
3
City, UNM hope to reduce live animal testing
ABQnews Seeker
City Council OKs plan to reuse ... City Council OKs plan to reuse normally-discarded animal tissue for research
4
ABQ native son, Navy vice admiral was at Pentagon ...
ABQnews Seeker
John Mateczun maintained strong ties to ... John Mateczun maintained strong ties to New Mexico
5
Acequias face challenges, uncertain future
ABQnews Seeker
Fire, flood damage to NM irrigation ... Fire, flood damage to NM irrigation ditches threaten a way of life
6
Pretty or not, Lobos improve to 5-0
ABQnews Seeker
UNM's defense was on point Saturday ... UNM's defense was on point Saturday night and a strong second half led the Lobos to their first 5-0 start since the 2012-13 season. ...
7
New venture plans to launch technological revolution in ...
ABQnews Seeker
AFF, America's Frontier Fund, aims to ... AFF, America's Frontier Fund, aims to rebuild US technological lead
8
Judge, pets killed by husband in murder-suicide
ABQnews Seeker
Diane Albert, resident of Los Ranchos, ... Diane Albert, resident of Los Ranchos, mourned by officials and friends
9
Buffalo 'walk in two worlds' – the ...
ABQnews Seeker
Some 82 tribes across the U.S. ... Some 82 tribes across the U.S. now have more than 20,000 bison in 65 herds