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BernCo inks deal for tiny homes village

The tiny homes have a home.

The Bernalillo County Commission last week formally approved a lease and operating agreement with the Albuquerque Indian Center to host the Tiny Home Village. Construction of the 30-unit village is expected to begin later this year on the Southeast Albuquerque property.

The Tiny Home Village will offer transitional housing in a series of 120-square-foot abodes with a bed, desk and storage. The village will have a central community building with a commercial kitchen, restrooms, office space and more.

The 30-year lease starts at $20,000 annually and increases 2% each year after. The five-year operating agreement is $230,000 annually. The money comes from the health care gross receipts taxes, according to a county financial analysis.

The village idea met fierce resistance from some neighborhoods originally considered for its location, but the nonprofit Albuquerque Indian Center subsequently came forward to welcome the project on its property at 105 Texas SE.

Commissioner Debbie O’Malley referenced the fraught site selection process prior to the board’s vote on the contracts.

“I took quite a beating, but I think it was all worth it – soon to be forgotten as soon as we start to get on something good,” she said. “That’s what’s important.”

Commission Chair Maggie Hart Stebbins applauded O’Malley for finding a workable solution.

“Commissioner O’Malley had incredible courage to keep going to meetings when people were not particularly welcoming, but I think what we saw (with the renderings) really demonstrates the vision (she) had that it is going to be a beautiful asset for the neighborhood,” Hart Stebbins said.

NAME TIME: Guess we can call it BC@AS for short?

Officials last week settled on a name for Bernalillo County’s forthcoming Downtown headquarters, with the commission voting to call it Bernalillo County @ Alvarado Square, a nod to the building’s longtime identity.

The decision came a month after the County Commission balked at a committee’s recommendation to call the building the “Bernalillo County Government Center.” One commissioner called that “boring.”

The county subsequently asked the public for input and received more than 30 suggestions. Submissions included: Bernalillo County One Stop, BernCo Plaza, BernCo Biz, Bernplex, 415 Silver (after its address), OMNI Bernalillo County Services Center, the John F. Kennedy Center for Innovative Government and one I’m assuming received little traction: Corrupt Boondogle (sic) Pl.

The county is spending about $53 million on the headquarters, including acquisition, renovation, construction and security costs. Offices should open there in early 2021.

Jessica Dyer: