RIO RANCHO, N.M. — San Francisco native Paul Matamoros, an impact investor for Metro Properties Holding Company LLC, has a plan to build a four- to six-story multipurpose building on Southern Boulevard.
In fact, Matamoros and his partners at Optio Financing, based in California, are pushing for this proposed $11.5 million project to start soon. He said all he needs now are investors to help procure $2.5 million to get started on the first phase.
“Once I have that capital in place, my partners at Optio have promised to finance the rest of the money,” Matamoros said.
His vision is to build a mixed-use multi-story building on the corner of Southern Boulevard and 26th Street, just east of Bulldog Firearms.
“The first time I visited Rio Rancho, I was fascinated with Southern Boulevard because it was like the Nob Hill area for this city,” Matamoros said. “Where I come from, building on an already-established street is the way to go, and Southern Boulevard is very much that here.”
The exact proposal includes 50,000 square feet of retail space, 225 modern office spaces, 50 modern apartment studios and four penthouses. Plus, Matamoros said he envisions a rooftop garden area where people can gather and enjoy the view.
“The one thing that is needed here in Rio Rancho is multi-use buildings and apartments along with office spaces,” he said. “A multi-story building will help with the long-term growth of the city.”
The space that Matamoros and his partners are in the process of procuring consists of 2.8 acres of land in an L shape and runs behind the retail complex that houses Bulldog Firearms.
“This section is about a half a million dollars and has everything we need in terms of infrastructure,” he said.
According to Matamoros, he has already found an initial investor who is talking with an attorney to get on board.
When asked why he was so adamant about placing a building in this location, Matamoros said it’s because of the property’s proximity to an established main street.
“If a city wants to grow, it needs to expand its vision on what can be placed in it,” he said. “If you go down Southern Boulevard today, all you see are one-story buildings, which research has shown to look like a small town. I want to begin to create change in this area that will help propel Rio Rancho into the city it can be.”
Sandoval County Commission Chairman Dave Heil said Matamoros’ proposal is not much different from what the city already has.
“If you look around Rio Rancho, there are tall buildings surrounded by smaller buildings already,” Heil said. “The only thing to consider in this matter is if anyone would have an issue with regards to their view being taken away.”
Just a few hundred feet south of the almost-3-acre lot Matamoros and his partners are trying to procure is a neighborhood. Plus, established business are on the west and east sides of the property.
“Of course, the views people are more worried with are those of the Sandias, but still if this building is close to a residential area, there may be some complaints,” he said.
Heil said a multi-story building could actually be good for the area being proposed because it could draw more business to the area.
“I appreciate (Matamoros’) enthusiasm. That’s what makes projects work: people with passion,” he said. “The city doesn’t make this type of thing pop out of the ground; it takes somebody wanting to take a risk…from that standpoint, I applaud his efforts.”
Jerry Schalow, Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO, said he also appreciates what Matamoros is proposing but would like to see it scaled down to fit the area.
“Mixed use is a popular commodity these days,” Schalow said. “When you look at areas like Denver, Colo., and Scottsdale, Ariz., it has proven to be very successful.”
However, Schalow said one upgrade may not be enough for this area. Instead, Schalow proposed that Matamoros build a two- to three-story structure that would pave the way for similar structures to be built nearby.
“Nobody really knows what to do with some of that land in the area Matamoros is proposing to build on,” Schalow said. “In fact, if a two- to three-story building was to be placed on that corner, it would a good start for other buildings like it.”
On the east side of 26th Street, running up to 29th Street, are several patches of land for sale that Schalow said could be bought to create a modern look and compliment Matamoros’ plan.
“This is what I like to call the millennial footprint,” he said. “You have these two- to three-story structures that have retail on the first floor and living spaces on the top. Many cities and small towns have taken advantage of this model and it has worked.”
Matamoros said he believes in this project so much that he has put over a quarter of a million dollars of his own funds into promoting it.
“If I had even more money, I would be putting into this project myself,” he said. “I do really believe in this being the next step for Rio Rancho.”