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Rise + Roast, Itsa Italian Ice get OK for RR restaurants

This rendering shows the Rise + Roast Donuts + Coffee shop planned to be built on Unser Boulevard in Rio Rancho. Courtesy rendering.

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — The Rio Rancho Governing Body approved site plans for two new restaurants Thursday night.

During the virtually held meeting, Rise + Roast Donuts + Coffee and Itsa Italian Ice separately received unanimous approval to build restaurants in Unser Gateway. Both must still get building permits and follow other development procedure.

The Rise + Roast site is on Unser Boulevard, between Nusenda Credit Union and Taco Cabana. According to city information, the 1,300-square-foot building will have indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a drive-up window.

Clint Wilsey of 66 Architect LLC, working on the project for owner Doug Adams, said he hoped to turn in materials for a permit well before Christmas and start construction as soon as possible.

“We’re anxious to get this out of the ground and give the people of Rio Rancho another alternative for coffee and doughnuts,” Wilsey said.

Rise + Roast is based in Albuquerque.

Itsa Italian Ice is slated to have a 2,500-square-foot building at 1707 Wellspring Ave., northwest of La Esperanza Pre-School. According to the site plan, the restaurant will have an apartment above it and a food-truck parking space on the property.

“I’m very intrigued by the concept and kind of excited about it,” Mayor Gregg Hull said of the building-food truck combination.

Developer Mike Skolnick said Itsa is moving from Albuquerque. Having lived in the area 47 years, he remembers its original location and said Itsa had the best Italian ice.

One household sent a letter opposing the site plan. James and Janet Mura, who live across Wellspring from the Itsa site, complained that the restaurant wouldn’t fit the character of the area and they had been told the land would host medical services, which they preferred.

In other business, governing body members:

• Awarded an almost $2 million contract to Albuquerque Asphalt Inc. for King Boulevard rehabilitation from Rainbow Boulevard to Wilpett Road.

• Awarded a $4.5 million contract to Albuquerque Asphalt for rehabilitation of Unser from Southern Boulevard to the city limits.

• Awarded a $1.4 million contract to replace more than 700 water service lines to New Concepts Inc.

• Increased the construction budget for the second senior center by $150,000 and for Campus Park by $60,000 to cover unexpected costs, mainly in bringing electricity to the sites in City Center. The additional money for Campus Park is coming from the Higher Education Gross Receipts Tax Fund, and the money for the senior center from the general fund. Acting City Manager Peter Wells said with the city’s $15 million reserve in the general fund, moving $150,000 out of it wouldn’t make a significant impact.

• Heard Councilor Jim Owen declare his intent to bring forward for reconsideration a land-use zoning amendment that would change a section of land southwest of Camino Encantadas from low-density single-family housing to higher density single-family housing. The governing body voted down the change Oct. 22.

• Watched Hull’s annual State of the City address on video;

• Denied a zone change from low-density single-family housing to neighborhood commercial on the grounds that the applicant wasn’t there to answer questions.

• Postponed a decision on a zone change in the Mountain Hawk subdivision until Jan. 12.



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