Copyright © 2013 Albuquerque Journal
Construction is expected to begin in early October on the $23 million Broadstone Cottonwood, a 254-unit luxury apartment project on the hill between the Intel Corp. plant in Rio Rancho and Albuquerque’s Cottonwood area.
A joint venture of Albuquerque’s Titan Development and Phoenix-based Alliance Residential, Broadstone Cottonwood will be built on 13.3 now-vacant acres on the west side of N.M. 528. It will consist of 24 mostly two- and three-story buildings with a total of 325,433 square feet of space, which includes rental garages.
Designed in what could be called a California Mission style of architecture, the Cottonwood project will be a variation of another Titan-Alliance collaboration, the 280-unit Broadstone Santa Monica apartments at 6401 Santa Monica NE, east across Interstate 25 from the Journal Center.
The Cottonwood and Santa Monica projects combined create work for about 700 workers in construction-related fields, said Titan President Drew Dolan.
More Class A
Broadstone Cottonwood isn’t the only new Class A apartment complex coming out of the ground on Albuquerque’s West Side.
In August, the city issued a building permit for the $18.8 million construction of the 241-unit Andalucia Villas at 5300 Antequera NW, near Coors and Montano. The Andalucia project will be green certified and have 380,188 square feet of space, a large footprint indicative of rental garages.
A representative of the Bossier City, La.-based developer of Andalucia has not responded to repeated messages from the Journal seeking an interview to talk about the project.
Titan-Alliance’s Broadstone Santa Monica is open to leasing, although construction is expected to continue through the end of the year. As of last week, leases have been signed for 120 of the 150 apartments that had been completed thus far, said Dolan. About 110 of those apartments are occupied.
“The lease-up pace has been better than expected,” he said. “It’s the nicest, newest product in the area, so by default, it’s getting a lot of attention.”
More Santa Monica
Preliminary planning is underway for a second phase of Santa Monica, consisting of about 180 units on nine acres, due to the successful early lease-up, he said.
Dolan said close to half of the early tenants were first-time movers to Albuquerque. Broadstone Santa Monica is a five-minute drive to and from San Antonio’s intersection with Jefferson, a commercial corridor that’s one of the metro’s major employment hubs.
A gated community, Santa Monica has a stylish clubhouse with a fitness center and outdoor swimming pool that Dolan credits with attracting tenants.
“That amenity is the first impression people have when they visit the community,” he said.
Referring to the Mission-inspired architectural style, with its tile roofs and detailing, Dolan said, “If you look closely, the buildings have a lot of features that give them depth and richness.”
Broadstone Cottonwood will vary from the Santa Monica project in no small degree because it’s being built on a slope, which will require extensive site work based on a plan developed by Ron Bohannan of Tierra West.
The total construction cycle is expected to run 24 months, with the first apartments becoming available in late 2014, Dolan said. The necessary retaining walls will be incorporated into the buildings, thus some will be two stories on the upslope side and three stories on the downslope side.
The Cottonwood project will have 112 one-bedroom, 112 two-bedroom and 30 three-bedroom apartments. The average preliminary rent, blended across all unit sizes, will be about $1,100 a month.
While Santa Monica’s clubhouse and pool are in a open setting, Broadstone Cottonwood’s clubhouse and pool will have a higher density of surrounding apartment buildings. Roof lines also have been flattened at the Cottonwood project to maximize views from neighboring buildings.
Journal Center plans
Broadstone Cottonwood likely will not be Titan-Alliance’s last apartment play.
Posted on Titan’s website is a conceptual plan for a mixed-use development on 15 acres at the southwest quadrant of the Paseo del Norte and I-25 interchange. The development includes a proposed 154-unit Broadstone Journal apartment component.
“Adding a multifamily component to the Journal Center will change the whole dynamic of a 9-to-5 business park to a 24/7 community,” Dolan said. “What’s envisioned for the Journal Center is more urban apartments – four stories with lobbies and elevators.”
Dolan wouldn’t give a timeline for the mixed-use development, called Legacy at Journal Center. Journal Center Corp. is a partner in the project.
Now that the massive, two-year reconstruction of the Paseo/I-25 interchange is finally to get under way, he said, “At least now you know. You can contemplate a timeline for development.”
The Broadstone Santa Monica, Broadstone Cottonwood and possible Broadstone Journal apartment projects reflect the latest trend in luxury apartment development, said Todd Clarke, an apartment broker and commercial real-estate consultant in Albuquerque.
Nicely appointed clubhouses for social interaction, resort-style swimming pools and rental garages are all common amenities for a Class A apartment community today, he said. Locations near employment hubs and public transportation, as well as amenities like restaurants and shopping, are also sought after.
“Five years ago before the downturn, (apartment) developers would come in from out of state looking to build a certain type of product,” Clarke said. “They would look at land prices and go further out to the suburbs where they could find (cheaper) land that worked at their price point. On the downside, this created sprawl.”
Citing some of the findings of the Mid Region Council of Governments’ 2035 Metropolitan Transportation Plan, he said the result points to “a disconnect between where the jobs are and where people live.”
The pace of multifamily housing construction, which includes all kinds of attached housing such as condos, duplexes and conventional apartments, has been comparatively moderate in the Albuquerque metro area over the past couple decades.
An average of 871 multifamily units were built each year from 1991-2000, compared with an average of 4,232 single-family homes built annually over the same period, according to building permit data compiled by DataTraq. The upshot is that 17 percent of all new housing units built during the 1990s were multifamily.
An average of 642 multifamily units were built each year from 2001-2010, compared with an average of 5,121 single-family homes built each year over the same period, according to DataTraq. Only 11 percent of all housing units built in the 2000s were multifamily.
In metros nationwide, on average, 25 percent of all new housing units are multifamily in any given year.
As a result of the comparatively moderate pace of multifamily construction in the metro, Albuquerque is generally not considered overbuilt when it comes to apartments.