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New apartments to rise in the city’s Sawmill area


Construction of the 58-unit Madeira Crossing at 1741 Bellamah NW is expected to get under way soon. (Courtesy of Dekker Perich Sabatini)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Construction is expected to begin as early as next week on the 57-unit Madeira Crossing apartments in what has been one of the metro’s biggest ongoing infill developments.

The latest joint venture between Portland, Ore.-based PacifiCap Properties Corp. and the Sawmill Community Land Trust, Madeira Crossing will be a mix of 34 market-rate and 23 income-restricted apartments in the Sawmill area just north of Old Town.

The city building permit gives a construction cost of $5.5 million for the 68,500-square-foot building. The units are mostly two and three bedroom.

“When these 57 units are completed, we’ll have more than 200 units there,” PacifiCap’s Chad Rennaker told the Journal. “It continues to surprise me how well these units absorb. The income-restricted properties are at full occupancy all the time. The market-rate properties have exceeded expecations.”

Located at 1741 Bellamah NW, Madeira Crossing is across from The Artisan, a pair of buildings completed in 2011 with commercial space on the ground floor and 60 apartments on the upper two floors. The Artisan was also a joint venture between the land trust and PacifiCap.

Their first joint venture was the 46-unit Villa Nueva, which is restricted to renters aged 55 and over and is part of the Sawmill Community Land Trust’s original Arbolera de Vida redevelopment of 27 acres of former industrial land.

On its own, PacifiCap built The Mix, which has Ponderosa Brewing Co. in commercial space on the first floor and 20 apartments on the upper two floors, and the 27-apartment The Mix II in the area.

“This is prime property close to Downtown and close to freeway access — we don’t see that here in Portland,” Rennaker said. “We wanted to create a young, energetic environment.”

The Sawmill area is bounded by Interstate 40 to the north and Mountain Road to the south, 12th Street to the east and Rio Grande Boulevard to the west. The Sawmill area comprises a total of about 269 acres, according to the city Planning Department.

The infill development activity has been concentrated on about 110 acres once used by a long-gone lumber businesses.