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Highlands project near Pres has high-end ambitions


The signature project of phase two of The Highlands is a 228-unit multi-family community, which includes two levels of parking, resort style amenities, several two-story penthouses and ground floor retail. (COURTESY OF TITAN DEVELOPMENT AND MAESTAS DEVELOPMENT GROUP)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The development team behind The Highlands, a $95 million mixed-use development north of Central Avenue near Presbyterian Hospital, said the once-blighted area will be transformed into a transit-oriented village with apartments fetching some of the city’s highest rents, a Marriott Springhill Suites Hotel, multiple retail establishments and a food hall on par with those in larger cities.

“The whole idea is to create a (future) neighborhood on the order of Nob Hill and EDo,” east of Downtown, said Kurt Browning, chief development officer of Titan Development, which is partnering with Maestas Development Group on the ambitious, three-phase master plan to revitalize 11 acres.

Developers received the OK earlier this week from the city planning commission to proceed with a 228-unit, multi-family community with rents going for $2,500 on some of the larger penthouse units.

The targeted tenant mix will include downsizing Baby Boomers, medical staffers at nearby Presbyterian and Lovelace medical facilities and Downtown professionals. Ground-breaking is slated for the fourth quarter of this year.

Browning estimated 1,150 construction jobs and 425 permanent jobs for the five-block development.

The name of the apartment development is still in the works, said Browning. It will be connected to Presbyterian Hospital with a sky bridge.

Construction will commence this summer on the first phase, The Broadstone Highlands, a market rate 74-unit apartment project featuring studio, one- and -two-bedroom apartments.  Alliance Residential will be contractor and leasing agent for the Broadstone Highlands, which will feature controlled access, a pool, garages with dedicated spaces and a fitness center.

Phase Two of The Highlands master plan also includes a food hall with a variety of smaller, likely local, vendors. It could mean anything from an artisan baker to a food truck operator, said Josh Rogers, Titan’s director of multi-family division.

“This concept is so beneficial to the tenants. Rather than having to rent 3,000 square feet at $20 a foot, you can rent 400 square feet,” Rogers said.

Such halls are already common in other cities, like Los Angeles, Toronto and Denver. Businessman and hotelier Jim Long has a similar venture in the works for the Sawmill District, and the Green Jeans Farmery at Carlisle and Interstate 40 was born of a similar idea to bring small independent tenants — mostly in the food realm — together in a shipping container community.

The food hall is one of two retail buildings on The Highlands master plan, each estimated at 15,000 to 20,000 square feet. The tenant plan for the second is not yet settled. There is also 4,000 square feet of retail on the ground level of the apartment buildings.

Rogers calculated that once the 300-plus apartment units are fully leased, they will populate the area with about 500 new residents. The development will have electric car charging stations and be a block from an ART station. There will also be an Uber pickup and drop-off areas.