Albuquerque Business First
Aug 14, 2015, 12:50pm MDT
Stephanie Guzman, Reporter

A 180-acre mixed-use development about a mile west of the Presbyterian Rust Medical Center is about to move into high gear after the Rio Rancho City Council approved the project’s zoning change and master plan this week.

Los Diamantes includes 109-acres of single-family homes and townhomes, a 63-acre business park and 8-acres of recreation park space. The land is owned by AB Southwest LLC.

Michael Skolnick, a qualifying broker with Excalibur Realty & Investment and a principal of the development, said the next step is to start the formation of a tax increment development district (TIDD).

“We’re going to continue the entitlement process going forward and we hope to be able to break ground by the start of next year,” Skolnick said.

Skolnick said the first phase will consist of the 63-acre business park and 110 residential lots.

Skolnick said his company is working with the Sandoval Economic Alliance to attract businesses to the site, in the hopes of bringing economic-based jobs. A report by the city of Rio Rancho showed the development of the business park would support a variety of employers, and could create approximately 1,400 jobs.

The project is expected to spur further development along Westside Boulevard. The developer will extend the artery, west of Unser Boulevard, to Viga Road.

Jeanie Springer-Knight, of Springer5 Investments and an active developer in the area, said a group of business leaders and stakeholders want to see Westside turned into a parkway. The parkway would be the main thoroughfare of the Unser Gateway, and act as a type of city center with a medical community focus.

“Westside Boulevard is the connector to become a community and it’s a street that will tie this whole thing together,” Springer-Knight said. “We want to market it as Rio Rancho’s newest and greatest planned community, which will keep people in Rio Rancho instead of them going down the hill to work and shop.”

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