Developers, city and county officials broke ground on Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co.‘s $20 million to $25 million rail-served industrial park located on 1,400 acres near Los Lunas on Wednesday. Dirt was moved as construction began on a rail spur that will connect the BNSF line to what could be central New Mexico’s largest rail-served industrial park when built out.
The groundbreaking has created excitement among manufacturing companies, according to RIO Real Estate Investment Opportunities, LLC, the project’s developers.Federal, state and local officials joined private sector partners on Wednesday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Central New Mexico Rail Park. (Bernalillo County)
“We’ve had up to six inquiries already from major companies looking at the Southwest and looking at rail-served opportunities,” said Lawrence Rael, a partner of Rio Real Estate, following the groundbreaking. He said he could not yet name the companies due to nondisclosure agreements.
What is being dubbed the Central New Mexico Rail Park could transform New Mexico’s transportation and logistics industry while creating thousands of jobs, county officials and developers involved with the project said. Earlier this month the Bernalillo County Commission approved a memorandum of understanding that would reimburse the Village of Los Lunas up to $400,000 to construct the rail spur between the rail park and the existing BNSF rail line.
Rael said the regional cooperation is the first he has seen of its kind for the state.
“To me as a former MRCOG director and citizen of this state, it’s exactly what we need to be doing. What’s good for Valencia County is going to be good for Bernalillo and vice versa,” he said. “For us, the investment from Bernalillo County in this is significant. It not only validates this is a regional facility, it validates we’re open for business in central New Mexico.”
Located west of Los Lunas near the BNSF Railway, the park site is considered a central connection between southern California and Chicago.
Rio Real Estate owner Tim Cummins also owns the Merillat facility in Los Lunas and the nearby Los Morros Business Park. He said following the groundbreaking, the inquiries made about the park have been surprising.
“When we started working on this, we anticipated it being mainly warehouse and distribution logistics kind of jobs. But since we went public on it, pretty much all of it has been manufacturing inquiries,” he said. “There’s some pent-up demand in central New Mexico for rail uses for business and for manufacturing.”
Los Luna is also the future home of a Facebook data center just off I-25.
“We’ve got this one, we’ve got Facebook. We’ve got a lot of momentum in the village,” said Ralph Mims, economic development manager for Los Lunas, following the groundbreaking. “We’re looking at 5,000 jobs potentially once we bring the industry, manufacturing and wholesaling into this location.”
By: Rachel Sapin (Albuquerque Business First)
Click here to view source article.