Project would be largest development in several years.
A multi-subdivision project planned for a vacant area about a mile south of Rio Rancho’s City Center will be the first major residential development since the city approved the Loma Colorado, Cabezon and Mariposa communities during the real-estate boom of a few years ago.
“I think it will send a signal that this type of (planned community) development is very much alive in Rio Rancho,” Mayor Tom Swisstack said.
The Rio Rancho housing market is improving, said Exit Realty Southwest qualifying broker Hal Barnett, but he added there are still many homes in foreclosure especially in Northern Meadows near the City Center.
Developers had designs on the location east of Unser, between Northern and Paseo del Volcan, before the economy tanked in late 2008.
Excalibur Realty Investments assembled the land for Stonegate and launched the project in spring 2008 intending to provide the infrastructure and include the cost in the price for mostly one-acre lots for custom homes. Los Alamos National Bank foreclosed on loans associated with the property in 2009. It is currently owned by Cascade Creek Holdings. The bank also owns the Tierra del Oro property.
The latest plans for Stonegate, Milagro Mesa and Tierra del Oro look set to involve public financing mechanisms that help the developer cover the cost of installing infrastructure such as roads, drainage and sewer lines.
City councilors in June approved an impact fee agreement and resolution of intent to consider an application by Coal Bank Holdings to create a public improvement district (PID) for Stonegate and a Tax Increment Development District (TIDD) covering all three subdivisions.
The six-phase development plan for Stonegate proposes building 823 single-family homes from the end of 2014 through early 2025 on a 160-acre parcel of vacant land between Unser and Broadmoor.
Milagro Mesa would have 124 single-family homes, Tierra del Oro would have 139 plus 95 townhomes and 238 multi-family units, as well as space for 111,670 square feet of retail and office space.
Single-family home prices will range from $150,000 to $450,000, townhomes will average about $150,000 and apartment rents will range from $800 to $1,200 per month.
The City Council will consider the PID and TIDD again at their meeting on July 24.
Creating a public improvement district allows a developer to issue bonds backed by payments from property owners to pay for infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer improvements. The tax district designation allows a developer to issue bonds to cover the upfront costs for infrastructure and get a percent of the tax revenue as reimbursement.
The impact-fee agreement means the developer will receive credits for infrastructure it installs that will benefit the wider community, such as roads that will connect to Unser and Broadmoor.
Coal Bank Holdings is owned by Scott Grady of Raylee Homes, a 37-year-old Rio Rancho-based company. Raylee has built homes in subdivisions such as Mesa del Sol and Volterra in south and east Albuquerque, Northern Meadows in Rio Rancho and Saltillo and Stormcloud on the West Side.
Coal Bank would install roads, landscaping and other infrastructure and issue 30-year bonds up to a maximum of $11.5 million in increments after 35 percent and 70 percent of the homes were sold.
Under the TIDD, Coal Bank could recoup 75 percent of the gross-receipts taxes generated from construction and business activity in the district for infrastructure it installs, up to $8.3 million.
By Rosalie Rayburn (Albuquerque Journal)
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