2015 was the year the industrial market heated up, more apartment complexes sold to out-of-state investors and auctions were the new tool to unload assets.
While there were plenty of deals made this year, we combed through our archives to pick out the top news stories that made waves, or had a far-reaching impact on the local business and real estate community.
Take a look back at the year that included a hotelier buying up some of New Mexico’s best assets, a big purchase in Los Lunas and, of all things, Jane Fonda.
1. Jim Long on acquisition spree
The Heritage Hotels & Resorts CEO bought two high-profile properties in the state this year. First, under the Heritage Hotels banner, Long purchased the El Monte Sagrado in Taos from the Kessler Collection, a luxury hotels and resorts brand based out of Florida. The purchase reflected Heritage Hotels’ strategy, which is to acquire and operate culturally-designated hotels focused along New Mexico’s I-25 corridor.
The second big purchase seemed to come out of the blue. Long, along with several other partners, purchased One Park Square and the nearby retail property. According to financial documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Equity Commonwealth, the seller of One Park Square, the sale price was $34.3 million.
The Class A office complex One Park Square purchase marks the second high-profile Albuquerque office complex with Long’s name on it. Long and his partners also own Albuquerque Plaza at 201 Third St. NW.
2. The all-cash industrial purchase
Albuquerque’s industrial market heated up this year. There were deals such as the out-of-state buyer who scooped up Hawkins Business Center. And Gandy Dancer Railroad and Excavating Services bought the former AS Horner Inc. building for its new headquarters.
But it was an all-cash deal in Los Lunas that made big news. The New Mexico real estate company RIO Real Estate Investment Opportunities purchased the former home of cabinet maker Merillat. The 360,000-square-foot industrial facility is the state’s largest warehouse on the market. The new property owners said it was an economic development opportunity it planned to hold for Las Cruces.
3. An auction in Santa Fe, with surprising results
Some were surprised when the well-known Santa Fe shopping center Sanbusco Market Center was put up for auction in July. At the time, the 88,712-square-foot retail center was only 64 percent occupied. When the bidding closed at $7.3 million, the new owners made an even more surprising announcement—the shopping center would be converted into the New Mexico School for the Arts. The new owners are a group led by prominent Santa Fe philanthropists Catherine Oppenheimer and Garrett Thornburg.
4. A ranch fit for Jane Fonda
Actress Jane Fonda’s ranch, the 2,300-acre property east of Santa Fe called Forked Lightning Ranch, sold in September. The ranch was listed for $19.5 million.
While the real estate agent on the deal couldn’t disclose the buyer, he said the new owner is local with New Mexico ties. The purchase and property included a nearly 10,000-square-foot home called the River House, extensive natural pastures and trails for horseback riding and hiking.
5. The biggest IRB in county history
Bernalillo County commissioners gave final approval in October for a $100 million industrial revenue bond to Wagner Equipment Co. It’s the largest bond awarded in the county’s history. The bond will allow the company to build a new facility in the South Valley. Wagner Equipment will construct a 200,000-square-foot office, a warehouse and shop on its new site. The expansion is expected to create 100 new long-term jobs.
By: Stephanie Guzman (Albuquerque Business First)
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