Albuquerque Rail Yards Master Plan Process
The City and Samitaur Constructs, Master Developer of the Rail Yards, are pleased to announce the development of a Master Plan to guide the redevelopment of the City-owned Rail Yards site in Barelas.
Draft concepts for the Master Plan were first presented presented at a public meeting in Barelas in late 2012 and several additional meetings to consider these concepts followed. Information and ideas from these discussions were used to inform the Draft Master Plan, which is available for public review below. Additionally, you may download a document containing answers to frequently asked questions about the Master Plan process and the concepts developed by Samitaur Constructs and the Planning Team by clicking here: Frequently Asked Questions
Draft Albuquerque Rail Yards Master Plan Now Available For Review
This Draft Master Plan is the culmination of a two-year planning and design process initiated by the City for this 27.3-acre site. It reflects the involvement of many stakeholders, including the Rail Yards Advisory Board, the Barelas, South Broadway and San Jose Neighborhood Associations, WHEELS Museum, the New Mexico Steam Locomotive and Railroad Historical Society and the general public. The document is intended to provide the necessary guidance for long-term redevelopment of the Rail Yards property. Because of large size of this file, it is divided into four sections. You may download them (or view them in most browsers) by clicking on the following links:
- Section 1 (includes Executive Summary, Existing Conditions, Public Input Process, Zoning Compliance & Regulatory Framework, Goals & Policies)
- Section 2 (includes Master Plan, Landscape Master Plan)
- Section 3 (includes Design Performance Standards, Infrastructure, Implementation & Phasing, Sources & Credits)
- Section 4 (Appendix)
Rail Yards Advisory Board Meeting
The Draft Plan will be presented to the Rail Yards Advisory Board during a public meeting on Thursday, Sept. 26th at 3 p.m. in the City Council Committee Room, 9th Floor, City Hall. This meeting will be conducted as a work session between the Advisory Board and the Planning Team. You may view the agenda by clicking here. The public is welcome to attend and observe, however, there will be no public comment taken. The Rail Yards Advisory Board would appreciate your comments prior to the meeting via one of the following methods:
- Comment Form: Click here to submit your comment in an online form.
- EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and physical address in your email, and please use the subject line “Rail Yards Master Plan.”
- MAIL: Send written comments City of Albuquerque Planning Department, 600 Second Street NW, 3rd Floor, Albuquerque, NM 87102 . Please include your name and physical address.
- Fax: 505-924-3339, Attention Petra Morris
- Si prefiere comunicarse en español: contacte a Gabriel Rivera, Departamento de Planificación de Albuquerque (email@example.com o 505-924-3356).
There will be several further opportunities to provide written and/or verbal comments. The anticipated next steps following a recommendation from the Rail Yards Advisory Board are that the Master Plan will be submitted to the Environmental Planning Commission for review and recommendation. During the EPC review, the public may comment in person at the hearings and /or send written comments to the Planning Department for inclusion in the file. Once the City Council receives the EPC recommendations, the plan will move on to review and adoption by the City Council. We welcome and encourage you to submit comments either in person at the hearings and/or in writing to the City Council. We will provide information about how to submit written comment to the EPC and Council on this site when the Plan adoption process enters those stages.
Previous Events and Documents
First Presentation of the DRAFT Master Plan – Oct. 25, 2012:
To download a written summary of the October 25th meeting and public discussion, click here: Rail Yards Master Plan Community Meeting Summary
The documents linked below contain the visuals, provided as reference materials, from the Rail Yards Master Plan public meeting presentation. What was presented illustrates an early stage concept of how the Master Developer is recommending to organize the Rail Yards site for future redevelopment. Included in the proposal are ideas about:
- Where to locate particular uses (e.g., public gathering spaces, cultural facilities, housing, areas for private development)
- How to access and park at the site
- Connections to, from, and through the site to the adjoining neighborhoods
- Special site features and design elements
- Phasing of development
The City welcomes your questions and comments about these initial concepts. Feedback will be used to revise the Master Plan. We invite you to submit comments or questions via the online comment form (See "Submitting Comments on the Master Plan" below) and join us for the next public meeting on the Master Plan on Saturday, Dec. 1 (details to be announced).
Unless noted otherwise, all materials, including images and words, that have been produced by the Master Developer, Samitaur Constructs, are property of Samitaur Constructs, and are intended as reference material for viewing only; this content cannot be printed, published, disseminated or used other than expressly intended without prior written permission from Samitaur Constructs.
Download the Draft Rail Yards Master Plan presentation document in sections using the following links:
Download the entire document by clicking here: Draft Rail Yards Master Plan Presentation
Please note: this is a large file and may take some time to download.
Follow-Up Meeting – Dec.1, 2012:
During this meeting, Samitaur Constructs again presented redevelopment concepts for the site and the City of Albuquerque offered guided walking tours of the existing buildings on the site. Members of the public visited with the project team and City officials and offered comments and reactions. To download a written summary of the Dec. 1 meeting and public discussion, click here: Rail Yards Master Plan Dec. 1 Meeting Summary
On August 23 and 25, 2012, the City and Samitaur Constructs held three community kick-off meetings to explain the planning process, introduce the team, and receive initial feedback from the public. The following documents contain the facilitators' summary of the three meetings, comment cards filled out by meeting participants, and notes that were recorded on flip charts during break-out sessions:
Rail Yards Master Plan Meetings
Thursday, August 23, 2012
National Hispanic Cultural Center
Kick-off meeting for General Public – Introduction to project and team / Solicit ideas
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Barelas Community Center
Kick-off meeting for Barelas community – Introduction to project and team / Solicit ideas
Saturday, August 25, 2012
South Broadway Cultural Center
Kick-off meeting for South Broadway community – Introduction to project and team / Solicit ideas
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Barelas Community Center, 801 Barelas Rd. SW
Follow-up Workshop – Present Master Plan Draft #1
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Rail Yards Site
Follow-up Workshop – Present Master Plan Draft #2
Requirements and Guiding Principles of the Master Plan
The overarching goal of this Master Plan will be to find new, sustainable uses for the Rail Yards site that preserve its historic architecture and complement surrounding neighborhoods. Because of the funding sources the City used to purchase the site, the redevelopment of the Rail Yards must include a minimum of 30 units of Workforce Housing, as defined by City Ordinance, and a WHEELS Museum. Other uses will be determined through the Master Plan process. The following seven principles, which formed the basis of the Master Plan Agreement between the City and Samitaur, will guide the development of the Master Plan:
- Job Generation. The Project Area was once an economic pillar for the community and must become one again. The Master Plan should accommodate uses which provide the opportunity for the generation of quality, living- and high-wage jobs and programs which will link those jobs with community residents.
- Housing. Housing availability is an important element of the Master Plan. The Master Plan will provide for the targeted housing (minimum 30 units of Workforce Housing). The Master Plan should also endeavor to provide additional affordable and market rate housing if deemed feasible. The Master Plan should consider and coordinate the housing component with the City’s ongoing efforts to rehabilitate existing housing. The Workforce Housing should seek to preserve the neighborhood heritage and interface with employment and service opportunities.
- Community. The Master Plan for the Project Area will reflect efforts to be sensitive to and interface with the surrounding neighborhoods, including Barelas, South Broadway and San Jose. Uses in the Master Plan will reflect efforts to complement and support adopted plans for and commercial areas within the surrounding neighborhoods. The Master Plan will reflect efforts to support current and planned economic activity in the Downtown area and, where physically and economically possible, reinforce the City’s transit goals and objectives and integrate with and complement existing and proposed features and attractions in the area (e.g., the Albuquerque Zoo and BioPark, Tingley Beach, Rio Grande State Park, the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the South Broadway Cultural Center, Old Town and its museums, Downtown Albuquerque and its amenities, the Alvarado Transportation Center, the Historic 4th Street Corridor, etc.).
- Architecture and Historic Preservation. The Master Plan must both preserve and capitalize on the historic value of the architectural and engineering resources at the site. The City and Samitaur share the belief that the site has local, national, and international cultural and historic significance.
- Art and Culture. The Master Plan will include opportunities for both art and culture, including, but not limited to the WHEELS Museum. Access to public open spaces within the Project Area will be provided.
- Economic Development. The Master Plan will be designed to achieve economic and business success for the Project Area.
- Economic Viability. These Guiding Principles are subject to the overarching need for the Master Plan to create a Project Area that is an economically viable endeavor individually and collectively for the City, Samitaur, WHEELS Museum, Workforce Housing, tenant/users, the public and surrounding communities without creating a need for indefinite direct and/or indirect City or Samitaur funding.
Download a PDF map of of the Albuquerque Rail Yards by clicking here.
Rail Yards Master Developer
In 2010, the City issued a Request for Proposals for a Master Developer for the Rail Yards. Through this competitive process, the City selected the team of California-based developers Samitaur Constructs and Albuquerque-based Union Development Corporation. The City entered into a Master Plan Agreement with Samitaur Constructs in June 2012.
This site and its significant historic structures, located in the historic Barelas neighborhood and between the rail road tracks and 2nd Street, reflect an important part of Albuquerque's economic and industrial past. The Atlantic and Pacific Railroad established locomotive repair shops and offices at the site in the 1880s and these were modernized and expanded by the Santa Fe Railway from 1912 onwards. The Santa Fe Railway was one of Albuquerque's biggest employers and played a significant role in the development of the city. The shops were in full operation until the 1950s, with the switch from steam engines to diesel engines. After the switch from steam to diesel, the rail yards continued to be used for some repairs and storage.
Information for this section came from Chris Wilson, J.B. Jackson Professor of Cultural Landscape Studies and Director of the Historic Preservation and Regionalism Program, both at the School of Architecture and Planning, University of New Mexico
History of the Rail Yards Site: An assessment of significance.
Following the City's purchase of the Rail Yards in 2007, the City of Albuquerque, along with the Wheels Museum and the University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning, invited the Urban Land Institute to conduct an Advisory Services Panel to help the City determine the potential best and highest uses for redeveloping the site. The ULI panel visited for five days, from February 24-29, 2008. The panel, composed of nine experienced individuals involved in planning, architecture and real estate development, was given four non-negotiable parameters:
- The major buildings and the smaller historically significant buildings must be rehabilitated;
- The Wheels Museum will locate its operations in one or more of the historic buildings;
- Redevelopment must have a mixed-income housing component that includes workforce housing;
- Redevelopment must benefit the adjacent neighborhoods.
With these parameters in mind the ULI panel was asked to address a series of questions. Read more: Rail Yard Questions >>
The ULI panel produced a series of recommendations focused on four areas: market potential, planning and design, development strategies, and implementation.
- Market Potential- Various uses are possible on the site but the site's master developer will need to find an anchor user, whether it is conventional retail, commercial, or industrial.
- Planning and Design- No single use or user is likely for the site; therefore, a phased development program is appropriate.
- Development Strategies- The city should select the master developer and the property should be rendered as appealing as possible by eliminating the hurdles to successful development.
- Implementation- Pre-development strategies should include appropriate marketing of the site and the creation of an advisory board to oversee the development process.
The ULI panel report concluded that several steps should be followed prior to the redevelopment of the Rail Yards. One of these steps was to create an advisory board whose responsibilities would include hiring the writer of the RFP, selecting finalists for the RFP and selecting the master developer. The Albuquerque Rail Yards Advisory Board was created in March 2008.
Rail Yards Advisory Board
The Rail Yards Advisory Board was formed in March 2008 through Bill no. F/SR-08-47. The composition of the Rail Yards Advisory Board is intended to reflect the diverse interests and stakeholders associated with the site. The following is a list of the Board members and who they represent.
|Mayor or Mayor's designee||Gilbert Montano, Deputy CAO|
|District 3 City Councilor||Isaac Benton, City Councilor|
|Governor's Representative||Currently Vacant|
|Senate District 12||Jerry Ortiz y Piño, State Senator|
|Senate District 14||Eric Griego, State Senator|
|House District 11||Rick Miera, State Representative|
|House District 14||Miguel Garcia, State Representative|
|House District 18||Gail Chasey, State Representative|
|District 2 County Commissioner||Art De La Cruz, Commissioner|
|Wheels Museum||Leba Freed, President|
|Barelas Neighborhood||Ron Romero, Primary neighborhood representative|
|Barelas Neighborhood||Daniel Gutierrez, Alternate neighborhood representative|
|South Broadway Neighborhood||Diana Dorn-Jones, Primary neighborhood representative|
|South Broadway Neighborhood||Janice Convery, Alternate neighborhood representative|
|ULI-NM District Council||Jay Rembe, Partner, Infill Solutions|
|Workforce Housing Developer||Currently vacant|
The Rail Yards Advisory Board began meeting in April 2009. Agendas, minutes, presentations and other materials from each Board meeting are available.