Top NAIOP New Mexico projects announced

From the Albuquerque Journal

By Richard Metcalf / Journal Staff Writer

An emerging transportation hub that “secures New Mexico’s future as a leader in the goods-movement industry” got top recognition Friday at the annual Awards of Excellence luncheon by NAIOP, the commercial real-estate development association.

Union Pacific’s new railroad facility near Santa Teresa – the so-called Strauss Yard – is a $400 million, from-the-ground-up construction project that received the NAIOP Chairman’s Award for its positive impact on the state’s economy.

See the Monday Business Outlook for a detailed story on all the winning projects including owners, general contractors, developers, engineers, landscapers and architects.

“For the first time, New Mexico will have a key inland port, positioning the area as a strategic focal point for goods movement in the southwestern United States,” said the awards video played to the luncheon crowd of just over 500 at the Albuquerque Marriott.

The Omaha, Neb.-based railroad is building the facility as a crew-change point, fueling station and intermodal transportation hub, where cargo is transferred from train to truck or vice versa. Scheduled for completion in 2014, the project is creating 3,000 jobs during its more-than-two-year build-out.

Gov. Susana Martinez, who signed a locomotive fuel exemption bill that helped land the project, joined railroad officials accepting the award Friday. She said the project has “huge potential” as a job generator in southern New Mexico for years.

Also at the luncheon, NAIOP honored one of its past chairs, Chuck Gara, by announcing that it was naming its annual Community Leader Award after him. Gara, who died earlier this year, was described as “ethical, smart, funny, knowledgeable, self-deprecating and kind.”

The first recipient of the rebranded Chuck Gara Community Leader Award is Ronald R. Bohannan, president of Tierra West LLC, a land-use planning, civil engineering and development management company in Albuquerque.

Here are the 11 Eagle Award winners:

CIVIC/PUBLIC: The new $35 million West Side Community Stadium

POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION: The three-story, 65,000-square-foot New Mexico Highlands University Student Union Building consolidated scattered functions and

K-12 EDUCATION: Described as the largest school built in New Mexico, Centennial High School in Las Cruces has a total of 132,000 square feet in four wings clustered around courtyards on 105 acres.

INDUSTRIAL: The three-story, 110,000-square-foot Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space, the combined terminal and hangar at Spaceport America, was described during the awards presentation as a “one-of-a-kind iconic structure.”

MEDICAL: The 22,000-square-foot Cibola Family Health Center in Grants, designed for LEED gold certification, overcame disruptions due to the economic downturn as well as bad weather.

OFFICE: The four-story, 24,000-square-foot addition and remodel of 15,000 square feet of existing space at the American Society of Radiologic Technologist headquarters building was accomplished on a short timeline.

RELIGIOUS: The new 22,000-square-foot building at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church on Albuquerque’s West Side includes a sanctuary capable of seating about 1,200 and a chapel for about 80.

RENOVATION/REMODEL: Tie between a remodel of PNM’s headquarters building and a renovation of the Albuquerque Museum of Art & History.

RESIDENTIAL: UNM’s Casas del Rio, which is designed for LEED silver certification, consists of four three- and four-story buildings housing 1,028 beds for students, plus amenities not usually associated with dorm living.

RETAIL: Total Wine & More’s 22,300-square-foot store in Uptown, which employs about 40, required gutting the upscale office of a financial services firm and adding a delivery dock