New Mexico Business Weekly by Steve Ginsberg, Reporter
Date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
The first restoration project for the city of Albuquerque’s Rail Yards redevelopment has attracted interest from 30 companies, according to Gilbert Montaño, deputy chief administrator. Requests for proposals are due this Friday on the $750,000 contract to upgrade the former blacksmith shop.
"In my experience, we usually see five or six companies bid on a project of this size, but we have gotten interest from architects, contractors and different design-build teams," Montaño said. "We were surprised to see this much interest in the project. We expect to see some of these companies team up and submit proposals." Mayor Richard Berry hopes that if the public can attend events at the blacksmith shop, such as car shows and farmers’ markets, it will support restoring the entire site. Montaño said a contractor will likely be selected before the year is over and the site could be open for events late next summer.
The historic Rail Yards are located in Barelas, south of Downtown, and have been off-limits to the public for decades. The city seeks to make the former blacksmith shop safe for the public and meet current building codes. The blacksmith shop renovation will be an interim use and will eventually be part of an overall master plan that will unfold over the next five years. California’s Samitaur Constructs is the master developer and has been holding neighborhood meetings this fall to get the public’s input on the project.