BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) - Within the next few weeks, a massive dirt lot near I-25's Belen exit will be turned into 92 new homes.
"It's been about 20 years since we've seen a new housing development in Belen," said Belen Mayor Jerah Cordova.
Cordova says more people are moving to Belen than they have houses for.
"Belen, right now, is having a housing boom. We are having one of the best real estate markets in Valencia County. Homes aren't really available [because] there are no homes being built," said Cordova.
Cordova says the new de la Reina Neighborhood is the answer to this problem.
"They're going to be incredibly affordable," said Cordova.
The homes start in the range of $150,000. They range from two to four bedrooms. All homes come with a detached storage unit along the west side of the neighborhood, which the developer says will drown out noise from I-25.
The homes will be built by Albuquerque home developer Westway Homes.
"Anytime we have a business development and residential development we want them to hire local. It's always important we encourage that and put people to work," said Cordova.
Cordova says new, affordable developments like this are important for Belen's growth.
"We want to make sure we're competitive in the housing market and we can offer what people are looking for," said Cordova.
Belen's biggest competitor is the rapidly-growing village of Los Lunas.
"Los Lunas has certainly grown immensely but they're getting pretty close to capacity so we're starting to see people come down to Belen," said Cordova.
Cordova says the developer plans to break ground on the project within the next three weeks. There is not yet a timeframe for when these homes will be on the market.