ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The official groundbreaking was Saturday morning, but crews have already started moving dirt on the nearly 80 acre Las Estancias project in the South Valley.
The $70-million development near Coors and Rio Bravo promises a mix of retail, restaurant, entertainment and healthcare spaces. Officials say it should bring 1100 construction jobs and it has to bring at least 230 long-term jobs to the area by 2020, because the project received $1.5 million from Bernalillo County.
Commissioner Art De La Cruz says that money will be well-spent developing a largely-undeveloped part of the county.
"These fellows that are here developing this piece of property are very serious business people," De La Cruz said. "They're looking at the timing, they think the timing is right."
Already lined up for Las Estancias, a skilled nursing unit, a New Mexico Bank & Trust branch and a Dion's Pizza.
Developer Steve Maestas says there's a real need for services in the South Valley.
"I think what this will be is a sense of place," Maestas told KRQE News 13. "It'll be something that the people of this community can frequent and be proud of on a regular basis."
County officials say Las Estancias could save South Valley residents gas money, and also give area youth a shot at a first job close to home.
The first phase of the project is expected to cost $26-million. Maestas says they hope to finish building out Las Estancias in the next five to seven years.
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