ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The booming Sawmill District could soon see another phase of expansion after the City of Albuquerque approved a zoning change to allow for a taller building near Mountain and 20th Street.
“It would be nice if they would maintain the culture of the area, adobe style. That would be, I think that would tie it into the park and to Old Town. I think the structure should be some type of southwest type of design,” said nearby resident, Fernie Hernandez.
Native New Mexicans who’ve frequented the Sawmill District over the years say they welcome the continued growth with open arms.
“It’s nice. The Sawmill Market is really nice. I think it’s great for the area,” Hernadez said.
Hernandez is just one of several residents who aren’t shocked by how the area is shaping up, saying they say they’d like to see more momentum.
“They should add more things, so people could see and enjoy themselves,” added another neighbor.
In August, Albuquerque’s Environmental Planning Commission approved a zoning change for a dated lot at the corner of Mountain and 20th Street allowing for well-known Albuquerque businessman Jim Long to continue development in the area.
Long’s Heritage Hotels include Hotel Albuquerque, Hotel Chaco, and the Sawmill Market.
The approved amendment changes height requirements, allowing any future development to go up to a height of 75 feet instead of 65. That would be taller than Hotel Chaco, but shorter than Hotel Albuquerque.
“I think height requirements should be considered. I mean, we rarely have that other high rise there, but yeah, I would say limit it to maybe two stories,” said Hernandez.
KRQE reached out multiple times to Heritage Hotels for comment on plans for the site but did not get a response back. City documents show Heritage Hotels and Jim Long have met with Sawmill neighbors in the area over the last year to discuss plans for a possible future hotel and new apartments.