ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The city has come out with a new master plan 16 years after buying the Albuquerque Rail Yards to redevelop and preserve it. The new plan lays out the rules for what can and can’t go at the site. It also lists what they’d like to see from developers.
The makeover for the huge site has been slow-going. Now the new master plan will be a reset as city and community leaders have spent the past year hammering out ground rules to finally get movement at the rail yards. “If we are too restrictive, I think it’s just going to put more pressure on the site getting developed and we could be here for another 10 years and have the same discussion,” said Developer Jay Rembe last June in a Rail Yards Advisory Board Meeting.
The 167-page plan lays out rules, such as maximum height limits for new buildings and mandating shops along Second Street facing the Barelas Neighborhood as the city looks for developers to build apartments, a hotel, shops, restaurants, galleries and performing spaces. They also plan to refurbish old buildings. The updated plan also pushes for a new train stop at the rail yards, underground parking garages, and a rebuilding of the historic turntable and smokestack. Leba Freed with the Albuquerque Wheels Museum said in the same June meeting… “The turntable is the heart and soul of this property along with these historic buildings. so to me, it is very obvious that the turntable has got to be functioning.”
Planners want to keep the yards accessible to the adjacent neighborhoods with no fencing along Second Street and include a bridge or surface crossing over the tracks into the south Broadway Neighborhood with landscaping and trees boarding the site.
Albuquerque’s City Council still needs to officially sign off on the plan. Previously under Mayor RJ Berry, the city of Albuquerque struck a deal with a California developer to fix up the Rail Yards and build condos, shops, and a park. That deal fell through five years ago.