A new apartment complex has opened up in a prime spot downtown. However, it’s meant to tackle a bigger problem than just taking on urban blight.

The new Sterling Downtown Apartment Complex is finally open. The idea has been in the works for years, but there’s a catch to living there.

“Historically, this site had been a parking lot for decades,” said Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership (GAHP) Asset Manager Tim Matthews.

Now, the Sterling Apartments sit along the half-acre corner lot at 8th Street and Silver downtown.

Close to restaurants, bars, and shopping, the building’s 107 units are already about half occupied.
“We have 28 studios, 67 one bedrooms, and 12 two bedrooms, so we kind of have a mix throughout that range there,” said Matthews.

Each apartment has a sleek, modern design with stainless steel appliances and open floor plans. 

There’s also several amenities including a fitness center, a rooftop deck with citywide views, solar panel covered parking, and an internet cafe lounge.

But Matthews says Sterling isn’t just about modern downtown living.

“There’s a shortage of 20,000 affordable units in the city,” said Matthews.

The complex is a city and county partnership to address this affordable housing crunch.

The building has rent control and income limits.

“By bringing down the cost of housing, you’re allowing them to spend more in our economy as well,” said Bernalillo County Economic Development Assistant Director Marcos Gonzales.

Built by GAHP, the $8.6 million project was financed with bonds approved by county commissioners in 2014.

It’s a long-awaited vision to ease the cost of housing.

“What’s really exciting is that through the public-private partnership we’re able to have more affordable housing in the downtown area,” said Gonzales.

Rent varies depending on the apartment size, the size of the family, and income. The prices range from $300 to $800 a month.

The city also contributed $4 million toward the project from its Workforce Trust Fund.