In the past, the idea of developing along the Rio Grande has been met with resistance. Remember the river walk idea in Albuquerque? Now, it’s happening in Bernalillo.
A lifestyle development with a river walk overlooking the Rio Grande – with tens of thousands of people driving down Highway 550 in Bernalillo every day, developers say the need is greater than ever.
“It will be a 16-26 foot wide concrete walkway,” said developer Zach Snyder. “The intended tenants to go here at the river walk are going to be restaurant and retail.”
“I think this will present a neat opportunity for not only locals but for visitors,” Snyder said. “To come and enjoy this beautiful river that we have here.”
The developer is slated to break ground Wednesday, with construction starting by the end of the year. The project site is right next to the bridge in Bernalillo.
Similar ideas were floated in Albuquerque during the Chavez and Berry administrations, but were met with resistance.
“I think there’s a sense of beauty in the Bosque that I really don’t find anywhere else in the world,” said Albuquerque resident Sarita Streng in 2013 during a protest.
This time around, things were done differently – and in a different town.
“What’s different with our project is that we are building the river walk on private property,” Snyder said. “And then we are dedicating it back to the town of Bernalillo.”
Residents who KRQE News 13 spoke to are on board with the plans.
“I think Bernalillo needs more of those options, and I like that it’s on the east side of the river,” said Bernalillo resident Monica Lopez.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Bernalillo resident Tom Schmidt. “Because when friends come into town – besides the Balloon Fiesta which is great – now we have something down the road to go to, so that’ll be good.”
They expect the first phase to be completed by the end of 2019. The developer says they have more plans for development in the area, including water sports like rowing and canoeing.