BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) – Contractors are breaking ground on a new housing development in Belen that will include hundreds of new homes. It’s been a long time since something this big has happened there. As big companies like Facebook and Netflix are keeping their operations closer to Albuquerque, Belen’s mayor hopes this boost in available homes will be a selling point for Belen and other industries that have traditionally moved into the bigger cities.
“What it does is a boost to our economy,” said Jerah Cordova, mayor of Belen. “It’s not only going to bring in new residents and new activity to our town, but it assures us that our businesses are going to be supported.”
Mayor Cordova says this new development in the Jardin de Belen community off of Desi Loop, east of the airport, will include 200 homes. Crews broke ground on it earlier this week and have plans to start building in the next couple of months. It comes at a time where homes are selling fast and people are looking to buy.
Thursday’s groundbreaking comes after years of plans for some major developments for the city. There is another subdivision that is a little farther along. The De La Reina subdivision was started a couple years ago, northwest of the Walmart, bordering I-25. The plan was for about 90 homes, but the original company was only able to sell about 13. The company behind Jardin de Belen, LGI Homes, just took over that development in March and is quickly filling those empty lots. This is a big deal for the small city of Belen.
“Up until that development had broken ground on the north side of town, we had not had a subdivision kick off in a couple of decades,” said Cordova. “This is really big for our community to have that kind of development here.”
This hopefully won’t be the end to the development in Belen, which does not have a big tax base. Years ago, they annexed the land to the north of the city that runs all the way to Los Lunas. The goal was to build a major housing development, schools, a sports field, and maybe some businesses.
The mayor says right now, they’re working more toward commercial development in that area. They hope to make an announcement about those plans soon. A big issue has been access to that area, which, right now, the only want to get there is off Highway 6 in Los Lunas.