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Belen Still Planning for New Hospital, Despite Protracted Legal Battle

Despite a protracted legal battle that has already lasted for more than 2 years, a long-planned new hospital in Belen, New Mexico, very much remains an active proposal.

“We very much want to go through with this,” says Steven Tomita, Director of Planning and Economic Development with the City of Belen, noting that the hospital project has won widespread popular support in the city of just over 7,2000, as well as the backing of the city’s leadership.

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Dog Park Construction Proves that Every Dog Does Have His Day

A listing for the Cedars Apartments in Albuquerque advertises all the expected things: spacious kitchens, spacious living rooms, oversized closets and fireplaces.

Then comes the following: “New Dog Park in our Community! We recently added a dog park for our residents on our property!” “We started work on it about two weeks ago,” says Andrea Begay, the manager of the Cedars at 1700 Indian Plaza Drive NE, “and already we’ve heard from a lot of people who are telling us how excited they are about this.”

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New Denver Skyscraper Symbolizes Post-Recession Building Boom

The ground has been broken on a project that will see the construction of a 40-story visually stunning new skyscraper in Denver. “This is one that has been talked about for a while, so to see work actually starting on it is pretty exciting,” says Tony Markese of what is being called 1144 Fifteenth Street, a 661,000 square-foot glass and aluminum office tower that is going up in lower downtown Denver.

The developer of the new structure is the Houston-based Hines Interest Limited Partnership. Markese, a principal in the New Haven, Connecticut-based architectural firm of Pickard Chilton, which is designing the structure, says the building will have a “positive influence on the city in terms of enhancing the skyline and city scape and adding to the architectural quality of Denver.”

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Campus Projects Across New Mexico Get Capital Outlay Funding

More than two years after it was first proposed, work on a new football stadium for the Eastern New Mexico University Greyhounds is set to begin. “The project went out to bid sometimes in late May,” says Jeff Geiser, athletic director at ENMU. “And once they come back things should start to move pretty quickly.”

The new stadium will replace the school’s current stadium in the Blackwater Draw area which was built in 1968 and is located nearly 10 miles from the Portales-based ENMU campus. “I think as soon as the old stadium was built, the university realized it was a mistake to have it so far away from the campus,” says Geiser

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Clint Independent School District in El Paso County Set to Launch New Construction and Renovations Project

New school construction and extensive renovations projects will soon be beginning in one of the most geographically diverse and growing school districts in El Paso County. In early May voters in the Clint Independent School District overwhelmingly approved an $80 million bond designed to build and upgrade facilities throughout the 379 square-mile district.

“The vote was a strong indication that people here like what the District is doing, the education that is being provided for their children,” says Clint ISD director of public relations Laura Cade.

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Wheels Museum Determined to Play Important Role in the Redevelopment of the Albuquerque Railyard

While frequently thorny issues regarding the redevelopment of the larger 27.3 acres of the Albuquerque Rail Yards come and go, the Wheels Museum at the same site continues to quietly stake out its own future.

“We are in the midst of dealing with the city on a number of code issues,” says Jim Duffield, a member of the Wheels Museum’s board of directors. “We have an architect who is doing a code analysis so that we can find out exactly what needs to be done and get our building up to code,” he continues. “Once we get that taken care of, we can invite people in to look at the place without having to worry about permits and fire marshals and things.”

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Starbucks Outlet Growth Back on Track

Nearly 6 years ago, as the country was edging into what would turn out to be historically long-lasting recession, the Starbucks Corporation announced it was closing up to 600 stores across the country. Starbucks said it was taking the downsizing decision due to many factors, including difficulty in attracting new customers.

By last December, Starbucks president and CEO Howard Schultz announced an ambitious 5-year plan for growth, with Matt Ryan, global chief strategy officer for the company, predicting that “Over the next 5 years, Starbucks will grow to nearly $30 billion in annual revenue, with more than 30,000 stories globally.”

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Winrock Center Inspiration was also Civil Rights Path-Breaker

On the official opening of the original $10 million Winrock Shopping Center in 1961, shoppers strained to catch a glimpse of Shelley Fabares, cast member with the popular Donna Reed Show, and local TV celebrities Captain Billy Binnacle and Uncle Howdy.

Others were more interested in the man who made the 565,000 square-foot center possible: Winthrop Rockefeller, scion of the legendary Rockefeller family, and a man who, as a business and civic leader in still-racially segregated Arkansas, was emerging as an civil rights hero. “Winrock probably could not have become reality without Winthrop Rockefeller,” says Robert Turner Wood, the author of the Postwar Transformation of Albuquerque.

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Controversial Colorado Hotel and Convention Center Begins Site Work

The initial work on the Gaylord Rockies Hotel and Convention Center project in Aurora, Colorado has at last begun. “We started the storm water mitigation and erosion control work,” reports Nancy Kristof, senior marketing and communications manager at Mortenson Construction.

That initial work also includes the erection of an erosion control fence near a planned retention pond, as well as other site preparation. “There is nothing vertical yet,” says Kristof, who adds that she wasn’t certain when actual construction on the project will begin.

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Passage of Capital Outlay Bill Means Funding for Variety of New Mexico Projects

Traffic up and down busy Coors Boulevard may someday flow easier now that New Mexico lawmakers have passed a $295 million capital outlay bill. Among the many projects that that legislation will pay for is a retrofit of traffic lights on the west Albuquerque artery. “We have about $800,000 in the bill that will allow for smart light traffic control technology,” says Senator Jacob Candelaria.

That technology, continues Candelaria, “helps to reduce traffic by timing a light not based on standard time, but rather by responding to traffic flow and traffic congestion, which will probably make the people who use Coors every day very happy.”

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Colorado Construction Fired by Hotel and Motel Boom

Morgan County in northern Colorado has not enjoyed as big of an oil and gas boom as its sister counties Larimer and Weld. But even so, local hotels and motels have been packed with people who work in area oil fields. “We’ve actually called the local Hampton Inn the Halliburton Inn,” says Kristine Rodine, in reference to the Halliburton Corporation employees working in the northern Colorado.

“Some of the hotels and motels have been completely booked up by oil people,” continues Rodine, who is an administrative assistant with the Morgan County Economic Development Corporation. “And they are usually there for extended stays.”

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Gary Tonjes Sees Post-Recession Vibrancy in Albuquerque and New Mexico

As president of the nonprofit Albuquerque Economic Development since 1994, Gary Tonjes has promoted the promise of the future against sometimes the most daunting challenges of the present.

“While Albuquerque boasts many positive attributes, we do face certain challenges when promoting our city,” says Tonjes, noting that there are “significantly less people working in traditional economic development functions in this state and the Albuquerque metro area than in competing markets.”

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Riccobene Hardscape Innovations (Update)

Construction Reporter member and Albuquerque based Riccobene Hardscape Innovations has had great success with their Plaza MPP product. Sales Engineer and Technical Services Director Merlyn Nyght shared photos showcasing some of Riccobene’s latest projects.

Here’s why Merlyn and Riccobene use Construction Reporter: “We enjoy the service Construction Reporter provides. The plans, specifications and contact lists have provided Riccobene Hardscape Innovations the ability to be involved with projects we would have never known were on the drawing boards. The ROI is, definitely there.” -Merlyn Nyght

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Gary Goodman’s Big Idea: New Mexico as World Water and Energy Expert

Gary Goodman has a big idea for New Mexico. In Goodman’s vision New Mexico steps up as the global leader in resource management and technologies—beginning with water. The path forward, he says, is for the six New Mexico communities—business, not-for-profit, tribal, educational, research, and political—to sit at the same table and work together toward that aim.

Goodman is hardly just an “idea man”—he’s walking his talk in big way. As CEO of Goodman Realty Group, his firm is setting state, national, and global standards for energy and water management. The firm’s redesign of Hotel Andaluz reduced the hotel’s water use by 66 percent, installed the state’s largest solar array, and integrated an award-winning energy management system. Consequently, the hotel gained status as one of just two Gold LEED historic hotels across the nation.

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ArtSpace, Promoting Housing and Studios for Artists, Tackles West

When sculptor and painter Anna Hultin first learned that the national Artspace Projects, Incorporated, was interested in opening up a site in Loveland, Colorado, she couldn’t have been more excited. “This is exactly the kind of thing that working artists need here,” says Hultin, who is also an art teacher and gallery director in Loveland.

“Artists very often bring the economic drive to an area,” continues Hultin. “But they are also the first ones who have to move once the area takes off, because they can’t afford it when the rents go up.” Responding to that need Artspace last year announced it was building a new combined artist living and working space in the former office building of the Loveland Feed and Grain, an $8.9 million project that is now transforming the 120 year-old structure at 130 West Third Street.

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Legal Constructs

Dena WurmanBreach of Contract

In March 2014, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) sued one of its most highly compensated executives for misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract after he resigned and took a job at its chief competitor, Zillow....
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