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Jerry Pacheco: John the Baptist in the Desert Promotes Mexican Trade and Building Projects

Surveying for more than a quarter of a century New Mexico’s embrace of such industries as mining, tourism and technology, Jerry Pacheco notes “Until very recently we discounted the fact that the state’s biggest, most in-your-face sustainable economic development opportunities have come with trading with Mexico.”

The long-time executive director of the International Business Accelerator, headquartered in Santa Teresa, Pacheco says an observer taking note of his repeated emphasis on improving economic ties between New Mexico and Mexico likened him to a “John the Baptist in the desert in camel hair, looking kind of crazy and yelling ‘The Future is Mexico! The future is Mexico!’”

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Big Paseo/I-25 Interchange Project Entering 9th Inning Stretch

Workers continue to push to meet a December timeline for the completion of the Paseo del Norte/I-25 Interchange construction project.

“We are 80 percent completed right now,” reports Patti Watson, Chief Executive Officer with the Albuquerque-based Cooney, Watson & Associates, Inc., a firm doing public relations work for the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

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Lane Gaddy, El Paso Developer Invests in Restoration of El Paso’s Historic Downtown

A pro-alligator campaign may seem like an odd pursuit for any El Paso businessman, but not for Lane Gaddy in the fall of 2011. “I originally got involved because I believed the alligators that used to be here were one of the most unique and interesting aspects of El Paso’s culture and heritage,” recalls Gaddy of what was known as the San Jacinto Alligator Project.

Gaddy’s idea was simple: as the City of El Paso was preparing to renovate and restore its historic downtown San Jacinto Plaza, Gaddy wanted alligators to be a part of the story.

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Mexico Construction Boom: Room for U.S. Contractors?

This summer saw a signal achievement for the Turner Construction Company in Mexico City: the topping out of the 51-story Torre BBVA Bancomer building. “We are very happy with it,” reports Chris McFadden, vice-president for communications with Turner’s headquarters in New York.

“It’s quite dramatic from an architectural standpoint, and is seeking LEED Gold Certification,” McFadden says of the 846,000 square-foot structure which will serve as the home for BBVA Bancomer, Mexico’s largest bank, and will feature open layouts with natural lights and six garden terraces.

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New Housing to be Part of ALbuquerque Rail Yards Development

Running adjacent to the historic Albuquerque Rail Yards, the community of Barelas is well known as a working class neighborhood of modest homes, many of which are more than 75 years old.

It is also a section of Albuquerque that may soon see the construction of at least 30 new housing units as a result of an agreement between the City of Albuquerque and the Culver City, California-based Samitaur Constructs, which is tasked with redeveloping the 27-acre Rail Yards.

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Downtown Preservation Movement in El Paso Gains Ground

Slowly but surely a movement to restore the former glory of El Paso’s downtown is gaining ground. Downtown El Paso hosts a treasure trove of gorgeous historic buildings designed by regionally acclaimed architect Henry C. Trost and other state-of-the-art designers of the early 20th century.

According to Trost Society President Malissa Arras, too few people understand the true worth of the buildings. “A lot of community members don’t recognize their value. The argument is ‘they’re old, they’re ugly, just tear them down.’ While some people might say focusing on beautiful historic buildings is frivolous, in my view these efforts can turn El Paso’s entire situation around.”

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Animal Shelter Construction Shows Growth and Variety

Visitors to the Animal Humane New Mexico’s upgraded facilities at 615 Virginia Street SE in Albuquerque may not always leave with an adopted pet, but they are almost certain to enjoy the aesthetics of the experience.

“We’re finishing up the landscaping and site work in the center of the campus,” says Peggy Weigle, the executive director of the facility. “With the facilities we had before, everything was jammed up,” continues Weigle. “We had two 30 year-old cinder block buildings that had really done their time.”

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Construction Employment Up, Wages Different from State to State

Construction jobs are on the increase nationwide, with some of the most dramatic growth in the Western states of New Mexico, Texas and Nevada.

“Construction is in recovery and adding jobs faster than the overall economy for the last year or so,” remarks Ken Simonson, chief economist with the Associated General Contractors of America.

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New Mexico Think-Tank Spurs Unanimous Implementation of “2050 Imperative” for Zero Carbon Emissions at World Congress of Architects

On August 8 of this year, the International Union of Architects voted unanimously to adopt the “2050 Imperative” which would reduce carbon emissions to zero in 35 years at their World Congress in Durban, South Africa. Member organizations representing over 1.3 million architects in 124 countries adopted the declaration.

The imperative was initiated and drafted by Architecture 2030, a New Mexico-based think tank that has spurred such national movements as the 2030 Challenge, the 2030 Challenge for Products, 2030 Districts, and has most recently developed the 2030 Palette, an open-source online sustainable design tool.

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Art Deco Buildings in El Paso Getting New Life

The news earlier this year that El Paso developer Lane Gaddy had purchased the famous Bassett Tower with plans to turn the former office building into a 100-room hotel was instantly viewed as another shot in the arm for downtown revitalization efforts in El Paso.

Gaddy, noted the website El Paso Inc., has "shaken up" the downtown El Paso real estate market in recent years, purchasing neglected buildings, and "betting a lot of money on the success of revitalization efforts."

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University of New Mexico Projects Reflect Growth and Community Needs

A new health science center may be in the University of New Mexico's future if voters in November pass the state-wide General Obligation Bond C. UNM is asking for $12 million for the planning, design and construction of the new facility, one of the five projects the school hopes to have funded this year through GO Bonds.

"Because they are the largest school in the state, UNM usually has the most proposed GO Bond projects," says Gerald Burke, the chairman of the GO Bond for Education Committee. Altogether, UNM is asking for a total of $39 million in state bond funding, which will also include $20.5 million to renovate the Farris Engineering Building; $4 million to design and build a health career training center at the school's Taos campus; and $1 million to renovate the Zollinger Library at UNM's Gallup campus.

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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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 Rochelle Williams, Owner
Construction Reporter