About the Albuquerque Rail Yards Master Plan Process
The Rail Yards planning process will help guide redevelopment of the historic site.
Why This Project Matters
This project is an important step in the redevelopment of the historic rail yards site.
For Questions About the Master Development Plan:
For Questions About the Implementation of the Master Development Plan:
06/16/2014: City Council approved R-14-23 the Master Plan and the Development Agreement for the Rail Yards. We are looking forward to seeing this plan implemented.
This project focuses on the Rail Yards site in Barelas Neighborhood between the rail road tracks and 2nd street.
The Rail Yards planning process will help guide redevelopment of the historic downtown site.
- Plans and Downloads
- Supporting Documents
- Requirements and Guiding Principles
- Rail Yards Advisory Board Members
- Advisory Board Agendas, Minutes and Meeting Notes
The City and Samitaur Constructs, Master Developer of the Rail Yards, are pleased to announce the adoption of a Master Plan to guide the redevelopment of the City-owned Rail Yards site in Barelas.
The Master Plan project began in 2008 with the City Council's creation of the Rail Yards Advisory Board (RYAB) and the City's subsequent issuance of a Request for Proposal to redevelop the historic 27.3-acre site. Samitaur Constructs was selected by the RYAB and Council in 2011, and a series of meetings was initiated in mid-2012 to gather ideas and aspirations for redevelopment of the site from various stakeholders, including the Rail Yards Advisory Board, the Barelas, South Broadway and San Jose Neighborhood Associations, the WHEELS Museum, the New Mexico Steam Locomotive and Railroad Historical Society and the general public. Preliminary concepts for the Master Plan were first presented at a public meeting in Barelas in late 2012 and several additional meetings to further consider these concepts followed. Information and ideas from these discussions were used to inform the Draft Rail Yards Master Development Plan, which was subsequently reviewed and adopted by the City Council and adopted on June 16, 2014. The Rail Yards Master Development Plan provides the policy framework and design standards (see the Barelas Sector Development Plan for zoning regulations) to guide redevelopment of the site and its structures.
You may download the Rail Yards Master Development Plan below. Because of the large size of this file, it has been divided into four sections.
- (includes Executive Summary, Existing Conditions, Public Input Process, Zoning Compliance & Regulatory Framework, Goals & Policies, Development Regulations)
- (includes Design Guidelines, Landscape Guidelines, Transportation Information and Recommendations)
- (Concepts and Phasing Plan)
This is the final adopted version of the Plan. To view previous drafts, including the June 2014 Blue Line Draft prepared for the Council’s Land Use, Planning and Zoning Committee, please scroll down to “Master Development Plan Documents.”
- June 2014: City Council voted unanimously to adopt the Rail Yards Master Development Plan
- May 2014: Council’s Land Use, Planning and Zoning (LUPZ) Committee held its second hearing
- 2/26/2014: Council’s Land Use, Planning and Zoning (LUPZ) Committee held its first hearing
- 12/12/2013: Environmental Planning Commission (EPC) recommended approval to the City Council
- Fall 2013: Submitted to the Rail Yards Advisory Board for review and recommendation
- Recommended approval with seven amendments
- October 2012: Workshop Meetings
- August 2012: Kick-off Meetings
- June 2012: City entered into a Master Plan Agreement with Samitaur Constructs
- 2010: City issued a Request for Proposals for a Master Developer of the Rail Yards
- March 2008: Rail Yards Advisory Board was formed
- 2007: City of Albuquerque purchased the Rail Yards site
*unless noted otherwise, all materials, including images and words, that have been produced by the Master Developer, Samitaur Constructs, are property of Samitaur Constructs, and are intended as reference material for viewing only; this content cannot be printed, published, disseminated or used other than expressly intended without prior written permission from Samitaur Constructs.
*Some of these are large files and may take time to download
|July 2014||Final Master Development Plan|
||Blue-line Draft Plan: reflects changes made in response to issues raised during the LUPZ process and should generally be considered a final draft for Council approval|
|January 2014||Red-Line Draft Plan: incorporated the RYAB's recommended amendments and other changes made at EPC||
|December 12, 2013||Environmental Planning Commission (EPC) Hearing|
|Fall 2013||Rail Yards Advisory Board Review||
Recommended Amendments to Fall 2013 Draft Plan
|Fall 2013||Draft Plan||
|December 1, 2012||Public Meeting||Rail Yards Master Plan Dec. 1 Meeting Summary|
|October 25, 2012||Public Meeting|
|August 2012||Community Kick-off Meetings||
|Frequently Asked Questions||Information about the Master Plan process and the concepts developed by Samitaur Constructs and the Planning Team|
|Barelas Sector Development Plan||Sector Plan that establishes the zoning regulations for the Rail Yards site|
|Rail Yards Master Plan Community Meeting Summary||A written summary of the October 25, 2012 meeting and public discussion|
|Map of Albuquerque Rail Yards||Map that shows the boundaries of the site|
|F/S R-08-47||The legislation that formed the Rail Yards Advisory Board in March 2008.|
|Urban Land Institute panel report||Report put together in February 2008 to help the City determine the potential best and highest uses for redeveloping this site|
|Rail Yard Questions
||Series of questions the Urban Land Institute was asked to address|
The overarching goal of this Master Plan will be to find new, sustainable uses for the Rail Yards site that preserve its historic architecture and complement surrounding neighborhoods. Because of the funding sources the City used to purchase the site, the redevelopment of the Rail Yards must include a minimum of 30 units of Workforce Housing, as defined by City Ordinance, and a WHEELS Museum. Other uses will be determined through the Master Plan process. The following seven principles, which formed the basis of the Master Plan Agreement between the City and Samitaur, will guide the development of the Master Plan:
- Job Generation. The Project Area was once an economic pillar for the community and must become one again. The Master Plan should accommodate uses which provide the opportunity for the generation of quality, living- and high-wage jobs and programs which will link those jobs with community residents.
- Housing. Housing availability is an important element of the Master Plan. The Master Plan will provide for the targeted housing (minimum 30 units of Workforce Housing). The Master Plan should also endeavor to provide additional affordable and market rate housing if deemed feasible. The Master Plan should consider and coordinate the housing component with the City’s ongoing efforts to rehabilitate existing housing. The Workforce Housing should seek to preserve the neighborhood heritage and interface with employment and service opportunities.
- Community. The Master Plan for the Project Area will reflect efforts to be sensitive to and interface with the surrounding neighborhoods, including Barelas, South Broadway and San Jose. Uses in the Master Plan will reflect efforts to complement and support adopted plans for and commercial areas within the surrounding neighborhoods. The Master Plan will reflect efforts to support current and planned economic activity in the Downtown area and, where physically and economically possible, reinforce the City’s transit goals and objectives and integrate with and complement existing and proposed features and attractions in the area (e.g., the Albuquerque Zoo and BioPark, Tingley Beach, Rio Grande State Park, the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the South Broadway Cultural Center, Old Town and its museums, Downtown Albuquerque and its amenities, the Alvarado Transportation Center, the Historic 4th Street Corridor, etc.).
- Architecture and Historic Preservation. The Master Plan must both preserve and capitalize on the historic value of the architectural and engineering resources at the site. The City and Samitaur share the belief that the site has local, national, and international cultural and historic significance.
- Art and Culture. The Master Plan will include opportunities for both art and culture, including, but not limited to the WHEELS Museum. Access to public open spaces within the Project Area will be provided.
- Economic Development. The Master Plan will be designed to achieve economic and business success for the Project Area.
- Economic Viability. These Guiding Principles are subject to the overarching need for the Master Plan to create a Project Area that is an economically viable endeavor individually and collectively for the City, Samitaur, WHEELS Museum, Workforce Housing, tenant/users, the public and surrounding communities without creating a need for indefinite direct and/or indirect City or Samitaur funding.
Download a PDF map of the Albuquerque Rail Yards.
This site and its significant historic structures, located in the historic Barelas neighborhood and between the rail road tracks and 2nd Street, reflect an important part of Albuquerque's economic and industrial past. The Atlantic and Pacific Railroad established locomotive repair shops and offices at the site in the 1880s and these were modernized and expanded by the Santa Fe Railway from 1912 onwards. The Santa Fe Railway was one of Albuquerque's biggest employers and played a significant role in the development of the city. The shops were in full operation until the 1950s, with the switch from steam engines to diesel engines. After the switch from steam to diesel, the rail yards continued to be used for some repairs and storage.
Information for this section came from Chris Wilson, J.B. Jackson Professor of Cultural Landscape Studies and Director of the Historic Preservation and Regionalism Program, both at the School of Architecture and Planning, University of New Mexico.
Following the City's purchase of the Rail Yards in 2007, the City of Albuquerque, along with the Wheels Museum and the University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning, invited the Urban Land Institute to conduct an Advisory Services Panel to help the City determine the potential best and highest uses for redeveloping the site. The ULI panel visited for five days, from February 24-29, 2008. The panel, composed of nine experienced individuals involved in planning, architecture and real estate development, was given four non-negotiable parameters:
- The major buildings and the smaller historically significant buildings must be rehabilitated;
- The Wheels Museum will locate its operations in one or more of the historic buildings;
- Redevelopment must have a mixed-income housing component that includes workforce housing;
- Redevelopment must benefit the adjacent neighborhoods.
With these parameters in mind the ULI panel was asked to address a series of questions. Read more: Rail Yard Questions
The ULI panel produced a series of recommendations focused on four areas: market potential, planning and design, development strategies, and implementation.
- Market Potential- Various uses are possible on the site but the site's master developer will need to find an anchor user, whether it is conventional retail, commercial, or industrial.
- Planning and Design- No single use or user is likely for the site; therefore, a phased development program is appropriate.
- Development Strategies- The city should select the master developer and the property should be rendered as appealing as possible by eliminating the hurdles to successful development.
- Implementation- Pre-development strategies should include appropriate marketing of the site and the creation of an advisory board to oversee the development process.
The ULI panel report concluded that several steps should be followed prior to the redevelopment of the Rail Yards. One of these steps was to create an advisory board whose responsibilities would include hiring the writer of the RFP, selecting finalists for the RFP and selecting the master developer.
The Rail Yards Advisory Board was formed in March 2008 through Bill no. F/SR-08-47. The composition of the Rail Yards Advisory Board is intended to reflect the diverse interests and stakeholders associated with the site. The following is a list of the Board members and who they represent.
|Mayor or Mayor's designee||Gilbert Montano, Deputy CAO|
|District 2 City Councilor||Isaac Benton, City Councilor|
|Governor's Representative||Alex Romero, Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce
|Senate District 12||Jerry Ortiz y Piño, State Senator|
|Senate District 14||Michael Padilla, State Senator|
|House District 11||Rick Miera, State Representative|
|House District 14||Miguel Garcia, State Representative|
|District 2 County Commissioner||Art De La Cruz, Commissioner|
|Wheels Museum||Leba Freed, President|
|Barelas Neighborhood||Eric Griego, Primary neighborhood representative|
|Barelas Neighborhood||Ron Romero, Alternate neighborhood representative|
|South Broadway Neighborhood||Diana Dorn-Jones, Primary neighborhood representative|
|South Broadway Neighborhood||Janice Convery, Alternate neighborhood representative|
|ULI-NM District Council||Jay Rembe, Partner, Infill Solutions|