The Sandoval County commission voted unanimously on Wednesday to declare its intent to issue revenue bonds in launching the construction of a 218-unit complex called Sandoval Flats on the northeast edge of Rio Rancho. Ron Mehl, vice president and project partner for Dominium Group, which is overseeing the project, said construction will begin around late fall and will take 18 to 20 months to complete. (Courtesy artwork via sandovalcountynm.gov)

BERNALILLO β€” Additional housing is on its way to Rio Rancho in the not-too-distant future.

The Sandoval County Commission voted unanimously on Wednesday to declare its intent to issue revenue bonds supporting the construction of a 218-unit complex called Sandoval Flats on the northeast edge of town. Commissioners will need to adopt a bond ordinance in the future for the bonds to be issued.

The complex will be located at Camino Encantadas and Oersted Road β€” about a half-mile northwest of NM 528 and Idalia Road. That area is also within a couple blocks of the Sandoval County Administration Building.

Ron Mehl, vice president and project partner for Dominium Group, which is overseeing the project, told the Observer it was important for the complex to be close to the everyday goods and services, as well as having easy access to the freeways, schools and hospitals.

“I think it’s fantastic that we have the support of the county commissioners. We know that there’s a shortfall of about 30,000 workforce homes in the state of New Mexico, and this will really help with that. It’ll allow people to live in the community that they work in,” he said.

Mehl also said construction will begin around late fall of 2022 and will take 18 to 20 months to complete.

The complex will feature apartments with one bedroom and one bathroom (725 square feet), two bedrooms and two bathrooms (1,050 square feet) and three bedrooms and two bathrooms (1,250 square feet), equipped with amenities like full-sized washers and dryers, private balconies, walk-in closets and gourmet kitchens with full appliances.

Mehl told the Observer a key goal with the units was to feature bigger bedrooms and living rooms. He said the complex will focus on families via the two-bedroom and three-bedroom units.

“It seems like many affordable housing groups don’t target that, and we think it’s important,” he said. “We know what the demand is for it. It’ll be full the day it opens.”

County Financial Advisor Rob Burpo told the Observer the one-bedroom units will be ideal for someone like a recent medical technician graduate from Central New Mexico Community College who will start working at UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center or Presbyterian Rust Medical Center.

“They’re going to be in that $28,000-$30,000 starting (salary) range,” he said.

Community amenities will include picnic and grill areas, outdoor playgrounds, a fitness center, swimming pool and hot tub.

Mehl told the Observer the complex will be developed on 10 acres of land. He also said the monthly rent, currently set to range from $759 to $1,053, may bump up or down a bit depending on that resident’s income.

Commission also OKs ordinance to resume work on solar farm

The commission voted unanimously for up to $50 million in industrial revenue bonds to go toward the second phase of the Encino North solar farm project.

Burpo told the Observer construction will start in late February or early March. From there, he figures construction will take about a year.

Meek named chairman for 2022

District 3 Commissioner Michael Meek was unanimously voted into the county commission chairman spot, while District 4 Commissioner Dave Heil will assume the role of vice chairman in 2022. Meek is up for re-election this year, while Heil will end his second term after 2024.

Wednesday also marked the first time the county commission meeting was held that day of the week since adjusting its schedule to hold meetings every second and fourth Wednesday each month.

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Matt Hollinshead | Staff writer