What, exactly, is the appeal for investors in the Unser Gateway? The Rust Presbyterian Medical Center is at the heart of it, but that’s not the whole story. Jeanie Springer-Knight, our visionary, lays it all out in this article in Albuquerque Business First:
Unser Gateway attracts investors
Rio Rancho developer Jeanie Springer-Knight wants to flip the live-work-play model around a little bit. She thinks that given the intense, and rightly so, focus on job creation it should be work-live-play.
That’s the branding she and others in the private and public sector are placing on the Unser Gateway, which has seen a fair amount of new development already with the Presbyterian Rust Medical Center and its $80 million expansion as the corridor’s behemoth anchor.
Springer-Knight and others have been building a compelling case for investors to return to the Rio Rancho market and she says there are three reasons why they are paying attention again.
The first reason goes back to Presbyterian Rust – continued investment in medical and wellness endeavors. The Unser Gateway has it — the Rio at Rust skilled health care facility nearing completion and HME Specialists’ expansion near the Albuquerque-Rio Rancho city limits. And there are future projects like the Petroglyph Medical Plaza. “Ancillary services to Rust are evolving, said Springer-Knight, who said Presbyterian is expected to undergo two additional expansions over the next decade.
Secondly, she said, retail clusters are emerging. Some are hers, like Unser Pavilion and the future Springer Plaza. But she said the long-idle Village at Rio Rancho is back on the radar and the hope is that plans will come back to life. The 65-acre spread is owned outright by a California investor — a situation that Springer-Knight speculated has kept him from feeling more of an urgency to move forward. She said the project has great potential as an outdoor, retail, mixed-use development much like ABQ Uptown. “We’re hopeful to get [the owner] back to the table,” she said.
And the third reason for Unser Gateway optimism is in multi-density residential with the potential to create jobs. Springer-Knight says the Los Diamantes development is in the planning stages on 100 acres located northwest of Westside and Unser, adjacent to Presbyterian Rust and the Village at Rio Rancho. Los Diamantes would consist of single-family homes, and a massive business park, along with other features and amenities. Springer-Knight added that potential land use planning changes working their way through the city could help the project move forward more quickly.
“It’s an exciting time for us and we have an exciting vision,” she said. “We want to bring a whole new standard of quality of life to Rio Rancho.”