If you’ve driven up W. Alameda Street, toward the Plaza from St. Francis Drive, you’ve seen it: What was a dirt-filled, empty lot before the leaves began to turn has sprouted into Villa Alegre, a 110-unit affordable housing project.
“It is pretty exciting,” Ed Romero, Santa Fe Civic Housing Authority executive director, tells SFR. “I’m very, very pleased with what’s going on right now: We’re ahead of time, we’re ahead of schedule and we like what we see.”
After building the units, the next step will be installing the geothermal heat pumps that are part of the development’s green cred. Romero says he expects the first 50 units, for lower-income seniors, to open next March.
As for being ahead of schedule, the recession may have helped.
“We’ve had 200 people there for the last three to four months, every day,” Romero notes. “It’s amazing the number of jobs that are happening right there, in that little parcel.”