Proposed apartments at Santa Fe Place mall approved

Sean P. Thomas, The Santa Fe New Mexican
·2 min read

Apr. 16—The second time's the charm for a proposed apartment complex at Santa Fe Place mall.

The city Planning Commission on Thursday approved preliminary plans for the 141-unit Escarpa Apartments, which would sit on 3.25 acres of what is now part of the mall's parking lot, just off Wagon Road.

The unanimous decision came more than month after the panel first voted to block the development.

Earlier this month, commissioners rescinded their rejection of the development and decided instead to consider approval with design conditions to address concerns raised by both the commission and city staff about sidewalk accessibility and parking plans.

Among the changes made to address those issues were more designated parking spaces for residents, and sidewalks on the north and south sides of the complex.

Plans initially called for 184 parking spaces, 40 of which would have been randomly mixed in with Santa Fe Place spaces and shared with the mall's business tenants.

Dan Esquibel, senior land-use planner, said last month the city's Planning Division staff found that unreasonable.

Jennifer Jenkins of the development management firm JenkinsGavins Inc. said Thursday the developer, Santa Fe Mall LLC, agreed to the conditions laid out by the city Land Use Department's Planning Division, including the new sidewalks and 40 additional marked parking spaces in close proximity to the apartments.

Jenkins said the project team is in talks with mall tenants that use the parking lot to carve out the additional spaces.

The development will include a three-story building over a one-story parking podium. Plans call for 38 studio apartments, 75 one-bedroom units and 28 two-bedroom units.

The complex will go up adjacent to the 240-unit Turquesa Apartments under construction behind Santa Fe Place, across Wagon Road.