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September 28, 2021
RFQ for Alto Street Developer

City Seeks Qualifications to Build Affordable “Green” Homes in Santa Fe’s Historic Downtown

City Donating Lot at 635 Alto Street to Subsidize Cost of Producing at Least Five Low-Priced Dwelling Units

The City of Santa Fe seeks developers, builders and/or providers of affordable housing who are interested in building at least five affordable homes on an infill lot in Santa Fe. The lot is located in a downtown historic district and within easy walking and biking distance to the Plaza and the City’s River and Rail Trails. Current zoning allows a multi-unit structure with at least five units on the lot. Recognizing that land cost and site control can provide barriers to housing development, particularly affordable housing on an infill lot, the City will donate the lot to a builder chosen through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process.

The RFQ and other information related to the site can be found here: sfpublicassets.org.

Mayor Alan Webber says: “The City has a history of supporting exemplary affordable housing development. We donated the land on which Soleras Station was built and where Siler Yards is currently under construction. These donations ensure that all our residents, and particularly those with the lowest incomes, have high quality, well designed and beautiful homes where they can live and raise their families.”

The City’s Community Development Commission will review the RFQ submittals and make an initial recommendation for a selected developer. The Governing Body will approve the final disposition agreement and terms of the donation.

Daniel Werwath, the developer of Siler Yards, comments, “With the City’s donation of land, cash and waived fees, our project won a $10.5 million funding award and otherwise would have struggled to be viable, given high development costs in Santa Fe. Instead, we were able to leverage the City’s donation and raise enough funds to build the first 100% solar-powered tax credit project in New Mexico. Our future residents will have greatly reduced utility bills and lower living costs as a result.”

The Alto Street lot also benefits from being the subject of a City-sponsored design competition in 2008–2009. One of the winning designs was submitted to the City’s Historic Design Standards Review Board in 2011 and preliminary approval was granted. In addition to fitting in with the surrounding neighborhood and upholding the historic character of the district, the design achieved national sustainability and green building standards. Most importantly, the development budget demonstrated that two homes could be set aside as deeply affordable, with the remaining units priced just below market rates. While the Board approval is expired, this “proof of concept” design is made available to interested respondents to the RFQ.

The evaluation criteria for the RFQ calls for demonstrated capacity in four areas: development program (unit mix and affordability); concept and design (satisfaction of desired design elements and zoning conformance); experience and financial ability; and demonstrated project financial feasibility.

Responses to the RFQ are due to the City by October 13, 2021, and should be submitted via email to: [bot protected email address].

ContactsTerry Lease, City of Santa Fe Asset Development Manager; [bot protected email address]. Alexandra Ladd, Director, Office of Affordable Housing; [bot protected email address]

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