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EDo News & Views
September 24, 2008
In This Issue
EDo Update
Pizzeria Opening Soon
Rail Runner Update
Welcome Chez D'Or
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EDo Turns Five
It's hard to believe it's been five years since a five-day public charrette at the First Baptist Church gave birth to a new vision for East Downtown.
     So, what's happened in those five years?  And what might happen in the next five?
     The Lofts at Albuquerque High was 70 rental lofts in 2 buildings in 2003. Today, it's 234 total homes in 7 buildings + the new BelVedere/Urban Courtyard Housing block of 13 buildings.  Lots of new people have moved to the neighborhood.
     The Artichoke Cafe was the only star in the restaurant constellation. Today, we have added The Grove Cafe, The Daily Grind, and The Standard Diner, with Pizzeria Farina and Lionel's set to open soon.
     On the retail side, we've added Route 66 Dry Cleaners, Two Time Couture, Waves Salon, and Chez D'Or Salon & Skin Spa. Others are coming.
     The 1927 Manual Arts Building at Historic Albuquerque High is under construction - two levels of apartments above ground-level commercial.
     The vacant 1926 Memorial Hospital has received all its needed local, state and federal historic approvals to be converted to a 74-room boutique hotel.  Construction is scheduled to begin this Fall.
     The Rail Runner train service to Santa Fe begins this December from the Transit Center, 2 blocks west of Broadway & Central. And there is serious discussion of a new Events Center for Albuquerque being built on the site of the First Baptist Church (which plans to move to a new facility on the West Side).
     Because of all this activity on Broadway & Central, millions of $$ have gone into the renovation and improvement of the single-family homes and small apartment buildings on all the neighborhood streets of historic Huning Highlands.
     We have great cause for celebration, but fulfilling the vision of the EDo Master Plan remains in the early stages. So, what will the next five years bring?
     We would like to offer the following as goals to be achieved between now and 2013:
   1.  More residential buildings constructed along Broadway & Central - rental and  sale.
   2.  An Urban Fresh Market, with a cafe, deli, and full service grocery.
   3.  More retail services to join our current businesses and the new grocery.
   4.  A Modern Streetcar connecting Downtown, EDo, University, Airport, and Nob Hill.
     Great cities have great Downtowns. Is Albuquerque destined for greatness?
Farina Pizzeria & Wine Bar - Opening Soon!
PizzeriaPicture this. One of Central Avenue's landmark buildings transformed into an artisan restaurant where original tinroof ceilings and brick walls compliment a sleek urban ambiance that features glass mosaic tile and custom woodwork.
     Whiff this. A mildly smokey aroma floating off a 12-inch Napoli-style pizza made from hand-mixed dough, homemade mozzarella, local farmer's market produce, and imported Italian meats and cheeses.
     Sip this. Local microbrew on tap, imported beer in a bottle, Italian wines in 10 red or white varieties and premium espresso drinks.
     Taste this. Besides eight seasonal pizzas, a menu complete with salads, pasta dishes, antipasti and Italian desserts such as cannolli, budino and gelato.
     It's called Farina Pizzeria & Wine Bar, located at Edith and Central, and is brought to you by Terry and Pat Keene, owners of the Artichoke Café, Chef Richard Winters and wine director Stew Doris.
     Terry Keene calls it a "casual, less-pricey alternative to the Artichoke." The microbrews will come from the local Marble Brewery, priced around $4.50 for a pint, and Farina also plans to sell slices of pizza during the late afternoon and late evening hours.
     Be advised, Terry promises a "Grand Complimentary Introduction" to this exciting addition to the neighborhood sometime in the next few weeks. More details to come!
Rail Runner to Santa Fe - This Year!
Rail RunnerIf you've driven to Santa Fe in the past few months, you've probably seen the tracks laid along the I-25 median north of La Bajada hill.  By December, the Rail Runner promises to be heating those iron rails at speeds up to 80 mph.
    Considering station stops along the way, and a speed restriction of 35 mph inside the Santa Fe city limits, Rail Runner's projected travel time from Alvarado Station to Downtown Santa Fe is one hour and 20 minutes.
    "We wanted to make sure our starting point was competitive with auto travel times during the peak periods, and based on our auto travel time analysis they are," says Chris Blewitt, tranportation coordinator for MRCOG, who overseas the Rail Runner. "I drive from downtown Albuquerque to downtown Santa Fe all the time during the peak periods and the running average is about 1 hour and 15 minutes, but finding parking in Downtown Santa Fe often costs me another 10 minutes or so."
    Blewitt says auto travel times between Albuquerque and Santa Fe "will continue to degrade over time so we feel pretty good about our starting point."
    As stations get added Blewitt says its likely a Rail Runner express service will be added be to keep the travel time competitive with vehicles.  
    Meanwhile,  commuting costs already make Rail Runner an excellent alternative to automobiles for Albuquerque-to-Santa Fe drivers. A day pass costs $9 per day for unlimited Rail Runner ridership, or a monthly pass is $100. By comparison, according to MRCOG's website, a five-day per week commute adds up to an average $360 per month fuel cost. When vehicle maintenance and insurance is factored in, monthly communting cost estimates increase to almost $500.
    What's more, according to MRCOG's website, the Albuquerque to Santa Fe I-25 corridor averages an automobile accident every other day, causing frequent delays. Not to mention, the Rail Runner promises to be unencumbered by inclement weather.
Welcome Chez D'Or!
Chez D'Or InteriorChez D'or, the City's hippest and hottest hair salon and skin spa, recently moved to the EDo neighborhood.

401 Central NE
Central & Arno
(505) 243-6777

Tuesday - Friday 10-6
Thursday 10-9
Saturday 10-5

                                                               Michele Meade, Owner