Breaking ground at the site of the future Hill Apartment Wednesday are, from left, Los Alamos County Economic Development Administrator Daniel Ungerleider, Community Development Director Paul Andrus, Peters Corp/LAH Investors, Inc. Senior Development Executive Bill Enloe, Councilor David Izraelevitz, Council Chair Randall Ryti, Councilor Denise Derkacs, Century Bank Senior Vice President of Finance Anne Kain, Pavilion Construction Project Manager Robert Faith and Mike Perry of Whitneybell Perry Architects. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
The view of part of the Hill Apartments project where Los Alamos County officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Los Alamos County Community Development Department Manager Paul Andrus, left, chats with Bill Enloe, Senior Development Executive for Peters Corporation/LAH Investors, Inc., owners of the Hill Apartments project. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
The view out over the project from the roadway leading from the project towards the Los Alamos Medical Center parking lot. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County officials gathered Wednesday at the site of the The Hill Apartments along with project representatives for a groundbreaking ceremony for the 149-unit, 9.3 acre development located at the intersection of 35th Street and Finch Street. The site is probably more familiar to the community as the former location of the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Los Alamos Site Office (LASO).
Barely recognizable now following extensive grading that began this past summer, the site was transferred to the County by the Department of Energy for economic development purposes. The County rezoned the property and issued a request proposals for development with the contract being awarded to Peters Corporation/LAH Investors, Inc. The County is funding offsite infrastructure.
At Wednesday’s ceremony, County Council Chair Randall Ryti noted that the project directly meets the County Council goal of increasing the amounts and types of housing in the County with the addition of 149 multi-family apartments.
Robert Faith, Project Manager for Pavilion Construction, the builders for the project, thanked the County and the Department of Public Utilities inspector for all their help in getting the project going. He also thanked Los Alamos Police Department for stopping by occasionally to check the project at night and on the weekends and giving them updates.
Bill Enloe, Senior Development Executive for the project owners said the project was a long time in development.
“We spent a lot of pre-development time working on market studies and I think we put together an excellent presentation to the County when they asked for bidders to submit proposals. I’ve worked on projects almost like this in San Marcos, Texas, Bozeman, Montana, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and here, not that I’m prejudiced because I’ve lived here all my life, but seriously by far the easiest, most efficient and most professional group that we worked with in all those communities is Los Alamos County,” he said. “”You guys take your job seriously. you want it done right and I think as long as you do that, you’re not only helpful, but more than helpful.”
Enloe said County staff tells “you the blind spots and how to avoid them”. He noted the importance of communicating with the County staff and letting them know what’s going on “because they can guide you in the right direction if you are going in the wrong” direction”.
“It’s going to be a project like there’s never been in Los Alamos. The design is very high end with a swimming pool, workout room, 107 garages, elevators in the multi-story buildings, fireplaces, a community building, a fitness center, a pool and spa, ramadas next to the pool, a huge outdoor area and patio. There will be a tot lot. There will be over-sized balconies. It’s going to be a very high-class, top notch project with a total of 149 units – 84 of them being two bedrooms, 30 one-bedroom and 35 three-bedrooms,” he said.
Enloe added that the views are going to be wonderful as well as the landscaping.
“Please don’t look at this and think, ‘Oh they took down all the trees’. One of our biggest goals was not to take down trees but there’s a big drop in elevation…. They moved a lot of dirt and that took out a lot of trees. They will be replaced and I think this will be a wonderful project,” he said.
County and project officials listen to comments by Los Alamos County Council Chair Randall Ryti. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Los Alamos County Council Chair Randall Ryti makes introductory remarks prior to Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the Hill Apartments project. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com