• Branching into Albuquerque's new construction scene, Homewise will build 16 townhomes in Downtown core
  • The bosque has already seen more fires than in 2020
  • DAN's monthly roundup of mini-library finds
Homewise to build 16 townhomes in Downtown core
The two groups of eight townhomes will be located at the corner of Silver and Second and the corner of Silver and Third.
Since it settled into its headquarters building at Second and Lead in 2019, Homewise
has been known primarily for two things: First, as a nonprofit mortgage lender that specializes in financial coaching paired with downpayment assistance, sometimes in order to help people buy formerly distressed homes that the organization itself has brought back from abandonment. Second, as the purchaser or lender behind some key neighborhood properties, including the former B. Ruppe Drugs, a complex of buildings across from the Barelas Coffee House, and the new Por Vida Tattoo location at Fourth and Coal.

But this summer, the organization will add new construction to its Albuquerque portfolio, breaking ground on 16 three-story townhomes built in two sections along Silver between Second and Third. The sites are presently surface parking lots but were always slated for development as part of the larger Casitas de Colores complex. The Great Recession seems to have sidelined those plans, CEO Mike Loftin told DAN, but Homewise worked with the city, which had originally donated the land, and the old developer to effectively take over the final leg of the project.

The townhomes will be sold at market rate, though Homewise broker Ambrose Pena said the goal is to get some clients on a subsidized path toward purchasing a unit.

Though new for Albuquerque, Loftin said Homewise has done similar projects in Santa Fe.

"The market-rate stuff helps make the other stuff more affordable," he said, adding that "we're definitely going to do more of this."

Construction is expected to last about one year.
The bosque has already seen more fires than in 2020
The number of 2021 bosque fires surpassed the 2020 number at the beginning of May, Albuquerque Fire Rescue spokesman Tom Ruiz told DAN, recalling the total 2020 number as nine.

The fires, which are usually located on the east side of the river in the vicinity of Tingley Beach, are not thought to be caused naturally, given the lack of lightning storms during the times they have started.

Since May 1, however, there have been at least three more fires, including on May 5, June 13, and June 14

APD arrested a suspect they believe started the June 13 and 14 fires but had not filed charges as of last week.
Our monthly survey of area mini-libraries
At Fourteenth and Park (Raynolds), a paean to admitting ignorance called "I don't know," the humorist Bill Bryson's Australia travelogue "Down Under," and for those who still prefer a classic method of playing videos, a VHS copy of the classic movie "Dr. Strangelove."
At Seventh and Summer (Wells Park), a book that at first blush appears to be yet another Bill Bryson Australia travelogue titled "In a Sunburned Country" but which upon further research turns out to be the American version of "Down Under." (Apparently we can't handle such colloquial expressions on this side of the pond.) Also: The David Sedaris collection "Barrel Fever" and "Outline," a novel set in Athens by Rachel Cusk.
At Laguna and Los Alamos (Huning Castle), at least four copies of book-length economic reports from the Nixon and Carter administrations. While it may be more fun to wonder how on earth such reports got to a mini library near the Albuquerque Country Club 40-50 years later, the reports themselves may also appeal to data nerds with a soft spot for history. (You know who you are.)
At Tenth and Coal (Raynolds), classics by Tom Robbins and Ken Kesey sit alongside a deep dive into New Mexico history: "The Woman at Otowi Crossing" is a novel based on the true story of a teahouse near the San Ildefonso Pueblo that during the Manhattan Project played host to some of the biggest names in physics.
The best children's literature was at Stover and Fourth (Barelas) this week, with a book by the recently passed Beverly Clearly, an E.B. White story that would probably be more famous if not for the immense popularity of "Charlotte's Web," and from 1889, "Edad de Oro," a sort of magazine written for children by the legendary Cuban poet José Martí.

(Check out our comprehensive map of all Downtown area minis here.)
May foot traffic at the Main Library reached its highest level since the pandemic began, but it is still far lower than normal. The library had 7,392 visits last month and 7,060 items checked out.
Downtown Albuquerque News covers greater Downtown, which we generally define as the area created by I-40, the Rio Grande, and the railroad tracks. We publish weekdays except for federal holidays. If someone forwarded DAN to you, please consider subscribing. To subscribe, contact us, submit a letter to the editor, or learn more about what we do, click here. If you ever run into technical trouble receiving DAN, click here.
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