Belated but Possibly Big Changes at/near Mesa del Sol

One of BB’s favorite bicycle rides is looping down and around through Mesa del Sol. For years, such rides have included scant views of new construction, outside of movie/streaming set recreations of old West towns, and wide vistas of dirt only moved by the incessant winds. The “60,000 jobs, 38,000 homes and a town center” glowingly predicted in a 2007 New York Times story hasn’t resulted in more than about 380 homes to this point.

But that seems to be finally changing:

actual home construction mds
Wow. Actual new home construction. In Albuquerque!

You may find yourself blinking a few times seeing the photo above. When’s the last time you saw any new home construction anywhere close to Burque? Such construction and our population has been remarkably flat while the rest of the country has boomed since the Great Recession. Netflix and a bunch of other factors seem to be changing that out at the oft-laughed about site at which developer/planner’s originally declared they were “…building a city from scratch.”

What does this new construction mean? And what does the sign and scraping of earth along the banks of the nearby Tijeras Arroyo below foretell?

sunport south
I’ll have to ask folks in construction and water resources, but I think “Fully Improved” means water, too. Not much water flowing through Tijeras Arroyo most days and current geologic periods.
sunport south vinyards
Yes, the steep side of that mesa is also being scraped. Maybe it’s planned to be a vineyard, because building something on a hillside that steep seems overly difficult and unwise. But what do I know?

Despite the very recent growth, most of you haven’t been out to Mesa del Sol. Heck, there’s still not even a bus stop out there. Here’s a bird’s eye with a red square denoting the site of the scraping work shown above:

birds eye mds
See, it says “South 25 Business Park” right there on the Google Map. Therefore, it must be true. Notably, it does not say “South 25 Vineyards” but that could be corrected in the future.

If you squint hard at the bird’s eye above, you’ll see little rectangles of green between “town” and the “business park.” These are athletic fields, and it was there we came across the beloved New Mexico United soccer team training in preparation for its upcoming season.

nm united van
Not being a professional sports photographer (and not wanting to give enemy teams any possible advantage from seeing our team in training), here’s one of the swanky vans that drove the team all the way out here (have we mentioned Mesa del Sol doesn’t have bus service yet?)

And while we’re talking new things, we’ll conclude our tour of points south with another aspect that makes this one of our favorite bicycle rides: Tooling through Arrivals at the Airport (called by some, “the Sunport,” whatever that’s supposed to be). As part of the Airport’s on-going, and at this point way-too-long going remodeling project, there are now these very nice wood bicycle supports that, I guess, also serve as seating for those waiting to get picked up.

airport bike supports
What makes this the greatest Airport (not Sunport) in the world? The near complete absence of people (and now the nice wooden bike support/bench). You could send this photo to friends who live near much busier airports and they would probably think shot is taken at a nearly abandoned warehouse or something, not an airport arrivals’ section. ABQ is the anti-LGA.

Best thing about riding a bicycle through the Airport: You’re assured that at least one tired traveler, waiting with their seven pieces of luggage for the Uber driver, will openly gape in disbelief that someone is riding a bicycle through the Airport. You can’t do that at La Guardia and/or would never want to.

In conclusion, what does all this new and potential construction mean? Is it a good or bad thing? Will the area ever get a damn bus stop? Better Burque doesn’t know, but rolling those questions around while rolling over the mesas and arroyos of Mesa del Sol makes a really great bike ride even a bit better.

For now.


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