Los Ranchos Buys Land

Saturday, August 14, 2010

by Andrea Schoellkopf, Journal Staff Writer

The village of Los Ranchos now has its own entrance to Los Poblanos Fields open space, with the acquisition of 4 more acres on Rio Grande Boulevard.
Bernalillo County gave the village $1.2 million to purchase the land, which is part of the Anderson winery, said village Mayor Larry Abraham, which adds to the 130 farming acres also used by migratory birds for food and the public for strolls and an annual corn maze in the fall, among other things.
“It’s probably the prime piece of real estate in the village of Los Ranchos,” Abraham said Thursday.
The 130-acre Los Poblanos Open Space, formerly known as Anderson Field and northeast of what is now Montaño and Rio Grande, was the subject of a lengthy land dispute between a private developer, the village and the city of Albuquerque in the 1990s before Albuquerque ultimately condemned the land in 1997. It is now jointly owned by the city, village and Bernalillo County and maintained by the city.
The village purchased 19 acres of the actual winery last year for $5.9 million with money from the village, the state and Bernalillo County, and exercised its option to buy another 4 acres this summer. The site at 4920 Rio Grande NW includes an 11,000-square-foot building once used for winemaking.
There are still another 17 acres that, the mayor said, the village would like to acquire for scenic views and agriculture.
“It’s probably the most pristine piece of open space in the village,” Abraham said, noting it plays host to wintering sandhill cranes and geese.
He said it took about five years to negotiate the sale with the owners.
A telephone recording at Anderson on Thursday night said the winery, founded in 1973 by Patty and Maxie Anderson, was officially closed June 1. A message left at the winery was not returned Thursday night.
Access to the land, Abraham said, had to wait until the owners moved out. The property is not yet open, however.
For now, parking for the open space is only available along the Albuquerque entrance at Montaño, though there are ditch trails leading to and circling the fields, which are still in use for agriculture.
Abraham said he hopes to use the building as an event center, such as the site of a village art show in November and a coming conference of area mayors, tribal governors and the Kirtland Air Force Base commander.

Source: https://www.abqjournal.com/riorancho/1402726west08-14-10.htm