Rio Rancho is the largest city and economic hub of Sandoval County in New Mexico. A small portion of the city extends into northern Bernalillo County. It is the third-largest and also one of the fastest growing cities in New Mexico. In 2012, Rio Rancho had a population of 90,000, an 80% rise from 2000. Rio Rancho is part of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Rio Rancho is the most remarkable, rapidly growing suburb on the west side of the Rio Grande. This city is characterized by affordable housing and wonderful views of the mountains and Albuquerque. It has its own shopping, country, golf course and school system. The Cottonwood Mall is within 10 minutes of the heart of Rio Rancho.
Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico, situated in the central part of the state, straddling the Rio Grande river. The city population was 555,417 as of the July 1, 2012 population estimate from the United States Census Bureau and ranks as the 32nd-largest city in the U.S. It has a 2012 estimated metropolitan population of 901,700 according to the US Census. The Albuquerque MSA population includes Rio Rancho, Bernalillo, Placitas, Corrales, Los Lunas, Belen and Bosque Farms and forms part of the larger Albuquerque Santa Fe Las Vegas combined statistical area, with a total population of 1,146,049 as of the 2010 Census. Albuquerque is home to the University of New Mexico (UNM), Presbyterian Health Services, Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia National Laboratories, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, and the Petroglyph National Monument. The Sandia Mountains run along the eastern side of Albuquerque, and the Rio Grande flows through the city, north to south.
The NE Heights area abuts the base of the Sandia Mountains and contains portions of the foothills neighborhoods, which are significantly higher in elevation and price range than the rest of the city. Running from Central Avenue and the railroad tracks to the Sandia Peak Aerial Tram, this is the largest quadrant both geographically and by population. The University of New Mexico, the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, the Uptown area which includes two shopping malls (Coronado Center and ABQ Uptown), Journal Center, and Balloon Fiesta Park are all located in this quadrant.
Some of the most affluent neighborhoods in the city are located here, including: High Desert, Tanoan, Sandia Heights, and North Albuquerque Acres. (Parts of Sandia Heights and North Albuquerque Acres are outside the city limits proper.) A few houses in the farthest reach of this quadrant lie in the Cibola National Forest, just over the line into Sandoval County.
Nob Hill/SE Heights
Central Avenue became part of Route 66 in 1937 as it passed through Albuquerque on its way from Chicago to Los Angeles. Back then, Nob Hill was a burgeoning suburb of Albuquerque's downtown area, which lies only a couple of miles west. When it was new, the neighborhood was anchored by the Nob Hill Shopping Center.
Nob Hill spans a mile-long stretch of Central Avenue, marked on each end by neon arches. This vibrant district is bursting with unique shops, trendy restaurants and chic nightspots. The neighborhood that grew around the shopping center came of age in the neon-splashed middle of the century, and today new and old businesses share a commitment to the area's retro style.
The Nob Hill Shopping Center was designed by the noted architect Louis Hesselden. The design is a mixture of Territorial Revival and Modern design elements. This National Register property is one of the best remaining examples of a 1940's automobile-oriented shopping center in America. Several of the original neon store signs and the deco-inspired towers are still intact.
With its historic buildings, abundant neon and high style, Nob Hill is Albuquerque's premier district for unique shopping, dining and entertainment. It's not only a place where locals frequent, but a popular spot for visitors as well.
When the railroad came to Albuquerque in 1880, the city expanded eastward toward the tracks, which were located on higher ground about a mile from Old Town. The arrival of the railroad brought commerce and activity to New Town, as it was then known. Today we call this area Downtown Albuquerque, and it remains a hub of activity. Like many other urban areas, Albuquerque’s downtown declined as rapid development expanded the city’s borders. But our Downtown is in the midst of an ongoing multi-million dollar revitalization and it is now home to a 12-screen movie theater, bustling restaurants, trendy shops, art galleries and a lively entertainment district. Several of the areas older buildings have been converted into stylish lofts, eclectic lounges and venues for live music, all of which are within easy walking distance of Downtown’s high-rise hotels.
The famous Route 66, now Central Avenue, is Downtown’s main artery, and at First and Central lies the new Alvarado Transportation Center, which is home to the city’s regional transportation system, linking Amtrak, commuter rail, Greyhound bus service and local bus service. The Mission Revival-style Alvarado Transportation Center echoes the style of an old railroad hotel, the Alvarado, which once stood on the same site.
The Downtown Albuquerque Civic Plaza is home to many festive events. The Albuquerque Convention Center plays host not only to conventions, but also to concerts, lectures and other public events. The famous Pueblo Deco-style KiMo Theatre offers a wide variety of entertainment. Be sure to check out the calendar of events to see what’s happening during your visit.
Downtown Albuquerque nightlife is almost as hot as the area’s green chile. Bar hop down Central Avenue or take in one of the many festive events on the Albuquerque Civic Plaza. During the summer, Downtown sizzles with summer entertainment. Listen to Jazz on the Fourth Street Mall or take in a concert or play in the historic and acclaimed KiMo Theatre.
North Albuquerque Acres is a unique neighborhood community in Bernalillo County where rural ambiance and urban convenience merge - offering residents only the compromises they choose. Homes in North Albuquerque Acres are typically large, custom built homes on larger lots, usually .75 to 1 acre.
Los Ranchos de Albuquerque and Corrales are small villages nestled north of Albuquerque, on the banks of the Rio Grande. Prehistoric sites indicate that the Corrales Valley has been occupied since as early as 500 A.D., when the ancestors of the present-day Pueblo Indians derived sustenance from the fertile valley. Later, Hispanic, European and American families settled here to raise grapes, apples and livestock. Today, Corrales is surrounded by Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, but it retains its broad green pastures and orchards, as well as a strong artistic flair.
The Village of Corrales is a small, treasured oasis located within a large, fast-growing metropolitan area. The Village is bordered on the east by the Rio Grande and, across the river, by the Sandia Indian Reservation. To the south is the City of Albuquerque while to the west and north is the City of Rio Rancho. The greater metropolitan area numbers well over a half million people, but Corrales, about 7300 in population, aggressively strives to retain a rural lifestyle. Prehistoric sites indicate the Corrales Valley has been occupied as early as 500 A.D. when the ancestors of the present-day Indian Pueblos derived sustenance from the fertile valley. Subsequent populations, including Hispanic, European and American families, settled here to raise grapes, apples, and livestock. Today, Corrales is distinguished by its broad green pastures and orchards, its rich historic and artistic character, and of course the sounds and scents of roosters, cows, horses and sheep. To cross the borders into Corrales is to step into another time and place where the stresses of twenty-first century life give way to the grace and pace of another era.
The Village was incorporated September 17, 1971. However, the southern portion of the incorporated area was still located in Bernalillo County. As of January 1, 2005, all of the incorporated area is located in Sandoval County. There is still a part of the adjoining areas (Skyview Acres) that uses Corrales as their address, but they are not part of the incorporated area, nor are they part of Albuquerque or Sandoval County.
In 2000, employment in the Village was approximately 1,000. Nearly 30 percent of the employment is in the services sector. About 200 jobs, 20 percent, were in the retail sector. Corrales has a number of shops and fine restaurants that draw clients from throughout the metropolitan area.
Albuquerque's rich, fertile North Valley area hugs both sides of the meandering Rio Grande. Early Spanish colonists selected the North Valley for use as farmland, and it retains much of its rural character. Winding streets lead past old farmhouses, and the deep lots run perpendicular to the river, bordered by irrigation ditches that still bring vital water to local farms, including orchards and vineyards. The North Valley is part of the oldest wine-producing area in North America, and several wineries are located here. The area's weekly farmers markets are extremely popular, selling fresh, seasonal produce as well as baked goods, preserves and crafts.
Many bed and breakfasts are located in this quiet, pastoral valley with stunning views of the Sandia Mountains. Visitors here can immerse themselves in nature at the Rio Grande Nature Center and hike, bike or ride the Bosque Trails. Even if you don't stay here, you might want to visit some of the North Valley's many galleries or arts and crafts shows. The North Valley is also home to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, the Unser Racing Museum and Casa San Ysidro, the Historic House Museum.
The South Valley area has been occupied by Spanish and Mexican families for centuries. This rich fertile valley has traditionally been a farming community and it is still crisscrossed by irrigation ditches linked to the Rio Grande. Some of the adobe homes in the area are 400 years old, and many of the area’s families have been living and farming here for generations. The South Valley’s bounty of rural charm makes it easy to forget you’re in New Mexico’s biggest city!
Just south of the Downtown area lies the historic Hispanic neighborhood of Barelas. This area was originally settled because of its proximity to a natural ford in the Rio Grande river, and to the Camino Real, the colonial era trail that led more than 1,000 miles south to Mexico City. Although Barelas is close to the heart of Downtown, it has retained its strong individual character. The Barelas neighborhood is home to the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the South Broadway Cultural Center and the Rio Grande Zoo. In the last five years, Barelas has undergone an energetic revival spurred on by Downtown revitalization and the arrival of the prestigious National Hispanic Cultural Center.
Village of Tijeras
The Village of Tijeras is a very old community, rich in culture. Excavation of the San Antonio and Tijeras Pueblos yielded evidence that human land use in the area dates back to the 1200s. Populations shifted throughout the centuries as Hispanic and Indian peoples managed the threat of the aggressive nomadic raiders such as the Faraoan Apache and the Comanche. In 1819, Albuquerque families settled in the area, and by the mid 1930s, Tijeras was one of the primary population centers on the east side of the Sandia Mountains. Tijeras is nestled at the base of the Sandia Mountains. It is located only a few miles east of Albuquerque, off Interstate 40. The village is small, just over 500 residents, but offers a wonderful alternative life-style to that of neighboring Albuquerque.
Incorporation in 1973 brought many important improvements to the Village. A five member Planning and Zoning Commission was created to manage land use and development. Other services to the community include a Motor Vehicle Division (known by some Albuquerque residents as the friendliest and worth the extra few miles MVD around), an all volunteer Fire Department equipped with a station, a full size fire truck, a mini-pumper, and an emergency medical fire truck. We also provide snow removal from the Village roads in wintertime. Our Village Hall, located on Camino Municipal, adjacent to the Tijeras Creek, was refurbished in 2007 and is as efficient as it is attractive. Other facilities in our Village Center on Route 66 include the historic Holy Child Parish Church and a Visitors Center. More recently, the Village has received Federal and State Appropriations to construct a park and veterans memorial adjacent to the church. It will also feature a playground for children and picnic areas.
The Village is governed by its Mayor, the Honorable Gloria J. Chavez, and a five member Council. It is staffed by the Clerk/Treasurer, a Deputy Clerk, a Secretary, a Bookkeeper, a Maintenance and Water Superintendant, a Water Operator/Floodplain Manager, and one custodian.
The Edgewood area in Southern Santa Fe County was originally settled by homesteaders in the late 1800's and early 1900's, with most folks arriving in the 1930's. The federal Homestead Act allowed pioneer families to get "cheap" land and start their own farms and ranches reasonably easily. Memories of pinto fields where the Library and a huge regional WalMart now sit... Many of those families still maintain deep roots in the community today. When the town of Edgewood was incorporated, the "founders" tried to differentiate between land owners who wanted in to the new town and those who didn't. The result was a large checkerboard of incorporated land interspersed with unincorporated land.
Several large areas of land have been annexed by the town since 1999, some of which led to lawsuits, appeals and some serious public debate. A couple of lawsuits were filed again when WalMart proposed building a new store in Edgewood and the move was opposed by many residents. The WalMart store was opened in early 2008 on State Highway 344 near the Interstate 40 interchange for Edgewood.
As of 2009, Edgewood claims some 44.4 square miles of land within the city limits. This is the upper Estancia Valley (East of the Sandia and Manzano Mountains) with Albuquerque about 20 miles to the West and Santa Fe about 50 miles to the north.
Edgewood attained a bit of fame over a mayoral election held in 2004. Howard Calkins and Bob Stearley fought a good fight and when the votes were counted, Stearley won by 1 vote. Calkins contested the count and it went to court. The court decided that 3 votes for Stearley and 2 votes for Calkins were invalid, leaving the election in a tie. Stearley and Calkins both appealed the court's finding but it took 2 more years for the case to be decided (again) in a higher court. The higher court upheld the previous ruling and declared the election a tie. At that point they went back to New Mexico State Law, which meant the winner would be determined by a game of chance: flipping a coin,drawing a high card, etc. They decided to draw a card, and Calkins pulled the 10 of hearts to Stearley's 7 of diamonds. Calkins served out the year-and-a-half left in his term and Bob Stearley was elected mayor in the next election held in November, 2008. Supposedly, Calkins had those 2 cards put in a frame and they hung on the wall behind his desk while he was in office.
The City of Moriarty was named for the first permanent family to settle in the community. Michael Timothy Moriarty, his wife and their three children arrived (at what is now Moriarty) in the fall of 1887, and homesteaded their land. Mr. Moriarty had moved his family from their farm home in Iowa to avoid the cold winters, which had aggravated his rheumatism. The first Moriarty family home was located about a mile and a quarter west of present day Moriarty. There were no railroads, no towns, and very few settlers in the Estancia Valley. The area was suited for cattle grazing, and Michael Moriarty became one of the many ranchers in central New Mexico.
A post office was established in Moriarty in 1903, with Michael Moriarty as the first postmaster. Before the railroad was built, the mail was brought to Moriarty by a horseback rider from Chilili. The Santa Fe Central Railroad built a line in this area in 1903; and in 1908, the line became the New Mexico Central Railroad. The railroad was built between the communities of Kennedy (southeast of Santa Fe) and Torrance, in southeastern Torrance County: passing though Stanley, Moriarty, Estancia, Willard, Progresso, and Cedarvale. This new passenger and freight line was opened to provide connections between Santa Fe and El Paso, and Santa Fe and Chicago via connecting lines at Torrance. Following the arrival of the railroad, a rush of homesteaders from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iowa cut the land into farms and fields. The railroad company built a depot, opened a telegraph office, and established a town which it called Moriarty. The Moriarty Depot soon became the center attraction in the community. Mr. Moriarty built the first store, which he rented to Dunlavy Mercantile Company. Another early business was the Levi Hughes store, which years later became the Moriarty Trading Company. The new town also had a grocery store, two hotels, a livery stable, and later a drugstore. The town also had a doctor in the early 1900's. The commercial buildings of the original town of Moriarty were located on present day Center Avenue. Many of the original buildings were destroyed by fire in the mid-1920's.
In 1906, Mr. Moriarty and Pete Vigil were chosen to obtain material, money and labor to build a school house. The railroad company donated land on which to construct the building. When the school was built in 1907, it also served as the center for church activities. That first school was located in the vicinity of the present day intersection of Girard Avenue and Eighth Street. Also in 1907, the Moriarty Messenger began publishing a weekly newspaper, and the Moriarty Commercial Club was organized to attract business to the town and settlers to farms. As a result of the drought of the early 1930's, farmers were forced to leave Moriarty and the Estancia Valley. However, a new community named Buford, for Buford Crossley, was built around the intersection of U.S. Highway (Route) 66 and State Highway 41, approximately one mile north of the original town site of Moriarty. Both areas were combined into the City of Moriarty in 1953 when the City was incorporated. Eventually, tourist traffic and the development of irrigated farms led to the rejuvenated growth of this community.
Route 66 was formed in 1926 by the Federal Highway Act. Originally, Route 66 was located just west of Santa Rosa with a route turning north toward Santa Fe. However, in 1937, Route 66 was re-routed to NM Highway 6 in the Rio Grande valley and passed through Moriarty. In the 1960's, Route 66 was superseded by Interstate 40. Two I-40 interchanges were completed for Moriarty in the 1970's, resulting in greater accessibility and the potential for increased growth.
In 1975, the railroad tracks which had been inactive for many years were removed and the right-of-way was sold. While the railroad origins of the City were diminished, the traditional gridded street pattern remained as evidence of the railroad days of the past. Moriarty continues to prosper as a service community for travelers; however, it now serves visitors as a highway community rather than a railroad community.
As you travel north you'll see the Sandia Mountains and Cibola National Forest, a scenic and recreational paradise full of outdoor activities including bicycling, hiking, horseback riding, climbing and skiing. This beautiful area is home to a diverse collection of animals and plants; and birdwatchers come from around the world to witness the hawk and eagle migrations. From mid November through March three species of Rosy Finch call Sandia Crest home, making the area an ideal destination for bird-watchers.
Ask three Placitans what they like best about living in Placitas and you may get six different answers. One will say it is being so far from everything, another, being so close to everything — and both will be right.
For some it is the peacefulness, for others the proximity to hiking trails. Most will mention the perfect weather, four distinct seasons without harsh extremes. But almost everyone's answer will include something about the views. Many homes look north toward the hills and mesas, all the way to the Jemez range and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains north of Santa Fe.
Others face the mountain, that smooth yet imposing spine of the Sandias which covers with snow in the winter. Some homes get both views. In another pleasant paradox of Placitas life, these comforting views are always the same, and yet they change constantly thanks to the sun's evolving angles and the seasonal rebirth of high desert flowers and shrubs.
With it's convenient proximity to both the Albuquerque-Rio Rancho metro area and Santa Fe, Placitas is recognized as a unique – and a uniquely situated – bedroom community for these areas.
The Town of Bernalillo has grown from a small, active community on the outskirts of Albuquerque, to a bustling town of approximately 8,320. We stay true to our friendly, small town charm and our sense of family and community. With over 500 years of history serving as the foundation, we strive to maintain economic and cultural vitality.
In this attractive neighborhood there are many of the city's larger homes. Many of these homes have city and mountain views. The Four Hills Country Club is located in the center of this area. Easy access to I- 40, Kirtland Air Force Base and Sandia National Laboratories.
Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, known locally simply as "Los Ranchos," is a village in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 6,024 at the 2010 Census. Part of the Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area, Los Ranchos is located on the east side of the Rio Grande, adjacent to the unincorporated North Valley area. Los Ranchos is surrounded on three sides by the larger city of Albuquerque, and its location astride busy transportation routes has been a source of friction with its larger neighbor, as Los Ranchos' efforts to maintain its rural character conflicts with Albuquerque's desire to enhance transportation. Like the North Valley and Corrales, Los Ranchos is an expensive, mostly rural area with widely spaced large houses and dense vegetation. Signs of human activity in this area date back to as early as 10,000 B.C. The introduction of cultivated maize from Mexico in 1,000 B.C. marked a major turning point in the settlement of the region, causing the traditionally nomadic tribes of the area to adopt a more agricultural way of life. The first pueblos in the area appeared between 1 and 600 A.D., established by the Tiwas (called Tigua by the Spaniards), and by 1,200 AD there were already 14 major sites along the Rio Grande from Algodones to Isleta, the Chamisal Site in present-day Los Ranchos being among the largest of these communities.