Lovelace Independence Sq. opens at this time »Albuquerque Journal

When Lovelace Medical Group’s Independence Square Clinic opens today, employees and patients will see a new facility that could serve as a template for future construction. According to Dekker Perich Sabatini, the office that provided the architectural design, the new building in 6701 Jefferson NE incorporates environmentally friendly approaches with a focus on sustainability and environmental sensitivity.

The two-story, 43,200 square meter clinic uses natural daylight and picturesque views to increase comfort and reduce electricity consumption. The building has 320 roof-mounted photovoltaic modules that can produce up to 100 kilowatts of electricity per hour for the building, with screens in two public areas that monitor electricity consumption. The lighting design includes LED lights and presence detectors that turn off the lights when rooms are not in use. Low e-glass throughout the building controls radiant heat and keeps cooling costs low. The mechanical system includes a water heat pump system with energy recovery that regulates the air temperature in the building and reduces the need for water heating.

Lots of light and mountain views enhance the patient experience in the Lovelace Medical Group's newly built clinic in Jefferson and Osuna.  (Courtesy: Lovelace Health System)

Lots of light and mountain views enhance the patient experience in the Lovelace Medical Group’s newly built clinic in Jefferson and Osuna. (Courtesy: Lovelace Health System)

Water use was a major consideration when designing the building, and the south west landscaping outside uses a drip system and timer to keep consumption down. The site’s water will drain into the “First Flush” catch basin, which will help purify the water before it enters the city’s Arroyo system. Low flow faucets and water bottle filling stations are other features.

The building can be reached by public transport and cycle paths, with 16 bicycle parking spaces. The room including the building and equipment is handicapped accessible with 14 handicapped parking spaces. Like all Lovelace facilities, the campus is tobacco free.

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The design includes carpets made from 42 percent recycled pre-consumer products. The vinyl floor is also Floor Score certified and Green Label Plus certified, with low emissions of volatile organic compounds. The paintwork and housing are also low in VOCs.

The facility in Independence Square was built for $ 30 million by developer Argus Investment Realty and positions the group for growth with 100 exam rooms and space for up to 40 vendors. The vendors and nearly 100 employees who were previously at the Northside Clinic at 6100 Pan American Fwy NE have moved to the new facility in Independence Square, including the Diabetes and Metabolic Clinic, Endocrinology, Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Podiatry.

Dan Newman, Debbie Dupes and Chris Valocchi from real estate company CBRE were representative realtors on the project. The development was carried out by Jeff Jesionowski of Aim Management and Scott Throckmorton of Argus Investment Realty. The construction was carried out by the general contractor HB Construction. Lillibridge Healthcare Services, Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ventas, the parent company) provided planning, design and construction consulting services to the Lovelace Health Systems team.

New directions for AHA

The Albuquerque Housing Authority wants to break new ground – in the truest sense of the word.

Now the AHA is holding deeds for 951 units recently transferred from the city and is trying to find various sources of funding to upgrade some of their older housing stock, make minor renovations, and possibly build new homes to keep up with demand hold affordable housing for low-income working-class families, the elderly, single parents returning to school, and the disabled.

“We look at a mix of strategies as we move forward in managing our assets,” said Linda Bridge, Executive Director. “We are re-evaluating our portfolio, which means that we are deciding which (properties) are best to invest in.”

Even the newest case is now over 20 years old. The result is an aging portfolio with large and growing capital needs, Bridge said.

While the AHA is still a government agency, it can function more like a developer, using public houses as collateral to borrow money in the private sector. That would bring in money for the renovation of aging houses and apartment buildings, finance water-saving measures and install energy-efficient lighting, new stoves and water heaters.

Bridge said the board has a housing plan to increase the number of high quality and affordable units.

That could mean some land sales to fund the expansion of the current housing stock by 100 to 150 units over the next 10 years, she said.

Another goal is to do more public relations to educate property owners about renters in Section 8 and to help dispel some of the stereotypes. The agency is considering some financial incentives to add to the rental pool in the Albuquerque area.

According to the requirements of the program, voucher families have to pay 30 percent of their gross monthly income for rent and ancillary costs.

Steve Sinovic is the real estate reporter for the journal. He can be reached at [email protected] Or call 505-823-3919.

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