I am trying to learn more about Barelas and what it is like *now*. I've found several articles online, but I can't find anything current. I'm a transplant (from Oregon) and I've been living in Rio Rancho. I've been here for three years.

I am considering moving to the Barelas neighborhood. The plan is to buy a newer residence and live there for at least five years. I'd never heard of Barelas, but I've found a house I like - so now I'm in research mode!

I have kids, but we home school, so the school district isn't an issue. However, I do want to be able to walk around with them during the day and feel good about it. I drove through the area this evening and it seemed pretty quiet. The McDonald's was hopping, but the side streets were not.

I don't care if I have to drive to get to a grocery store (I'm in Rio Rancho, so I have to drive everywhere). I love the idea of being able to walk to a business! With sidewalks! But I don't want my "sick of Rio Rancho" feelings to cloud my judgment.

The specific area I'm looking at is near the Barelas Coffee Shop and the Rail Yards.

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Barelas is on it's way up. Traditionally, I believe most of the houses have been owned by local Hispanic or Mexican families. Originally they were built by people on a budget and it looks like there hasn't been a whole lot of money put back into the properties. However, with all of the development downtown, the progress seems to leak into the Barelas area. The property value is going up and I believe it will continue to do so. Already there has been the installment of some fancy pants townhomes/ lofts. The only downside is the homeless shelters which seem to attract some shady people to the area. They can tend to feel more threatening during the evening. Currently, I believe the mayor would like to move the shelters. However, while everyone agrees that we need homeless shelters, no one actually wants to live by one. So there you go.
The homes in Barelas have varied histories - I'm not sure I'd characterize the homes built to house railroad workers as "built by people on a budget" - this hasn't come up as I've been reviewing local history, though I may have missed something. (The houses nearer the railyard would fall under this section - these are mostly east of Barelas Road, with pitched roofs and wooden shingles and other detail. Many of these houses are built on elevated foundations, since they were built after the infamous flood - I think that was in 1874.)

The homes along Barelas Road and west range from contemporary cinderblock, which fits the "built on a budget" description, to hundred-plus year old adobes. Many of the original owners of these older Barelas homes trace their ancestry to Spanish land grant era families; the railroad homes have had more ethnic diversity in the past - I've seen Italian, German, English, and even Lebanese surnames listed in the old phone books (c. 1902). (For example, my house built in the late 1880s, for example, was owned by the Khoury family - Khoury is a common Lebanese surname).

You are right about the upkeep, Amanda - some places are nearly falling down, but others have aged well with TLC. Can you fill us in re: the mayor's position on homeless shelters? I'd like to know more.
I live on Iron (in the teens streets), and I know that I'm on the border between Barelas and the country club (and the ZOO!), but I really love it. Moved down here in December, and wouldn't move if I had to.

I work in Old Town and walk the 1.5 miles to and from work everyday. I also frequently walk to the library downtown, or to food or movies downtown.

I see the same mishmosh of people and lifestyles in the 3-5 block radius around my house, but none of it is dangerous or uninviting. Some of my neighbors are rough around the edges, and some have been challenging to deal with in the past. I finally learned about a month ago that it is because my house used to occupy the biggest troublemaker in the neighborhood (drugs and all), and so the neighbors were weary of anyone living in my house.

I've since built bridges and relationships, and a neighborhood that was a little rough and tense is now growing and evolving together.

I've lived in 3 states and MANY different types of socio-economic neighborhoods. I truly believe that a neighborhood is what you make of it.

but, overall, Barelas is not one that I would ever disregard as a great place to live. I see parks being built, families playing together in yards, and people walking dogs at any given time of day or night.
I also just moved to Barelas, off of 8th St. Its an ok neighborhood. I enjoy having dinner in my back patio, listening to all the neighborhood going by. People passing by playing music on their car radios, children running and bicycling on the street. Haven't met all the neightbors yet, but hope to one day. I've seen a couple of homeless people walking by my house, but they never bother me or ask for anything. Went for a walk the other day, no problem with mean dogs. I'm really close to the zoo, the cultural center and the community center. The library downtown is within walking distance. I hope to take advantage of all soon. I just wish there were a nice grocery store nearby.
I know what you mean about the grocery store!!! At least we have the grower's market within walking distance in the summer and early fall, though.

Hey - we should have a DCF Barelas meet-up!
i almost got to call the police last night, there was a couple fighting on the sidewalk right in front of my house at midnight. Sure woke me up quick, I turned on all the lights on outside to make sure they knew they were being watched, and heard. Thankfully, it didnt get violent and they walked away seperatly after 15 minutes. My den is in the south side of the house, facing 8th st and I am usually sitting by the window on the computer till late. I hear people walking by all hours of the night. The damn Palleta vendor passed by about 10:00pm. I would love a Trader Joes in the downtown area ! Keep dreaming right.
I've emailed Trader Joe's to please buy up Lowe's so they can have all of the downtown business! Not that they care....maybe if others sent in location requests....
Hi Gwen!

I live at Atlantic and Second.
I love my house. It's part of the Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership's plan to revitalize downtown with out killing the neighborhood.

I won't waste time repeating what lots of my neighbors have pointed out, but I will say, "please move down here"..
Neighborhoods don't improve if people who don't care don't move into them. I've seen huge changes on my street just in the year I've own my house down here. The crack pots across the street are gone, both houses are on the market and are very cute and small and begging for love. The rail yard has been cleaned up, etc.

Yes, we need a grocery store down here. I love the idea of the Trader Joe's that some one posted on one of the other parts of this. A while ago I heard a rumor that Smiths/Kroger was buying the property that used to be the Greyhound station (2nd between Gold and Lead) and going to build there. That was four years ago, I've never seen anything happen with it..
The Greyhound Station is supposed to be developed as affordable housing/condos/ apartements- I just tried to find the proposal and I couldn't - I can't remember if there was commercial part or not.
It's being developed by a company called Romero Rose, and as written, at least, it's a pretty dang impressive proposal. Lots of LEED stuff, lots of water conservation, mixed-income housing, and even a little bit of on-site wind power. Construction of some sort was supposed to start this spring...in the current economic climate, I guess we'll wait and see.
Yep, that is proposal I was looking for. I thought there was actually some more to look at though. I heard Jonathon Rose speak last year and i was impressed.
The other projects they have done are very good. Well designed, high density and affordable, but they fit into the existing neighborhoods.
http://www.rose-network.com/romero_rose.html
I hope they will post something on the site at some point soon.
I noticed you said houses on Second and Atlanitc are for sale. I actually looked at the one at 211 Atlantic. I'm looking for a place and thought it might be an option. The more you look at it, the more work it really needs. What ended up killing it for me was the fact that the space on the side of the house (what looks like it should be the driveway) is actually a seperate lot not included in the sale. It amazes me, that even here in NM, that lots were plotted that narrow. It will likely go to foreclosure, because it was up for a short sale and I doubt they will be able to unload it. Anyway, I hope something postive happens.

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