I lived in Cinnamon Tree apts about 15 years ago, so take my comments with a huge grain of salt. It was my first apt on my own, and I was attending UNM. I got the cheapest studio at the time, which was $280 per month. It was a good experience for me, good clean new apt complex and all, but it was in a rough neighborhood. If you are planning on living in a good walking neighborhood, then you should consider something farther west. Probably west of Carlisle. That being said, I'm not an expert on the nob hill/university neighborhood, so my advice above (huge grain of salt) isn't all that relevant.
I spent several years working for a summer educational program that housed college students at several locations around Albuquerque. We placed people at the Cinnamon Tree at least twice. The apartment complex itself is nice and well-kept, but I'll echo Ron...it's not exactly a great part of town. I would say it has improved in recent years...the Asian/world market at the corner of Central and Louisiana has brought a lot of new life to the area, including several more great Vietnamese restaurants and a weekly food truck pod. Access to other parts of town without a car is also better than it used to be...there is a bus stop for several relatively late-running bus lines that will get you to downtown, Nob Hill, the Uptown shopping area, and the malls. It is an interesting part of town that I spend a fair bit of time exploring...Albuquerque's two most impressive Buddhist temples are right in the area, as are lots of interesting food options ranging from Mexican popsicle and hot dog stands to Columbian chicken restaurants and Nigerian eateries. And Vietnamese places, lots of them.
That said, it is still really not an area I would feel comfortable walking much in, especially at night. The intersection of Louisiana and Central itself is safer than it used to be, but things decline very quickly as you move either east or west. Businesses close early, it's pretty dark, and there is still a lot of crime: prostitution, public drunkenness, and drug sale/use are the most obvious, but a lot of muggings and burglaries get reported in that area too.
The same company that runs Cinnamon Tree also run a couple other complexes around town. You might consider Sun Village, for example.
I echo the suggestion to look west of carlisle. I've lived in some not so hot parts of abq in my day and I'm pretty confident in my ability to stay safe walking around at night, but I really don't think I'd choose cinnamon tree. aside from safety issues, there's frankly not much in the neighborhood that you'd want to walk to, aside from ta lin, so there aren't tons of opportunities for meeting folks in that area. if you have a little more time, I would definitely suggest you keep looking.
nob hill is a great neighborhood, though it's also one of the pricier ones in terms of rentals. and you're a lot more likely to find little back houses/converted garages than apartment buildings. having lived in a couple of those in the past, that can be a great situation--provided the person in the front house is a decent neighbor. I would suggest including university heights and silver hill in your neighborhood search.
since transportation isn't much of an issue, I would also suggest looking downtown, which can be a great place to meet people, with walkability to bars/live music and the farmer's market and rio grande pool in the summers. check out the villa de san felipe apartments on lead. they're nice spaces and I'm pretty sure they have some places within your budget. there are also some really cute looking courtyard apartments downtown, on and around lead and coal around 10th street or thereabouts.
this is kind of a cool tool for rental searches too. when you click on the little pins it gives a brief description and links to the craigslist ad. good luck!
I agree with others that the Cinnamon Tree is not a good choice. My stepson lives there and I worry for his safety, both inside the complex and outside in the streets. The loft layout looks cute but he lives in a so-called 1 bedroom that is as small as they come. Make sure you really check out dimensions on these places.
Like others, I suggest you look more west (towards downtown) Maybe from Washington St in Nob Hill through the university area and then towards downtown until about Presbyterian Hospital or so. Good luck, Dee
I think I've given my two cents in the past concerning this. My recommendation would be to search for an apartment downtown. You might need to drive, walk or bike around to look for "for rent" signs. The Raynolds Addition, for example, has many small, 1930s-era apartment buildings which are likely still reasonably priced . . . they were when I first moved to Albuquerque. I, too, always wanted to live in the Nob Hill area and back in those days when I was a renter and I was moving, would strongly consider Nob Hill. I found the area too expensive for what was being offered. Downtown has a lot to offer (walkability for one) and the Central Ave. bus can whisk you up to the university area and back.
Yes, PGH has some great advice. I was just going to say check downtown for some cute smaller places. They may not have the amenities of some of the larger complex's...but in my opinion offer way more in quality! Many are listed below $600 for even a 2bedroom. About 12yrs ago I used to rent a super cute one bedroom on Fruit st for $400!! The management company was called "Lebeck and Co"?? I'm pretty sure...may be worth looking into.
My feeling is also to go with the smaller places -smaller duplexes, 4-plexes, 6-plexes etc. in your area of interest. There seem to some around. They have much more of an ABQ feel to them. But I don't want to push my sensibilities on you. Big complexes have much to offer too. .
I just realized the propety people I rent from might be helpful;They seem to have cute apts listed.
Cornerpost Company I worked with them when I moved here from CA so I did everything long distance too. They are incredibly nice and reputable, especially Linda at the front desk. Dee
Another good neighborhood to consider in Silver Hill. They have a very active neighborhood association and the neighborhood has lots of rentals to offer. It is also very walkable and close to UNM.