Big 5 To Open In August, Opts For Good Neighbor Policy
By ROBERT NARANJO
Ranchitos – DBGC, LLC, a construction company out of Coppell, Texas is the contractor for the construction of a Big 5 Sporting Goods store currently being built in the Ranchitos sector of Española.
Bill, the spokesman with DBGC, was on the job site recently and said they are looking at an August completion date for the new sporting goods store.
Ranchitos continues to see more new business construction with a growth spurt that no business zone in the city can match. The growth has been fairly steady for the past few years based on building permits issued by the city. Or, if one passes through the North Riverside Drive, a noticeable change is apparent with new businesses standing where there was vacant land before including the Big 5 location.
Historically, “Ranchitos” was known as “Ranchitos de San Juan,” therefore, the boundary for Ranchitos begins at the San Juan Land Grant (not reservation) which starts at Murphy Oil’s gas station (former site of Red’s Bar and Lounge) and Walmart’s northern boundary. That land grant property line extends east and west well into the foothills on both ends and it marks the southern boundary of the San Juan Land Grant.
City officials prefer the growth in the areas of the city that are in Rio Arriba County. A petition by residents living in the southern sector of Española, situated in Santa Fe County, to officially break away from it, citing property taxes duly paid but little services to show for it, hit a legal roadblock when a recent district court decision ruled against the petitioners.
Both counties are part of Española, but Santa Fe County has a “Living Wage” ordinance in place. A “living wage” in Santa Fe County calculated by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is $11.57 per hour for one adult in the household and it goes up from there according to household size.
Asked if Big 5 had considered the location behind the new McDonald’s in Fairview as a building site, which lies a few blocks south of the new location selected, Bill confirmed that corporate had considered it, but the price for the property was more (of an expense) than Big 5 was willing to invest.
Big 5’s new location, off Mountain View Drive, in Ranchitos is next to the blue metal building that once housed Surplus City, Rio Arriba County, and now has Presidio Machine and Engineering, located there
Its neighbor to the east is El Buen Pastor, which apparently, surveys revealed, had inadvertently encroached on the former owner’s property, but Big 5’s owners are planning to be “good neighbors” and not require the church to move its boundary, according to Bill, the construction company’s spokesman. He did not say how much property, (feet past the surveyed boundary), had been mistakenly encroached upon by El Buen Pastor
Big 5’s southern neighbor is a laundry business in a small strip mall whose owner(s) expressed concern that Big 5 was going to depreciate their land value with the addition of their sporting goods store, according to the construction spokesman. They also raised concern about the fence that was removed at the property line but a new fence is going up soon, Bill related.. DBGC engineers reconfigured some other designs to be a good neighbor to the laundry, too, he said.
A quick check with a soon-to-be local Realtor confirmed that, in general, anytime a big corporation puts one of its stores in any given location, soon other retailers start building next to it and property values go up around that national chain store. He pointed to Walmart as a prime example. “It’s textbook,” he said
Big 5 has an existing city street, Mountain View Drive, on its north.which will serve as an access.
Big 5 bounds North Riverside Drive on the west, and it’s likely that no major work on that city street will be needed to accommodate additional business traffic due to the building of the new sports store.
A water catchment basin is being placed on the Big Five property near its boundary with North Riverside Drive to prevent water from flooding during a seasonal torrential downpour.
In the not-too-distant past, some of the few businesses in Ranchitos were Red’s Lounge and Steakhouse, John’s Service Station, the Ranchero Motel, a couple of auto repair shops, Sanchez Bros. cinder block company, Surplus City, Mr. G’s, Tap’s Furniture, Gil’s Rental, and a handful more.
In the 70’s, El Pasatiempo theater, was built on the old Merhege baseball fields, (where Walmart is now). Then, in no particular order, came Auto Zone (formerly Yellow Front), Ace Hardware-Quick Fix, (now North Central Regional Transit), Dairy Queen, Community Bank (now NM Bank & Trust), Garcia Tire, US Forest Service, plus others, and then Walmart followed suit. After Walmart, construction of new businesses exploded with a surge of new business construction followed the Walmart Super center.
City Planning and Land Use (P&LU) Department (Old Planning and Zoning) said that the developer is “planning office space” modules in the property between Childish and the newly-built Freddy’s Custard and Steakburgers. Maestas and Ward Realtors of Albuquerque had a black “Maestas / Ward Commercial Property” sign on the location Freddy’s is on now for a few years.
City P&LU staff related that on average 19,000 cars per day pass through North Riverside Drive which has made that area’s growth fairly rapid.
Bill, spokesman for the Big 5 contractors, DBGC, LLC had nothing but praise for the local subcontractors it has hired thus far: Leroy’s Excavating, RVS Plumbing, SanBros, Inc. who is doing the electrical, all are area contractors. The cement work subcontractor is The Next Generation, Inc. out of Santa Fe.
Bill said that many times out-of-state contractors have no idea whom to select as “subs” or subcontractors, but he was very pleased with his selection of local subs “who are doing a great job.”
In terms of the number of employees that Big 5 will hire in Espanola is not completely known. However, Santa Fe’s Big 5 has about 18 total employees, including managers, according to an employee there contacted by phone. The employee transferred the call to a manager who confirmed the approximate number of employees at 18, “maybe 20” but said it all depends on how well the store does. That is the main indicator of how many employees it will ultimately hire, he said. And added, that there is a Big 5 store in Taos, but not in Los Alamos.
Bill, the spokesman, was informed by the reporter that the local high school, Española Valley, is the 2016 Class 5 A State Champion, the state’s second biggest classification, and the second championship in five years for the Sundevils.“That gives me an idea,” he said. “I’m going to put a bug in the owner’s ear,” and he related what his idea was. The reporter said he would not print it, but needless to say, it’s an exciting idea that Bill will propose to the owner(s).
Stay with the Valley Daily Post to see if Bill’s “bug” did its job, and if it did, our readers will be the first to know what epiphany came to him.