When the citizens of Santa Fe came together to plan the future of the Railyard, they planned an area that celebrates and embraces history, the arts, culture, landscape and environment.
What makes the Railyard different?
- Community-based project planning
- Land leases – City owns the land
- Subsidies for the four legacy community-based non-profits
- Rail operations retained
- Not “Highest and Best Use”
- Development/leasing/management by a non-profit
- Conservation Easement
Unlike most traditional “highest and best use” commercial real estate developments, the Santa Fe Railyard has been developed along the lines of a community-based project plan. Through stakeholder imagination and input, a Community Plan was developed in 1997. The Community Plan led to the development of the Railyard Master Plan, which was approved by City Council in 2002. The Railyard Master Plan is a comprehensive document which outlines the recommendations of a diverse group of stakeholders.
Among the key provisions of the Master Plan were:
- The retention of the central rail line for future rail operations
- A provision for reduced rental rates for 4 community-based non-profits so they can retain an integral role in the life of the Railyard
- The creation of a private non-profit entity to develop, lease and manage the use of the Railyard in keeping with the Plan’s principles
- Architectural requirements designed to ensure relatively low density development
Other unique features of the Railyard Plan are:
- An overlay of a 13-acre conservation easement that protects public spaces within the boundaries of the project in perpetuity
- Aesthetic guidelines that reflect the rail and warehouse environment rather than the traditional Santa Fe “pueblo revival” architecture
- Provisions that encourage the majority of the approved tenants to consist of local businesses as opposed to national chain stores