Most locals already know this, but USA Today says the Santa Fe Railyard is among the best up-and-coming neighborhoods around the country.
The popular gathering place landed in USA Today's top 10 list with other places that are experiencing "the most promising" and what it called "unlikely rebirths."
"The Santa Fe Railyard is a newly created 50 acre neighborhood on the edge of downtown Santa Fe that's quickly developing into a district for shopping, attractions and events," according to the write-up.
"Enticements include the wildly popular Santa Fe Farmers Market, a public plaza, brew pubs and restaurants, a 10-acre xeric park, a boutique bowling alley and a bike path connecting the Railyard with the rest of the city. The formerly abandoned Jean Cocteau Cinema is now owned by George RR Martin, of "Game of Thrones" fame, which will soon reopen as a multi-screen theater."
The city of Santa Fe paid $23 million for the project in 1995. That debt was paid off in 2010 through a gross receipts tax dedicated to the Railyard.
While the acquisition debt is paid for, most of the infrastructure costs remain.
The city issued bonds to cover about $18.9 million in infrastructure-related costs.
The nonprofit Santa Fe Railyard Community Corp., which manages the city-owned space and is in charge of leasing parcels to developers, has paid $5.4 million of that to date. It will continue to pay off the balance over the next 15 years under an agreement with the city.
"We're your tenant," SFRCC Executive Director Richard Czoski told the City Council last week. "We master lease everything on the Railyard except the park."