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Carlsbad investors building rental development

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The McKeans of Carlsbad are building detached apartments, or tiny houses, on West 13th Street. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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A small rental development is under construction in the northwest part of Roswell.

The Pecos View Development eventually could include up to 11 detached apartments, or tiny houses, said Rick McKean.

He and his wife, Jeanie McKean, live in Carlsbad and own McKean Properties Trust, which has been buying and selling residential properties in Roswell and other New Mexico cities for some time.

The McKeans are working with New Mexico Custom Homes LLC of Elephant Butte to construct the units, with two being built now at 708 W. 13th St., between Washington and Maple avenues.

Those two are expected to be finished by the end of June. Then work will begin on two more units on the same lot, with completion anticipated in August, depending on the builder’s schedule.

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Once those four are rented, the McKeans expect financing approval to proceed with the next four units, including three on an adjacent lot to the south and one unit to the east.

All eight of those units have received city approval, McKean said.

Eventually the McKeans would like to build another three units as part of the project on an additional lot.

McKean said the units are planned as 12-feet by 40-feet, with porches, double-car carports, fencing on three sides of the lot and a window above the fence line. The development will use xeriscaping and one tree for each unit is planned.

He said the units will face each other. He said that means that tenants can get to know their neighbors, but the units will provide more privacy compared to connected apartment units.

“I think it will improve the neighborhood,” he said. “We have had lots of interest, people driving by and asking if we can rent them.”

While this is the first apartment development for the McKeans, they have sold residential properties and lots in the past. They also own 40 undeveloped acres just outside the town of Lake Arthur that they plan to develop into single-family home lots to be sold to builders.

McKean said Roswell is an attractive market right now because of demand and because of its affordability compared to some other southeastern New Mexico cities.

“We have done business in Roswell for 15 years, buying and selling one lot, single lots, all over Roswell,” he said. “We financed them out, and let people pay them with 0% interest and they paid them off well.”

He said he and his wife consider it more worthwhile to use their assets for housing, as opposed to keeping all invested in stocks.

He said the units — to come with appliances, including washers and dryers — will probably rent for about $900 a month, with discounts for 12-month leases.

The development will be one of the newest rental home complexes in the city. Phase two of Spring River Luxury Apartments on North Sycamore Avenue is also underway, with those 112 units having a starting rent of about $1,055 a month.

The city of Roswell and Chaves County have a need for additional housing at all levels, as members of the Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corp. have been saying for some time. The group has held housing workshops and secured funds to attract affordable housing developers to the area.

The city of Roswell recently announced that a joint venture will develop a single-family home subdivision on West Country Club Road of more than 800 homes to be built over five years, but the greatest need is for housing for lower-income residents, according to city employees.

City of Roswell Planning and Zoning staff talked about their plans to develop affordable housing in the city at a March workshop.

“Our greatest need, especially on the south side of town,” said Community Development Director Kevin Maevers, “is going to be for either low- to moderate-income housing, workforce housing, entry-level housing, whatever you want to call it. It is at the lowest end of the socioeconomic scale.”

He also said that market trends lead him to predict that the coming years will bring a high demand for “higher-density” housing such as apartments, townhomes and condominiums.

Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.