For the last few weeks, an obtrusive new structure has been sprawling, foot by foot, along a verdant ridge top visible from the Eastside Historic District. Several days ago I walked up Gonzales Road, a little past Cerro Gordo, and there it was: a multi-unit complex of 14 luxury residences called Las Colinas. The architect is Lorn Tryk, who (as a principal of Lloyd & Tryk) brought us Eldorado Hotel. The names of the other developers are hidden, as so often is the case, behind an LLC: Piedra Partners.
. . .stunning views, modern pueblo design with fabulous high end finishes all in a once in a lifetime location. . . . an enchanted East-Side location. . . . will incorporate the highest design and Green Build standards within a thoughtful village setting.
An enchanted emerald village. I guess there are people who make a living writing this stuff.
Go to the website and behold the majestic view of the mountains available to buyers. Of course there is no photograph of the view that the development will despoil.
We like to think that we have strict ordinances in Santa Fe to protect the hilltops. But as far as I can tell, this project was approved without the slightest controversy. The hearing by the Historic Design Review Board apparently received no coverage by the local newspapers. An engineer at the city Land Use department tells me that all permits were secured, and she assured me that the developer will be required to screen the blight (my word not hers) with trees. But it is hard to be optimistic considering what has happened to so much of Santa Fe’s eastern hills.
“Las Colinas” means “the hills.” In all the time I’ve lived in Santa Fe colina is a word I hadn’t run across. There are cerro and loma, but they were already taken by other developments. Maybe there is a computer program that spits out Santa Fe style names.