The Supportive Housing Coalition of New Mexico and Thomas Development Co. held a groundbreaking for La Serena Apartments.
The Supportive Housing Coalition of New Mexico and Thomas Development Co. held a groundbreaking for La Serena Apartments.
MFA officials participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for La Serena Apartments May 20, 2024.
MFA officials participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for La Serena Apartments May 20, 2024.

Supportive Housing Coalition of New Mexico and Thomas Development Co. break ground on La Serena Apartments, a new affordable senior living community in Albuquerque


Albuquerque, N.M. – Today the Supportive Housing Coalition of New Mexico and Thomas Development Co. announced the groundbreaking for a new affordable housing community, La Serena Apartments. The multifamily senior housing development will create affordable rental options by leasing based on income limits versus market rate, thanks to financial resources from New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA), Bernalillo County, City of Albuquerque, Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust and CREA.

“It has been reported that we are experiencing a pronounced shift towards aging, and that Bernalillo County’s older adults will make up over 40% of the county’s population by 2030,” said Laura Chavez, Supportive Housing Coalition of New Mexico President/CEO. “It’s important that the residents of La Serena have access to services that are uniquely tailored for seniors and aging adults. Supportive Housing Coalition of New Mexico will provide La Serena’s on-site programming to support the needs of seniors through the delivery of individualized and community-based services. SHCNM’s team partners with different senior programs locally (and statewide) that support health and wellbeing for the residents and the community overall.”

Thomas Development has been building versions of the La Serena Senior Apartment Community for over 20 years. Each new development leverages on good decisions made in the past and tailors each development to its specific market.

“Our overarching goal in developing senior affordable housing is to create an atmosphere of community and hominess as our experience shows that many of our residents have never lived in an apartment,” said Thomas C. Mannschreck, Thomas Development Co. President. “Our senior communities are more than just the four walls of the apartment. Rather they include wide central hallways with continuous handrails and elevators; a host of community spaces including a large living room, meeting area with a kitchen, business center, library, exercise room, craft room, a meeting room for family gatherings, community groups or space for the plethora of social services Supportive Housing Coalition of New Mexico will provide.”                  

Outside amenities include raised gardens which are wheelchair accessible, a dog run, a large patio with outdoor furniture and barbecues.

The wow factor of La Serena is the 4th-floor deck solarium designed for all weather enjoyment, gazing out to the east and the sun rising over the Sandia mountains. La Serena Apartments are located in the West Mesa neighborhood of Albuquerque, near Coors Boulevard and Los Volcanes. The 100-unit development will include a four-story building with 60 one-bedroom apartments, 40 two-bedroom apartments, and management/support spaces. La Serena Apartments will also feature in-unit washers and dryers, multi-purpose rooms, a solarium, fitness spaces, a library and a dog park, as well as community meeting and dining spaces. Additionally, the development will include two separate garage buildings and a fenced perimeter with security gates.

MFA provided $3.3 million in funding for La Serena Apartments. MFA funding includes loans from the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund ($1 million), the National Housing Trust Fund ($1.5 million), and HOME ($800,000), which is a federally funded program under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. MFA has also awarded federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to La Serena, which are expected to produce approximately $13.2 million in cash equity for the development. The total development costs are just under $30 million, meaning MFA is contributing approximately 52% of the financing for the development.

“Considering the large need for affordable housing in the area, La Serena Apartments will be a welcome addition to the community and will provide quality, safe housing for seniors,” said Isidoro Hernandez, MFA Executive Director/CEO. “MFA’s vision is that all New Mexicans will have quality affordable housing opportunities. This community will bring our vision to fruition for the many who will call it their home. We are grateful to the members of the MFA Board of Directors for their continued support and to our legislators and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for funds made available through the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund.”

Bernalillo County also provided tax-exempt financing through project revenue bonds for land acquisition and construction for La Serena. Project revenue bonds are issued to provide financial assistance to affordable housing development projects that show significant benefits to Bernalillo County. Although the county is the issuer, project revenue bonds do not constitute a debt to the county, instead the company is responsible for payment directly to the bondholders.

“La Serena Apartments is an example of how quickly we can spark change when we work collaboratively,” said Bernalillo Commission Chair Barbara Baca. “I am pleased to see more affordable senior housing made available on the West Side near Los Volcanes Senior Center.”

It takes a village to gather the resources to develop low- and moderate-income rental housing. That village includes:

  • New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority: provided both tax credit equity and various sources of subordinate gap financing to La Serena and patiently held those resources as Thomas Development Co. designed, redesigned, bid, and rebid the development until Thomas Development Co. achieved financial viability.
  • Bernalillo County: issued the tax-exempt bonds and facilitator of the structure allows La Serena to, because of the affordable nature of the rents, be exempt from property taxes.
  • CREA: purchased the low-income housing tax credits provided by MFA, and the proceeds are equity needed to construct these developments.
  • The City of Albuquerque: waived impact fees in the amount of $227,000. The city also reduced water, sewer plant and hookup capacity fees by $232,000. Both these contributions by the City of Albuquerque were discretionary, and all parties are appreciative of the City for helping bring new senior affordable housing to the West side.

“This development and construction team is passionate about quality affordable housing,” said Zach Gruen, HB Construction Executive Vice President. “Together, we had the chance to fine-tune this design to ensure residents get the features and the security they deserve.”

HB Construction will serve as the builder, and Erstad Architects will serve as the designer. During the course of construction, more than 150 jobs are anticipated to be created. Other development partners include the State of New Mexico, New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration, Tierra West, Monarch Properties, Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, NAI SunVista, erstadARCHITECTS, NP Engineering, PK Associates, Sherman and Howard, ISHC, Nelson Construction and Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust.