By Casey Peacock
Planners and developers said the market for new homes in Portales is still strong and will get stronger as Cannon Air Force Base grows.
Larry Combs of Combs Properties is in the early stages of putting in a 55-lot residential development adjacent to Western Skies, west of Greyhound Arena. Territorial Estates will offer seven floor plans that will range from 1,350 square feet to 2,070 square feet in size, he said. From the senior couple wishing to downsize, to military families to families in search of a new home that is affordable, Combs said.
“We’re just in the process of putting in our infrastructure,” Combs said.
Combs is planning to begin building the first eight homes on the property in either February or March with a June completion date. In the price range of $130,000 to $220,000, the homes will be built of brick and stone and will feature granite countertops, fireplaces, oak cabinets and energy-efficient central air and heat among other amenities, Combs said.
“I think Portales is at the tip of the iceberg as far as growth,” Combs said. “There is a huge market for houses from $130,000 up to $170,000,” Combs said.
The housing crunch that has been seen in other parts of the country has yet to hit Portales, according to Portales Planning Director Sammy Standefer. Growth is slow due to the normal winter decline and is expected to pick back up in coming months, he said.
“I really do believe we will have an increase when the base gets here for sure,” Standefer said.
Standefer said a housing study conducted a few years ago showed that Portales was about 300 homes short of meeting the need for the area. Over the past three years, Standefer has seen an increase in housing developments coming into the area, he said.
“In my opinion, we’re still short,” Standefer said.
Across town, local dairyman Alva Carter is going through the planning process to put in a residential development, a mile east of city limits, that will consist of 58 lots that will average one acre or more, he said.
Homes that will be built on the future Adobe Estates will average in size from 1,700 square feet to 2,000 square feet. Carter and other local contractors will be working to develop the site, he said.
“We’re trying to fix it where it can be affordable housing for the average household,” Carter said.
Carter said he choose the particular location for his development due to its proximity to the high school and also because Portales seems to be growing to the east side of town.
“We felt like it was an opportunity for the city and the county and everyone concerned,” Carter said.
Carter also feels that the demand for housing in Roosevelt County will grow with the base, he said.
“I think that Portales needs to be thinking forward if the base does grow,” Carter said.
Another 25.6 acre subdivision, Desert Oasis, has been proposed for directly east of Wal-Mart by David Sanders. It would contain three commercial lots and an undetermined number of residential lots.
Combs is also building out the 26-lot Foxtrail subdivision on the south side of Portales.
Other infill projects in various subdivisions are also under way or recently completed, according to planners.