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THE SANTA FE RAILYARD                             (See the description below of the 75 acre community planning process- 1984-2020)


The Santa Fe Railyard Park and Plaza is included in the new book “Landscape Architecture Now” published by Tashen .


The Railyard was selected and honored by the "Urban Land Institute", as 1 of the 5 national finalists for the prestigous "ULI Urban Open Space Award"


Erick Auhne of the City of Santa Fe applied for and won the "American Planning Association" Award for the Railyard, as the "Great Public Space Award"..


Congratulations to the Railyard Design Team of Ken Smith, Fred Schwartz and Mary Miss

(…and the Trust for Public Land, City of Santa Fe, Railyard Stewards, The Santa Fe Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the Santa Fe Railyard Community Corporation,  the Railrunner, Santa Fe Southern…and always, many many thanks to the dedicated community of Santa Fe )


The Railyard Team accepts these recognitions in memory of our honorable Fred Schwartz, who lead us all with dedication, to an active and exciting urban environment.      We miss Fred and his remarkable spirit, greatly ...

Santa Fe Railyard Planning

for the 75 acre $144 Million Railyard Revitalization Project

working with over 6000 people in a city-wide community planning process


"Suby Bowden + Associates" participation as of 2021:


1984     First Negotiations for the City Land Purchase of the Santa Fe Railyard, with City of Santa Fe Mayor Sam Pick, and Phil Wallen and Suby Bowden for the Santa Fe office of the  “Trust for Public Land”


1985     City Council Hearings regarding City Land Purchase Negotiations; including TPL Phil Wallen and Suby Bowden bringing Planning Representatives from San Francisco and Austin who had previously worked with “Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company” ; assisted with the “Blighted Properties” filing for reversionary tracts for the Railyard to initiate the State Metropolitan Redevelopment Act ; assisted with suggestions for members for the Metropolitan Redevelopment Planning Commission.  All of these actions were required prior to the City’s being able to apply for the land purchase. However later in 1985 the City Council chose not to purchase the Railyard Property.


1991     “The Neighborhood Coalition”, with Suby as one of the team members, held Citywide Public meetings to review the “Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company” Development Plan for the Santa Fe Railyard called “The Catellus Report by Ehrankrantz and Eckstut Architects”:  Data produced for such meetings included Census analysis and Historical Architectural analysis of the surrounding neighborhoods as well as Architectural and Planning analysis of “the Catellus Report”. Initial conversations included the need to maintain historic architectural fabric, open space, view to the mountains, maintaining commuter trains into the downtown, and establishing a programming process for the Railyard prior to future Master Planning. 


1994     “The Neighborhood Coalition” and the City of Santa Fe filed and successfully won a Lawsuit against “Catellus” for violating City Codes and Design Standards for a proposed development of a “Smith’s Grocery Store” on the Railyard.


1995     “City of Santa Fe Planning Commission”, with Suby as one of the  Planning Commissioners for the City develop and approve “The City of Santa Fe’s General Plan for Future Development”. Fundamental "General Plan" policies for the Railyard included: maintaining the railroad right-of-way into downtown for both freight and commuter use, developing a future inter-modal center, establishing mixed use zoning adjacent to existing historic residential zoning, and mass-transit connectivity.


1995     “Trust for Public Land” negotiating the City of Santa Fe’s successful Land Acquisition of 50 acres known as the Santa Fe Railyard, with an additional 25 acre first option. The TPL involvement enabled the City to buy the land at a reduced non-profit rate, with the promise of a minimum of 10 acres dedicated to a future City Park.


1996      “Trust for Public Land” with the City of Santa Fe Planning Department and “The Santa Fe Land Use Resource Center”, with Suby as a member of both of the teams,  Co-Master Plan the Santa Fe Railyard. Held six months of City-wide meetings, and ultimately a public vote occurred to define programming for the Railyard. The results of the vote included keeping the Rail Road running to the Depot; building the equivalent of a Central Park for Santa Fe; protecting and incubating creative and vibrant businesses for locals; developing a contemporary Arts and Cultural District; protecting the historic nature of the adjacent neighborhoods, and keeping the gritty architectural look for future Railyard buildings and planning.


1996-1997     The American Institute of Architects-Santa Fe Chapter, lead by Gayla Bechtol and Lisette Ellis, with Suby as a team member,  initiated the successful application for a three week professional AIA-R/UDAT to be executed for the Santa Fe Railyard, in coordination with the City of Santa Fe and the “Land Use Resource Center” (as a representative for the "Trust for Public Land").


1997     The AIA/RUDAT public process designed and produced a 27 page AIA/RUDAT Concept Master Plan (“The Community Plan”) with 27,000 copies freely distributed city-wide, and ultimately received unanimous City Council Approval, including a legislative commitment to 70% City expenditures for a public-private development of the Railyard. 


1998     The “Trust for Public Land” lead by Ted Harrison, with Suby as one of the 28 members, executed the design and legal documentation of a Conservation Easement defining all Railyard Open Space, between TPL and the City. 


1998     The “Trust for Public Land” Railyard Advisory Board, with Suby as one of the TPL Santa Fe Board Members, assisted with successful TPL applications to the City of Santa Fe to design the Railyard Open Space.  TPL was chosen to be contractually responsible for the design, fund-raising and construction of the 10-acre Park and the 3-acre Plaza and Alameda in the Railyard.


1998     SBA worked with City of Santa Fe Railyard Staff for Brown-Fields Analysis, Negotiations of Land Leases with Existing Tenants,  Design and Construction of Public Bathrooms for the Railyard, and development of Parking Meter Plans for the Guadalupe Area Business Association in conjunction with the City.


1999-2001    “Design Workshop” Railyard Master Plan Team, lead by Faith Okuma, with Suby Bowden + Associates leading community negotiations,  was hired by the City of Santa Fe to establish Zoning Standards and Design Standards for the Railyard.

Coordinated with 30 organizations for the City of Santa Fe studying train track requirements, plaza shapes and quality, landscaping and hardscape standards, relationships to the TPL Park, street widths and materials, transportation systems, land uses, relationships to the neighborhoods, financing, streets and parking, archaeology, architectural standards, and off-site multi-modal center and commuter train guidelines.  Master Plan unanimously approved by City Council.


2001-2009    Public formation of the “Santa Fe Railyard Community Corporation” as an independent Non-Profit established to construct and manage the Railyard, in coordination with the City of Santa Fe, provided continuing and intermittent assistance over an 8 year period with design and management oversight with the City of Santa Fe and Railyard Tenants. SFRCC unanimously approved by the City Council as the Organization to construct the Railyard puiblic sidewalks, streets and public utilities for the City.


2001-2002    “Trust for Public Land” , lead by Ted Harrison, Deb Love and Brian Drypolcher, with Suby as one of the TPL Advisory Board Members, designed and implemented an international design competition for the Santa Fe Railyard Open Space. Received 52 international applications, selected four finalists to be paid to produce designs and models, selected judges, co-coordinated the public process surrounding the competition and final selection of winners (Ken Smith-Mary Miss-Fred Schwartz-Pentagram Design Team from New York City). TPL’s Open Space Design was unanimously approved by the City Council.


2002-2009    “Trust for Public Land”, lead by Deb Love, Brian Drypolcher and Jenny Parks,  with Suby as one of the TPL Advisory Board Members, designed and constructed the Open Space including AIA contracts, Design process, selection of a Cost Estimating-Construction Management Team, In-House Design and Construction Review Process, Public Review Process, Fund-raising, coordination with the City of Santa Fe, Bidding and Negotiating for the Construction Team, Construction Observation, Administration and Warranty oversight.


2002-2009    City of Santa Fe Railyard Staff and SFRCC and TPL provided City oversight and coordination of design and construction of the Santa Fe Railyard, new Tenant Buildings, and Open Space. 


2005-2009    City of Santa Fe, SFRCC, TPL, The Farmer’s Market, Warehouse 21, Site Santa Fe, and The State Legislature provided fundraising for construction in the Railyard and the Commuter Train from Albuquerque to Santa Fe.


2007-2009    Facilitation of Neighborhood-Tenants-SFRCC-City-TPL in resolving Community conflicts surrounding construction development and train services in and adjacent to the Railyard,  with Suby as one of the facilitators.


2007 -2009    City of Santa Fe and Committee Members, with Suby as a "Master Plan Community Member",  created and implemented the City’s “Public, Policies and Procedures for the Railyard Park-Plaza and Alameda”. Members and SFRCC and Suby Bowden + Associates  co-designed and produced the public access manual on the City’s and SFRCC’s website. This ordinance and manual was unanimously approved by the City Council and became the founding principles for all public and private events in the 50 acre Railyard, and the first legislation encouraging and allowing improvisational public speaking, and public performance on the streets and open space of the Railyard.


2007-2009    Founding Members, including Suby Bowden from 1985, established the “Railyard Stewards”; a non-profit organization dedicated to the Stewardship of the Santa Fe Railyards in coordination with the City of Santa Fe. This citizen’s organization dedicated physical, botanical, funding, and programmatic stewardship for the Railyard, founded on the same principles as the 100 year old “Central Park Conservancy” in New York City.


2008    “Railyard Grande Opening Ceremony Committee” , with Suby as one of the committee members, coordinated special events, train rides, tours, signage, food, volunteers, music and performers for over 20,000 citizens attending the 3 day event.


2009     City of Santa Fe Parks Department and the “Trust for Public Land” and “Railyard Stewards” created and produced a “Railyard Park Horticultural Care Manual” for the complex new 10-acre Botanical Park. Suby Bowden with Molly Mehaffey, Marc Beyeler and Rowan Ogden,  funded, designed and produced the publication and distribution of the Manual.


2009     Marketing with TPL, SFRCC and the City for the success of the Railyard.

In the first 6 weeks of the City-SFRCC website, over 7000 visitors from over 52 countries logged in to see the new Railyard.


2008-2009    In December 2008 and early 2009, the commuter train from Albuquerque to Santa Fe began its first public train rides. Simultaneously the Santa Fe Southern Railway increased and improved its freight services and excursion lines.


2010-2013    Railyard Stewards and the Trust for Public Land- Conservation Easement Transfer Committee, with Suby Bowden and Gayla Bechtol, coordinated all the storage and indexing of the contents of all of the TPL Railyard Archives, as well as analyzing those contents for legal review, and participating in  City of Santa Fe Mayor, Councilors and City Staff meetings.


2013-2014    Railyard Stewards created the “Community Forestry Initiative”, with the Railyard Park as an ecological example to serve as the current and future botanical study area.


2014-2015    Railyard Stewards submit the Railyards to the "Urban Land Institute", and the Railyard is selected as one of the top five finalists in the US for the "Urban Open Space Award".   SFRCC is under construction for the new "Violet Crown Theater", and TPL is under contract with the "Santa Fe Conservation Trust" for holding the Conservation Easement.


2015  Erick Auhne of the City of Santa Fe submits and wins the "American Planning Association" Award for the Railyard as the  "2015-Great Public Space"


2015 The annual construction of Zozobra moves to the Railyard, and the Violet Crown Theater opens on the Railyard.


2016- National AIA (American Institute of Architects) R/UDAT invites Santa Fe to join 9 other cities including Portland, Austin and Philadelphia for a national discussion of successful R/UDATs in the last 50 years.


2008-2016    Santa Fe Railyards published in Newspaper Articles around the United States, including the Lead Article in the Sunday "New York Times" Travel Section with 2 full pages of articles, maps and color photographs on the Railyard.


In the first 12 months of the Santa Fe Railyard, over 10,000 additional visitors per  weekend arrived by train for the big special events such as the  “Folk Art Market”, ”Indian Market” and “Spanish Market”.


State Historic Preservation Office awarded the Santa Fe Railyard and 13 of its founding organizations, including Suby Bowden + Associates,  with the first ever “Heritage Preservation Award for Community Preservation and Planning”.


In the summers of 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 the Railyard was voted the City’s favorite new Public Space in the weekly newspaper, and The Railyard received 29 local, state and national awards.


In 2012 the City of Santa Fe dedicated $100,000 annually for the next 3 years to the “Railyard Stewards” for the enhanced programming and maintenance for the Park and Plaza.   Summers of 2013 and 2014, the Railyard Stewards produced a total of 92 events in the Park.


In the summer of 2015, there were 8 events on the historic downtown plaza, and 82 events in the new Santa Fe Railyard Park and Plaza.


The community has dedicated $144 million to the design and construction of the Railyard, and 475,000 website references now exist for the Santa Fe Railyard.

In 2020, 50 acres total, with 13 acres of open space, and 37 acres of commercial development, and 25 cares on the north and 12 acres in Baca.        . $23-million in land acquisition costs paid off in 2010. Final Build-out totals 545,000 SF in 38 buildings and 42 land parcels- 100% leased. 22 privately owned buildings and 6 are city-owned buildings. Total project value of $144 million comprised of $74-million in public sector investments and $70-million invested by private sector.


Copyright 2023 Suby Bowden + Associates

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