Originally appearing in Las Cruces Moves and Real Estate Weekly El Paso
“People should enjoy all the amenities, no matter the size of their home,” states Donnie Brainard, founder, President, and Qualifying Broker of the Alameda Property Group (APG). Residents, in Donnie’s view, should be able to work, golf, or shop, all within walking distance from home. This year, he has shifted his focus to commercial growth.
One component of that growth is the planned Rinconada Town Center, a 621,000 square-foot “mixed use” development consisting of retail, office, and residential space. Nestled within the luxurious Pueblo de las Alamedas subdivision, a 220,000 square-foot Walmart Supercenter will anchor the numerous businesses proposed for the plaza. Such a massive undertaking does not happen overnight, and not without some setbacks. The deal to bring in Walmart took ten years to put together, yet was well worth the wait. “Others see desert,” Donnie Brainard says, motioning past the bulldozers and graters just one and a half miles east of where I-25 and Highway 70 meet. “I see communities.”
For Donnie, land development does not mean flattening the natural grace and beauty that makes Southern New Mexico unique. His terraced communities preserve much of the hills and valleys to create an aesthetic that home owners find comforting. Arroyos serve as trailheads, and landscaping incorporates the local flora to create beauty while at the same time preserving precious water. Residents, in Donnie’s view, should be able to work, play, or pick up groceries, all within a walking distance from home. “We follow intense design guidelines,” he says proudly, motioning toward the terraced communities already in place.
This vision of combining luxury, design, and healthy living could very well be in Donnie Brainard’s blood. His roots run deep in New Mexico. His grandfather, a founder of the Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, served as a country doctor who worked for a room, meals, or even chickens in his service to the needy. Donnie himself lived in California for many years as a successful television producer. Still, Las Cruces called him home. Today, APG donates generously to such philanthropic endeavors as the Community Action Agency, Catholic Dioceses of Southern New Mexico, and The Sweet Life which benefits people with cerebral palsy.
“We can mold the way a city looks,” Donnie Brainard says, gazing out across his latest project, ten years in the making. “Las Cruces can be a true jewel. I want to stand back in twenty years and say with pride, ‘We did this.’”