Land in South Campus area that UNM is seeking to acquire.
Land in South Campus area that UNM , is seeking to acquire.

In order to implement its South Campus master development plan, the University of New Mexico is asking a district court judge to set a value for 23 lots in the area south of University Arena. Current landowners, the Gutierrez Family Revocable Trusts, are joining with UNM in requesting a judicial determination on the value of lots in the Sunshine Terrace subdivision.

Over the years UNM has made a number of attempts to acquire the lots, for amounts not acceptable to the property owners. State law limits the amount the university can offer to fair market value as determined by an appraisal of the land. The property owners have agreed to participate in an eminent domain proceeding in which the university obtains possession of the land and the court determines value based on valuation evidence presented by each party.

"We believe this is the fairest way to proceed," said UNM President Robert Frank. "UNM wants to acquire the property to continue development of the south campus area in a way that will benefit both the university and the community, but we are sensitive to the interests of the landowners." If UNM acquires the land, it will be used for athletic facilities, including the UNM baseball and softball stadiums, tennis courts, multi-purpose athletic playing fields and related parking.

The university is currently offering $1.1 million for the lots. In an eminent domain proceeding, the court determines just compensation based on its own assessment of the valuation evidence presented. UNM Regents have authorized the acquisition of the undeveloped lots.

"The regents believe this action is an important part of the long-range master plan for the UNM South Campus," said Board of Regents President Jack Fortner. "We already have more than 800 students living on South Campus and this planned development would provide them an area for educational and recreational activities."

The UNM Master Plan can be found on the Campus Planning website.

Media contacts: Dianne Anderson (505) 277.1807; email: or Karen Wentworth (505) 277.5627; email: