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Notice of Public Meeting to Receive Public Comment Regarding

Proposed Sale of State Trust Lands

Land Sale No. LS-0321

The New Mexico State Land Office (“SLO”) gives notice in accordance with NMSA 1978, Section 19-7-9.1 that it will hold a public meeting through Zoom on March 9, 2022, starting at 6:00 p.m. MST. Those wishing to participate may do so by visiting or dialing in by phone at 1-666-900-9128 and entering the Meeting ID: 810 2773 3731. Any change to the time will be posted with the Zoom link and a final agenda on the SLO webpage ( at least 72 hours prior to the date and time specified above.

The purpose of the meeting is to receive public comment regarding a proposed sale of 77.384 + acres of state trust lands located in the Waterfalls Subdivision master plan area located on the East Mesa of Las Cruces New Mexico. The subject property abuts Bataan Memorial West (U.S. Highway 70) to the north, southeast of Cesar Chavez Elementary School. The 77.384 + acres is located in Section 18, Township 22 South, Range 3 East, N.M.P.M..

The land is zoned R-1b (Single Family High Density), except for 1.024 acres zoned C-2 (Commercial Medium Intensity). The commercial node is located adjacent to Bataan Memorial West on the east side of the future extension of Kyle Road.  It is expected that any buyer will develop the land for use consistent with the underlying City of Las Cruces zoning.

The land is currently subject to a 2010 lease (No. BL-1985) under which the lessee has performed certain real estate planning and development for the purpose of increasing the value of the land by making higher and better uses available and making the land suitable for future sale or lease for those uses, as anticipated by the lease.    Pursuant to the lease, which would be relinquished as to the land at the closing of the proposed sale, the lessee has extended or caused to be extended certain infrastructure to the boundary of the land.  The City of Las Cruces may, in accordance with current resolutions, ordinances and policies in effect at the time for any specific proposal, require additional off-site improvements in order to approve development and use of the land and issue required development permits.  The proposed sale would include all lands contained in this lease located north of U.S. Highway 70. Sale of this land and development by the eventual purchaser is expected to slightly increase single family residential housing stock in the East Mesa of Las Cruces with a commensurate increase in traffic and demand for public services.  At the same time, conveyance of the land from state ownership to private ownership would remove its tax exempt status and increase the tax base.

An additional 356.84 + acres of state trust lands south of U.S. Highway 70 are subject to the aforementioned lease under which the lessee has performed and will continue to perform certain real estate planning and development. The area excludes an approximate 124 acre right-of-way held by the City of Las Cruces for flood control purposes.

Under the 434.23-acre lease, the lessee’s authorized planning and development project involves (i) bringing municipal or local government water and all necessary infrastructure to the land; and (ii) obtaining all necessary approvals of zoning and project plans by the local government; and (iii) creating buildable residential, industrial and commercial lots and reserving certain open spaces; and (iv) selling residential, industrial and commercial lots or tracts; and (v) subleasing commercial lots or tracts to business or commercial users, all for the purpose of successfully establishing and maintaining a profitable mixed use development on the land.  Under the lease, the lessee may request that the Commissioner of Public Land offer for sale or long-term lease lands that the lessee has obtained annexation and zoning entitlements through the City of Las Cruces.

If the SLO makes a final decision to proceed with a potential sale, the Commissioner of Public Lands would conduct a public auction in accordance with the New Mexico Enabling Act (36 Stat. 557); NMSA Sections 19-7-1, 19-7-2 and 19-7-9; and State Land Office Rule 19.2.14 NMAC.  The Commissioner of Public Lands would issue a notice of public auction published for at least 10 weeks as required by law soliciting bids on the land. A minimum sale price would be established in accordance with an appraisal to ensure that any sale is for at least the true value of the land.  The land would be offered for a cash sale (i.e., full payment in cash due at closing) as a single tract.  Additional requirements may be established for submitting bids and completing the sale.  The Commissioner would also reserve the right to reject all bids and withdraw the land from sale or to reinitiate the process of offering the land for sale on the same or different terms.  The purchaser would be required to pay all costs associated with the transaction, including but not limited to the cost of the appraisal, advertisement of the auction, and recording fees. Conveyance of the land would be subject to all valid and existing leases, easements, restrictions, and reservations, including a reservation to the State of New Mexico of all minerals and geothermal resources in, under or upon the Land.  The SLO may offer a negative easement or surface non-disturbance agreement with regard to the reserved minerals and geothermal resources. 

If you have any questions please contact Tarin Nix, Deputy Commissioner of Public Affairs, at 505-827-5763 or email