Santa Fe - Eldorado
Eldorado lies entirely within the Canada de los Alamos Grant, a Spanish land grant which dates back to 1785. In 1883, the entire grant was sold for US$2,000. As recorded in 1894, and patented by the US government, the size of the grant was about 12,068 acres (49 km2).
In 1901, the Onderdonk Land & Cattle company bought both the Canada de los Alamos Grant and the adjacent Bishop John Lamy Grant for $10,000. The Lamy Grant was about 16,546 acres (67 km2) when patented by the USA in 1874.
The Onderdonk Ranch operated both grants as a cattle ranch into the 1950s. The ranch was sold to the Simpson family in 1956, who continued to operate the ranch until 1969, when the Simpsons sold out to the American Realty and Petroleum Corporation (AMREP) for $3.2 million, or about $118.50/acre.
AMREP proceeded to develop about 6,000 acres (24 km2) of their 27,000-acre (109 km2) purchase as Eldorado at Santa Fe, selling the first lots in 1972. For the first ten years, development was slow—only about 200 houses were built. After 1983, when AMREP won a lawsuit over water rights, the pace of development quickened. Many passive solar houses were built, and Eldorado remains the largest solar community in the USA.
AMREP platted about 2700 lots in the original Eldorado subdivisions. As of 2007, the original Eldorado subdivisions are essentially built-out, with only a few vacant lots on the market. There are large areas of vacant private land adjacent. Source for section:
There are an additional 20 or so newer subdivisions along U.S. Route 285, locally called the 285 Corridor, between Eldorado at Santa Fe and Lamy. Most of these offer larger lots and more expensive houses than Eldorado. Most are served by the Eldorado community water utility. Informally, the adjacent subdivisions, such as Belicia, Dos Griegos and The Ridges, are also called "Eldorado", but they have different covenants and no formal ties to the original AMREP subdivision.
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