• Laurie Frappier

Affordable, Supportive, Safe: Sterling|Downtown


Sterling|Downtown, a GAHP affordable housing community located on 8th and Silver in Downtown Albuquerque, is only four years old but has already found its place in the hearts of its residents and staff. Designed as “workforce housing,” the apartments provide access to public transportation, bike paths, walking trails, downtown employment opportunities, and local parks. Most importantly, the people who have taken up residence here have found a safe, affordable, well-maintained, and supportive community to call home.


“I found out about Sterling from a friend of mine,” explains Valerie, a retiree and resident of four years. “When I got here, I realized THIS I could afford, and it was a huge draw. Megan is another four-year resident who needed to find a place downtown but also needed a place that was safe and affordable. “I no longer felt safe at the apartments where I was living. But I was financially stuck. When I saw this was under construction, I immediately inquired at the leasing office.” Megan and Valerie both found more than an apartment they could afford. They found a staff that looked out for them and their neighbors and a caring community.


“I love being downtown and I’ve made some great friends here.”
two women in Sterling Apartments lobby
Valerie and Megan, Sterling residents

“I love being downtown and I’ve made some great friends here,” says Valerie. “My favorite part of Sterling is the Monarch Team,” Megan says indicating property manager Kristy Mentzer, leasing agent Cassandra Arvizu, maintenance technician Jose Garcia Jr., and maintenance supervisor Jose Garcia. “This space is so well maintained, they take such great care and pride,” explains Megan, “I feel supported. I like being able to come and talk with them when I need to, and it is comforting knowing that Jose is around.” Valerie loves that they allow pets and appreciates the support Kristy and Cassandra have provided with the documentation she needs to certify her dog, Isabella, as an assistive pet.


The Monarch team are equally as enthusiastic. “I am really appreciative of our staff,” explains Kristy, “I never have to worry. We lean on each other, care for each other. Cassandra started as the leasing agent within two months of moving into the apartments. “I love it here and it makes a difference when I’m showing someone an apartment.” Cassandra emphasizes how the residents look out for one another. “If someone hasn’t seen someone for a while, they’ll call us to check on them.”


two women and one man in Sterling logo attire in Sterling lobby
The Sterling Team: Kristy, Jose, Cassandra

For their part, the Monarch team credits GAHP and Monarch Properties for being able to provide a high level of service. “We can’t do what we do without Monarch and GAHP. They give us the resources we need to keep the apartments maintained and they show us a lot of appreciation,” says Kristy. Megan echoes this sentiment explaining, “when the developer and property management show how much they care, it shows in the attitude of the staff and that affects all of us – it’s a wonderful symbiosis. It gives you a lot of pride living here.”

"When the developer and property management show how much they care, it shows in the attitude of the staff and that affects all of us – it’s a wonderful symbiosis. It gives you a lot of pride living here."

Sterling Downtown is an affordable rental workforce housing community developed by GAHP in 2018. The community is within walking distance of the Albuquerque BioPark, Robinson Park, and many other urban amenities. Located on Silver Avenue, a designated bicycle boulevard, the community’s location provides ease and access to many transportation opportunities including direct access to the Alvarado Transportation center and the Rail Runner. At four stories, the building houses 107 apartment units and includes amenities such as a community gathering space, storage options for residents, bike storage and maintenance space, a dog wash, computer access with an internet café, and a health/fitness area with library and equipment – all promoting a healthy, active, urban lifestyle. The onsite café, operated by Phat Beaner, offers coffee, burritos, and pastries to the local neighborhood.

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