The Most Recent Chapter in a 400-Year History

The Atrisco Companies are proud to carry on the legacy of the Atrisco Land Grant. Each of our companies supports a mission consistent with the goals of the newest generation of heirs. From our early pioneer days to our present-day companies, the Atrisco people have prevailed. We remain dedicated to the continued betterment of our community.

Learn about the storied history that led us to where we are today.


Nine years before English colonists landed in Jamestown, the first European residents of Atrisco arrived with Don Juan de Oñate, a Spanish explorer and colonial governor of New Mexico. The newcomers farmed and raised livestock on the land located on the western bank of the Rio Grande, west of what would become “La Villa de Albuquerque.”

Archive Image">Map of Atrisco Land Grant
Archive Image

The early colonists defended against raids by the Apache and Navajo tribes but were finally driven out by the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.


Spanish colonists previously living along the Rio Grande Valley in what is now Albuquerque return from El Paso after being driven south during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Don Fernando Duran y Chavez, an officer in the Spanish expedition, requests land grants in Atrisco and Angostura from Don Diego de Vargas. The Atrisco Land Grant eventually consists of 67,000 acres extending west from the Rio Grande River to the Rio Puerco River.

Archive Image">Spanish Land Grant Request
Archive Image

The Duran y Chavez family establishes permanent residency in Atrisco, having been granted formal possession of the Atrisco Land Grant by the Spanish Governor. Across the Rio Grande from Atrisco, the Villa de Albuquerque is founded.


Mexico is created as the former colony of New Spain achieves its independence from the Spanish Empire. The area today known as New Mexico is a component of the newly established nation of Mexico.


New Mexico Territorial Legislature is established, allowing community land grants to incorporate as community land grant corporations with boards of trustees and a quasi-municipal form of government. In the following year, Atrisqueños formally incorporate their grant in Bernalillo County District Court.


As a result of the Mexican War, Mexico cedes the territory of New Mexico to the United States through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.


On May 5th, President Theodore Roosevelt designates ownership of the Atrisco Land Grant to the heirs of Atrisco through the Court of Private Land Claims and delineates the officially surveyed and approved boundaries. With that action, Atrisco heirs’ property rights become officially recognized by the United States government.

Archive Image">1905 Patent
Archive Image

New Mexico legislature passes a law allowing corporations established under the 1891 law to be recognized as for-profit corporations that can develop land. Through a vote of registered heirs of Atrisco, the Westland Development Company was created. The company would own common lands, and heirs would be shareholders in the company. Shares could only be traded and transferred to descendants.


The Atrisco Land was faced with many challenges throughout the 1900s, including a steady decline in farming due to depleted grasslands, homesteading, government land management, and the commercial growth of Albuquerque. These factors, coupled with Westland Development’s distant and impersonal dealings with heirs, became problematic. As a result, heirs and shareholders were disillusioned. By a majority vote of Westland Shareholders, the Atrisco Land Grant was formally sold on December 12 to a commercial developer.

The sale was a divisive moment in Atrisco’s history. As a concessionary act during the sale, the Atrisco Heritage Foundation was created to promote and preserve the history of the land grant for future generations.

ABQ Business First">Bidding war for Westland land settles, a bit
ABQ Business First
Legal Document">Westland Sale Agreement and Plan of Merger
Legal Document

In February The Atrisco Companies formally reorganizes around the initial work of three member companies and another chapter in the organization’s 400-year history begins.

House Memorial 18">A New Mexico Legislative Memorial
House Memorial 18
Present Day

There are approximately 50,000 Atrisco Land Grant heirs linked to the region’s earliest European residents. These heirs, Atrisqueños, are committed to preserving their rich history that began with their forefathers centuries ago.

Additionally, the legacy of the Atrisco Land Grant continues today through the development and operation of seven companies, referred to as The Atrisco Companies.