City to consider selling park known for homeless to developer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - The city may give up on a troubled park and sell it to a developer.

The tiny park has been a huge magnet for the homeless and drug users.

The park is still filled with garbage and mattresses. It's a constant battle to keep it clean and safe, a battle the city doesn't want to fight anymore.

From the shoes hanging on tree branches to the cigarettes and syringes down on the ground, neighbors say Kimo Park has become an eyesore. 

"It is a difficult situation and it kinda adds an image to the city that is getting out of hand," said Tim Cordova.

Those who live and shop near the park right off San Mateo and I-40  say the park is filled with the city's homeless.

"It's becoming a more and more menacing problem, you feel bad on one hand but you also know it's a choice a lot of those people make," Cordova said. 

Last year under the previous mayor, the city said it was making changes to the park to make it less inviting by removing the grass and xeriscaping it. That didn't happen.

"The city has been looking at the situation in Kimo park for a number of years," said Parks and Recreation Director Dave Simon. 

Simon says maintenance crews are still cleaning the park three to four times a week - time and money he believes would be better spent on the city's other 287 parks. 

"The smart move for the taxpayer, really, and for the general public, is to invest our city resources in places that provide great park benefits," Simon said.

A proposal to sell the property is being introduced at city council Monday. According to Simon, the so-called pocket park is hard to get to and it's not benefiting the public. 

"It's a sliver of land it has very poor access and almost no parking," Simon said.
 However, neighbors suspect that getting rid of this park will only drive the homeless population into other parks. 

"Running them out of one area is just going to put them into another," said Randy Cooper.

The city says this is an isolated situation and right now they aren't looking to sell off any other troubled parks.

The city says this piece of land is valued at $90,000. The city is also looking to sell off three other small pieces of property, but these are all undeveloped.

The most valuable - a plot on Ouray and Corona near the Walmart off Coors and I-40.

The city obtained it about 15 years ago when it was building Corona. It was appraised at $256,000.


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