ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - A big project is planned for a part of Albuquerque that usually doesn't get very much.
The plans slated for the area of Coors and Rio Bravo include a 14-screen movie theater, department stores, room for a farmers market and lots of slots for local business.
According to developer Steve Maestas, the area has been neglected by county commissioners for years. "It's really a shame that the southwest has really been bypassed as it relates to economic development," he said. The South Valley is the second fastest growing area in the city.
"You have to drive 15 minutes one way to go to a sit-down restaurant or get a cup of coffee," said Maestas. "It's a tough thing to do in this economy."
Tuesday Maestas and his business partner are scheduled to ask the county commission for $1.5 million in taxpayer's money to get the project off the ground. The funds will be used for infrastructure development. The project is expected to cost $55 million, but Maestas says that's all taxpayers will need to fork out. He also says they will get their money back following gross receipts taxes, revenue and other fees generated by the new center.
Residents seem to like the idea. "A lot of people that live in this area need a good job to support their families," said Manita Lavato. "Right now jobs are so scarce."
The project is expected to create 1,100 construction jobs and 550 permanent ones. If approved Tuesday buildings could be up within the next two years and developers say they already have commitments from multiple national retailers.
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