ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Mayor Berry is meeting with the city council Monday afternoon to work on a plan that could transform one of Albuquerque's greatest treasures, Route 66. It's the 15 mile stretch a historic highway that's a favorite for some. It reaches all the way from 98th street on the West side to Tramway on the East side, it's also known as Central Avenue.
"The restaurants, the shops, the fact that most everything is locally owned, it's not big chains, and there's just more interest in Central Avenue than a lot of other places in town," said Kathi Ingley a patron of Nob Hill when asked what she liked most about the area.
"This is one of the longest stretches of Route 66 in an urban area in America," explained Mayor Berry. "We've got a lot of great neon, a lot of great history, a lot of great excitement."
It's excitement that the Mayor hopes will turn into expanded growth, tourism and more jobs in the near future.
He said one day he would like visitors to bypass the city's freeway altogether and take Route 66 through town instead.
To make that happen the Mayor wants the city council to devise a plan that would offer tax incentives and enticements for growth for developers and businesses. He also wants to lift certain restrictions like sign ordinances and building codes, giving private developers more freedom.
"We're just trying to cut the private sector loose to have a good time and be innovative on Central Ave.," Berry said.
Because the plan is focused on lifting government restrictions and creating incentives, it shouldn't be taxing on taxpayers. It's not predicted to cost them anything, but is expected to help with crime while creating jobs.
A public meeting is set for Monday at 3:30 p.m. in city hall to gather opinion and give people a first look at the plans.
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