ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – People living near San Pedro and Eastern in Southeast Albuquerque are fed up. They say they’ve complained about an abandoned convenience center time and time again and they’ve gotten no help from the city. Now they’re demanding answers.

It was once a convenience store and gas station, but today it’s completely empty. The parking lot is covered in somebody’s dirty clothes and drug paraphernalia. The alleyway behind the vacant building looks like a dump. Piles of trash are collecting in the corners, somebody has even dumped old tires back there.

Ryan Kious says this doesn’t even begin to show the problems the neglected property brings to their neighborhood. “It’s an open-air dump,” said Kious. “A problem property, you have homeless encampments and drug use,” he said when describing some of the issues they see on a daily basis.

Kious says the old gas station at the corner of San Pedro and Eastern has been vacant for about four years. He says it’s been a mess ever since. Kious, the Vice President of the Eldwe Homestead Neighborhood Association says he’s reported it to the city on numerous occasions, but he says he never gets a response.

“311 can do very little,” Kious said. “Code enforcement refuses to answer our questions,” he said.

He and the rest of the neighborhood association are fed up, he feels like the city is neglecting the issue because it’s a lower-income area. Kious says somebody needs to be held accountable for the mess, and they want answers from the city. “Why does this property get the leeway that other property owners in other parts of town do not get?” Kious asked.

The 311 complaints about this substandard property date back to May of 2020, and in that same month, a Notice and Order to Vacate was posted and recorded. Since May of 2020, Code Enforcement and Solid Waste have cleaned and boarded up the property 15 times. The most recent cleanup of this property took place last Wednesday, June 29th. Code Enforcement checks on this property 1-2 times a week. APD and Code Enforcement regularly clears the property of encampments and services are offered to the unhoused through ACS and APD. Code Enforcement is in the process of assessing civil penalties to the property owner for the care and upkeep of their property.

Regarding the fence statement made at the end of your report, the City cannot force a property owner to install a fence and many fences that are installed are quickly damaged by trespassers to gain access. The City will generally only fence a property in extreme circumstances such as structural hazards to buildings that may collapse and cause injury to individuals.

Timothy Walsh, City of Albuquerque Planning and Zoning PIO