ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been a big priority for the city — cleaning up blighted urban areas. A new report shows how much progress they’ve made.

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Affordable townhomes are already taking rise in one project and just down the block, construction will soon begin on another complex of 150 units. Their neighbor is the Silver Street Market, nestled in the heart of downtown Albuquerque.

“We have several apartment complexes nearby,” said Albert Chavez, a store manager for the Silver Street Market. “Various levels of income and so we see a pretty good variety of customers.”

They’re also now seeing plenty of construction. Across Silver, more than a dozen affordable townhomes are taking rise in the Palladium Project, just one of many projects for the city’s Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency, the group in charge of revitalizing Central. Across 2nd Street, they’ll also see a complex of more than 150 micro housing units — part of another project.

“Coming out of the pandemic, we’re seeing a really strong market for housing,” said Karen Iverson, manager of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency. “We see that all across the city that rent, the vacancy rate is really high.”

The multitude of projects along the Central corridor were originally designed to bring fresh light to areas. A new report shows just how much progress was made — like adding 178 housing options like Nuevo Atrisco and Broadstone Highlands and 218 hotel units with the Springhill Suites by Presbyterian. Some businesses near current redevelopments like the Imperial Inn, tell KRQE it’s a welcomed change.

“It’s amazing what a project like that can do to really change the atmosphere of the surrounding neighborhood,” said Iverson. “Seeing new businesses opening up and new residents coming into these blighted areas.”

Iverson says despite the pandemic, many of the projects are proceeding ahead on schedule. They include more residential and shopping options at the Highlands, along with the Rail Trails project along the Railyards.

“How do we bring businesses back to reduce the vacancy,” said Iverson. “What kind of infrastructure projects do we need to help people move and walk around the area.”

Studies are also underway to consider redevelopment along Central between University and Nob Hill. They hope to complete those findings by early next year. Back at Silver Street Market, they hope the boost in homes and jobs will be a welcomed addition to the neighborhood.

“Looking forward in particular after the last couple years,” said Chavez. “It’s always good to see new doors and new people. It would really help us out here.”

The agency is also hoping to entice businesses to the downtown area with these projects. Their new storefront grants will give up to $30,000 to businesses that open in the area.