ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque is looking to buy the abandoned shopping center at Central Avenue and Juan Tabo Boulevard. The Franklin Plaza has been an eyesore and a magnet for trouble for almost 20 years.
In 2018, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller talked about his effort to revitalize rundown buildings along Central Avenue; but five years later, it’s hard to miss the Franklin Plaza as it’s still boarded up and abandoned.
City Councilor Renée Grout wants the city to purchase the plaza and redevelop it. She explained, “Right now we are waiting to hear about the results from the environmental study that was done on the property. There was a dry cleaner’s back in the day; we got to see what that’s like.”
Grout sees an opportunity for the east Central property which has been used in films like “Army of the Dead,” and the Tom Hanks movie “Finch,” where the Old Furr’s supermarket was used as a post-apocalyptic setting. “We would like to have the new fire station, fire station 12, to be built on the north three acres, and then the remaining seven acres would be redeveloped,” Grout says.
Plans include a potential urgent care, restaurants, stores, and affordable housing. Grout hopes this will help lower criminal activity and fires in the area. She continued, “I know that that property has had its share of nonsense, and I think that we need to bring back businesses and bring back development and run out the nonsense.”
If anyone has ideas for what they would like to see developed, Councilor Grout says her office is taking suggestions. The city is still negotiating with the owner on a price.