ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Business owners along Menaul are still waiting to see their neighborhood turn around months after the city approved plans to revitalize it. The city told KRQE it is taking steps toward its goal of making Menaul thrive.
Boarded-up windows closed businesses, and crime plaguing the area. That’s what business owners along Menaul near the Big I mentioned they deal with. The conditions are the driving force behind the city’s plan to fix up the area. “We had a break in this year about 3 months ago. Took down the panel and glass and stole some products from there,” said Owner of Urban 360 Pizza, Tyler Fabian.
In May, the city approved the Menaul Redevelopment Plan to give ten blocks along Menaul near the University a makeover. The city has plans to upgrade infrastructure like sidewalks and roads to make the area more desirable.
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The city is also talking with businesses about incentives the city is offering, to spruce up private properties. “We’ve got some existing businesses that are interested in remodeling or selling their properties. We have a couple new properties that have gone up,” said Director of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency, Terry Brunner.
However, Brunner said the changes will take time and the corridor likely won’t see real changes for a year or two. Some business owners mentioned in the meantime, things are only getting worse, and the funding can’t come soon enough. “We applied as soon as they came out, so we don’t know what to expect. Hopefully, a good amount so we can and other businesses in the area can secure our property more,” said Fabian.
The plan also includes incentives for new businesses. Brunner said since the plan’s approval, developers have pitched their ideas to bring new life to the corridor. “We have a couple of housing developments come in some commercial and retail projects, some folks looking at restaurants. Also, hotels that are looking at maybe expanding what they’ve got,” said Brunner.
The city hopes the incentives will attract businesses to the vacant properties dotting that stretch of Menaul like the old Village Inn up for sale east of University. “We want to make sure those businesses stay in business, and we help them out as much as we can,” added Brunner.
According to the city the infrastructure improvements have not yet begun. Incentive funds for the area are available but there have not been any formal proposals yet.
The city is still looking at areas that need more lighting. They said they are also working with the Albuquerque Police Department to help prevent crime, including adding shot spotter technology.