ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Developers are pulling back the curtain on a planned redevelopment of one of the largest and mostly empty retail spaces in Albuquerque.
The site of the old Kmart at Carlisle and I-40 is about to become a revamped shopping center that could see as many as ten new businesses including a grocery store, several large national retailers and a handful of smaller shops.
Developers with Modulus Architects unveiled the site plan for the 10-acre property Wednesday during a public meeting with neighbors to the property.
President of Modulus Architects, Angela Williamson, says the property owner is planning to demolish the old Kmart building to build several new buildings on the site.
“This process we want to be a little bit different, we’re in the very beginning stages of it,” said Williamson, noting how the property’s redevelopment is one of Albuquerque’s largest projects to be subject to the city’s new “IDO” or Integrated Development Ordinance.
Modulus called Wednesdays’ meeting in part to get neighbors initial feedback on the site plan, which includes several new buildings.
The current site plan calls for the main focus to be placed on a single 45,000-square foot boutique grocery store.
“Two of the boutique grocery stores that (want to be) on this site are fighting this spot,” said Williamson.
Three national chain retailers will also round out the development, along with a couple of smaller buildings that are expected to house between six and eight smaller shops. Williamson says those smaller buildings could house businesses like a café, a yoga studio or a small brewpub.
Developers also say there won’t be a “mixed-use” component to the site, meaning no housing or office space is being planned. Williamson told neighbors Wednesday the owner is trying to be conscious of what opens on site.
“Yes, there could be some uses that you don’t want,” said Williamson. “Will there be a convenience store and gas station? there will not be. Will there be a nightclub? There will not be. May there be a brewery or pub? Yes.”
Reacting to the news Wednesday, neighbors had mixed concerns. Some felt the development seemed like “more of the same.”
“Why wouldn’t you have more underground parking?” another neighbor asked.
“The biggest concern with the members of the (city council) District 7 coalition (of neighborhoods) is the traffic on Carlisle, then it is Indian School, but they’re the same,” said another neighbor.
The developer says it hasn’t submitted any final plans to the city yet and is still waiting to see what a traffic study will do to access the site. With feedback from neighbors, developers say they may make some changes to their plans, as well.
Developers say they’re also planning to put in entirely new landscaping, new ground level pedestrian lighting and pedestrian walkways throughout the site.