ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After sitting empty for years, the historic Kress Building could soon see new life with a little TLC. Plans to revitalize the building have been in the works for the last four years. However, COVID slowed things down.
Anna Muellar used to own the Kress, and when she passed away, the building was left to her sister Frankie Veronda, who is looking to reopen the building while keeping its historic charm as a way to honor Muellar.
Veronda, who lives in California, is doing this with the help of Victoria Vandame, a local business owner in downtown Albuquerque.
“I always tell Frankie that I’m dribbling the ball for her and when we get the Kress Building going up, and it’s going to be a beautiful space, she can do the slam dunk,” Vandame said.
There are ideas to build a roller skating rink on the main level with a speakeasy and lofts on the top. Plans even include a pop-up performance space and a recording studio. It would be a gathering place during Artwalk and a space for artists to create masterpieces. There are talks of adding garage windows to the back of the building to have car shows.
“Albuquerque is ready for this I think. Something to this caliber,” Vandame said.
Vandame hopes it will become a one-stop shop for all ages.
“If we’re working on our building and making this part of Downtown a really beautiful space, then maybe our neighbors will follow suit,” she said.