ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A developer wants to put up a four-story apartment building in the Silver Hill Historic neighborhood near the University of New Mexico, but some nearby residents do not like the idea. The Church of Christ building has sat abandoned for nearly two years, and neighbors say it’s become a trouble spot ever since.

“Some of those experiencing homelessness have been trying to put up camps around it, and normally it wouldn’t be a problem except, they leave such huge piles of trash and garbage and literal human waste. It would be nice if we could do something good with the church,” said Historic Hill resident Lynn Hudson.

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The developer, Juniper Properties Southwest LLC,  is requesting a zoning change to allow a four-story apartment building in the neighborhood which is known for its tree-lined streets and old homes. While residents around here know development would help deter crime. Some of them think a large apartment building would detract from the charm of this neighborhood.

According to the developer, the building would be similar to the four-story multifamily housing near Central and Carlisle. “I’d like to see it kept as a historic neighborhood and again, it needs to be something that fits with the neighborhood,” added Hudson.

Residents say they also fear the new development could gentrify the neighborhood, sending rent up even more. The proposal did not say how many apartments there would be, or how much they would cost. The city’s environmental planning commission could decide on the proposal on Thursday.