ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An old downtown building sat vacant for years and attracted some unsavory behavior. But now, the building on the corner of Coal Avenue and 4th Street is being turned into something completely different to help clean up the area.
At first glance, you might assume the big blue and white building is an appliance store. But when you look a little closer, you’ll see a tattoo shop. Bael Sisneros is the owner of Por Vida Tattoo. He first opened the shop in 2006 in Rio Rancho. About four years later, he moved to the downtown area, and earlier this year, he made his most recent move to Coal and 4th Street.
“I believe it was vacant for four years,” said Sisneros. Before he cleaned up the property, the once-vacant building used to be known for attracting vagrants, and homeless people were often seen camping outside. “We haven’t had problems with the homeless,” Sisneros told KRQE.
Now with a little bit of vision, Sisneros hopes to turn it into a social hub for the community. “I really want it to be a place for people to just hang out,” Sisneros said. There’s already a coffee shop inside, and with an almost 15,000-square-foot property, Sisneros is working on adding a barbershop and some day, a gym.
He says when he began tattooing 18 years ago, he never expected he’d own his own shop, but his career has become about more than just ink and needles, he says it’s about community. “I like the social aspect of it,” Sisneros explained. “I like people,” he said.
Sisneros says even though they haven’t had any issues with security at the shop, he did invest in cameras and other safety measures to help keep the property safe.