ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A long-shuttered Albuquerque shopping center along one of the city’s busiest intersections is now getting new life. The La Mirada Shopping Center was once bustling but after the departures of Hastings, Hobby Lobby, Noble and most recently, Payless, it’s been quiet. Now, it’s being torn down for a new project.
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“It was easy to get in and out of here, there were several roads,” said Charlie Aldrich. “I think Hobby Lobby was here and it was always busy with different kinds of people and was really nice.”
Today, that’s a different story. Now, much of the lot is fenced off while construction crews tear down the strip mall. The former Hastings, once known for entertaining locals with movies and books, served as entertainment once more for Charlie and Donna Aldrich, who brought their grandkids to watch the demolition.
“It was great because our grandson was really excited to see the machinery working and we were excited. It was kind of interesting to watch,” said Charlie. “Our granddaughter just got out of school so we brought her back by to see it too.”
Off of one of Albuquerque’s busiest intersections — Wyoming and Montgomery, which sees more than 37,000 vehicles per day — there are already plans to revitalize the once-bustling shopping center. It sits across the street from already busy spots like Montgomery Crossing and Los Altos Plaza.
“It used to be bustling, lots of cars parked in the parking lot,” said Donna Aldrich, who lives nearby. “We were just wondering what was going to replace this whole strip mall.”
According to plans submitted to the city, the plot of land could go from entirely commercial to a hybrid of residential and commercial. There will be more than 60 homes on the western half of the plot — which is about 15 acres total — and eight spots for businesses along the main streets. While it’s still unclear how soon we could see these new additions pop up, neighbors like the Aldrich family look forward to the change.
“It would be nice to see businesses come back instead of just ordering online,” said Charlie, who also lives nearby. “It could be somewhere where people could actually go out and see things and see each other.”
As for separating the new neighborhood from commercial spaces, developers plan to add a retaining wall along the homes. The city’s Development Review Board will consider the future plans for the plot of land during Wednesday’s meeting, set to begin at 9 a.m.