Container community plans to embrace graffiti

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ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque developer is taking a new approach to stop vandalism at his business. Rather than paint over graffiti again and again, he plans to embrace street art in hopes of dissuading vandals.

The construction crew is hard at work to create Albuquerque’s first ever cutting-edge shipping container community, near I-40 and Carlisle.

“It’s finally coming into a reality,” said Roy Solomon, Developer of Green Jeans Farmery.

The massive metal boxes will soon house local businesses, like Bocadillos Slow Roasted Sandwich Shop, Amore Neapolitan Pizzeria, and Santa Fe Brewing as the anchor.

“The foundations are completed, we’ve got the first eight containers, the building for Santa Fe Brewing,” said Solomon. But already, the new containers have been tagged with graffiti three times in less than a month.

“It does cause a lot of grief for people, especially when people go out of their way to make something look nice,” Solomon told KRQE News 13.

The painted containers are expensive custom colors, and tough to match. But, Solomon has an idea. Rather than spend thousands of dollars to paint over the graffiti again and again, he wants to embrace the street art, and hire a professional to paint something unique.

Solomon commissioned something similar for another building in town. The massive spray-painted shark on the side of Amore Neopolitan Pizzeria near UNM, is one of Solomon’s buildings.

The shark was painted by artist, Ernest Doty. “We’re hoping that he may do another one here for us,” said Solomon.

The hope is that similar artwork at the container community will deter vandals.

“The artists put a lot into it, and I think the graffiti people that go around the city, hopefully they have some respect for that, and all the work that gets put into it,” said Solomon. “Because those people are artists too, in their own way.”

The new containers haven’t been painted yet, and Solomon is taking the graffiti in stride.

“They’re looking at themselves as trying to have their own identity,” said Solomon. “The graffiti artists that actually come and do murals, they’re doing that same thing too, and I think there’s some kind of a mutual respect there.”

The plot’s quick access and visibility might make the shipping containers sitting ducks, but, Solomon said, it can also be good for business. And if he can’t stop graffiti, why not join in?

“So it’s embracing it, instead of just getting frustrated more and more about it,” Solomon told KRQE News 13.

Ideas for artwork on the shipping containers are still in the works.

The container community is still on schedule to open this summer. There are security cameras on site to catch vandals in the act.

Along with housing businesses, Green Jeans Farmery is also using the containers for agriculture, and using them as an educational tool for students.

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