Another eyesore of an empty lot is about to disappear in downtown Albuquerque. 

While downtown is still a checkerboard of empty lots and buildings, there are more signs of life. 

The Zocalo building is the latest example. 

“Every great city has a great downtown and I think Albuquerque has been getting better and I’m encouraged by the new things that have been coming along,” architect Doug Majewski said. 

Friday was the groundbreaking for the three story mixed-use building, which will have apartments and retail. 

The city gave the developer a $250,000 grant to help make it happen. 

There’s not much business along the coal corridor, and it hasn’t seen much work over the years. 

“We hope that this new development will bright light to future developments down Fourth Street, ultimately generating traffic and bring prosperity into Barelas,” developer Andy Wilkinson said. 

This is just part of a mini-building boom downtown. Right now, over at Eighth Street and Silver Avenue, a sprawling apartment building called The Sterling is almost finished, and the One Central building down at First Street will be done this summer as well. 

Over the past five years, Albuquerque has seen the Casitas de Colores and the Imperial Building at the same intersection, along with Anthea, the Silver Moon Lodge and ABQ Innovate on the outer edges of downtown. 

The city and or county has helped with incentives or tax breaks to get most of these projects going. 

The Zoccalo building should be done next spring. 

One thing downtown won’t be seeing anytime soon though, is a new tallest building. 

Developers had pitched the Symphony Tower – the $116 million building would have had stores, offices, condos and a hotel. 

The city nixed the proposal a couple of months ago. It’s unclear what kind of incentives and tax breaks they wanted from the city.