The abandoned Kmart at the corner of a major Albuquerque intersection could soon be gone, although plans on what to do with it have created a controversy between the developer and nearby neighbors.
There’s one thing the two groups agree on—that something needs to be done with the site at Carlisle and Indian School off of I-40.
“Maybe redevelop it into something that can serve that bigger community,” Betty Yoches, who lives nearby, said.
“When redeveloped, it’s an excellent location and opportunity for something really great to happen there,” Angela Williamson, CEO of Modulus Architects, said.
However, the two groups may not see eye to eye on what to do with the eyesore.
“We do understand that they have concerns but we’re not that far ahead yet, and meeting with neighbors, one thing I explained to them was that this is only the first step,” Williamson said.
“They don’t live in our community, they don’t live in our neighborhood, they don’t know what that impact is going to be like,” Yoches said.
The building sits quietly at the busy intersection, collecting graffiti, shopping carts and piles of litter blown in by the extreme winds Wednesday.
It’s clear Modulus has a big vision, but nothing is concrete because in order to get a big ‘anchor tenant,’ into the space, they say they need the city to rezone the property from ‘MX-L’ to ‘MX-M.’
People like Yoches and neighbor Richard Royman, worry that the new designation, if approved, will bring the kind of shops and businesses they don’t want to the area. Like, a taproom or bar. They also worry about adding traffic to an already-busy area.
“Nobody asks us what we would like. They don’t care if it takes us 20 minutes to get out from our house onto Indian School Road,” Royman said.
The next step in the project is for the city to decide on the rezoning proposition. The idea will go in front of the city’s Environmental Planning Commission on Thursday.