If you’ve driven on Lomas in between I-25 and University, you’ve probably noticed there’s not much there. It’s pretty much just dirt, weeds and parking lots on one of the busiest gateways into Albuquerque.
It’s a short drive on Lomas to University Boulevard from I-25 and it’s not a very pretty one. Drivers and people pass by these deserted buildings and plots of land, which used to be car rental lots and dealerships, like Galles, that until recently occupied this corner.
Outside of UNM’s parking area, the only things really left on this stretch of Lomas are a private cemetery, a storage facility and an American Legion post.
“Very empty and abandoned and I feel like the area could be utilized in something,” said local Yousef Othman.
According to city councilor Isaac Benton, UNM wanted to give the area a facelift about seven years ago, but plans were never official and since then nothing has happened.
“It’s just a missed opportunity with empty spaces there,” said local Joshua Giese. “There could be parking or businesses to help. It just seems like a waste to have it empty.”
An old master plan from 2015 by UNM Health Sciences Center was hoping to turn this area into an expanded part of the hospital, but according to university officials, it might stay vacant a little longer because they don’t have any current plans to develop it.
As for people in the area, they hope something can be done so they no longer have to look at the empty spaces.
“There’s really not much parking for students and I feel like they can utilize this area to do something with it,” said Othman.
Other people said if UNM doesn’t pursue that extension for the hospital, they would like to see more restaurants and businesses fill these empty spots.
As for the street itself, it’s getting pretty rough, especially in the intersection of Lomas and University. The city said it hopes to repave Lomas and that intersection in the next few years.