ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Some road improvements into a busy retail center on Coors Boulevard have been in the making for years but now, it won’t happen yet. The developer agreed to build a turn lane into the center near Coors Blvd. and Fortuna Road so drivers heading into the center won’t have cars slamming on breaks behind them. However, four years later, it still has not happened.
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Putting a deceleration lane and expanding turn lanes on Fortuna and Coors were part of a 2017 agreement between the city and the developer of the center, which now houses a Dutch Bros. Coffee and Weck’s Cafe.
“They expected that in two particular times of the day, of course, the morning drive time and the afternoon drive time would be considered rush hour. That that traffic would start to grow and that they would need these road improvements as part of any kind of development in that area,” said Rick De Reyes, public information officer for the City of Albuquerque’s Planning Department.
After two extensions since then, the city threatened to do the work itself and charge the developer for the cost, plus a 25% penalty. The developer asked for another extension saying the pandemic was “brutal” for them and they lost revenue. They say while they are getting back on track, they need more time.
On Wednesday, the city approved a third extension. This time it is a two-year extension.
“The Integrated Development Ordinance, the IDO, does allow for extensions in making improvements,” said De Reyes. “They were granted that and they have the ability to get that because of the way the IDO reads.”
The developer said it is now working on bringing a 75 unit apartment building to the center and that the deceleration lane is built into that budget. It is unclear what the penalty is if it is not built by its two-year extension deadline.