City hopes to give area next to Balloon Fiesta Park a makeover

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s already an area tourists flock to and drive by; it’s also an eyesore.

Now the City of Albuquerque wants to give the land between Balloon Fiesta Park and I-25 a makeover.

“It’s a prime area,” said Gilbert Montano, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff. Montano is talking about the area west of I-25 near San Mateo and Alameda. It is an area city leaders say has poor infrastructure, environmental issues and lack of businesses.

“You find an area that typically has been run down or dwindling for some reason,” said Montano. “In this case, this is an old landfill.”

But the city hopes to change that soon, by designating the more than 70 acres as a Metropolitan Redevelopment Area.

“It’s really an area that can capitalize redevelopment and I think that’s the main goal,” said Montano.

If approved by City Council, it would mean a makeover.

“It improves pedestrian walk ways, it improves some of the septic systems, the sewer systems for functionality, development,” said Montano.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Jeremy Metzger.

Metzger is part owner of America’s Pastime Sports, one of the businesses in the area. He agrees a revamp could change the area.

“There’s basically just an empty dirt lot and it’s like that all the way down San Mateo and Alameda so there’s plenty of opportunity to make it look nice,” said Metzger.

For the city, they’re hoping changes will transform this eyesore into a destination.

“We hope it’s something that creates jobs and develops economic vitality for the area,” said Montano.

City Council will discuss the space next to Balloon Fiesta Park Wednesday. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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