ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Businesses have been moving in near the Old Town area of Albuquerque and they are doing well, but that’s not the case for everyone.
A shop owner close to the center of Old Town says times have been better.
“There are a lot of businesses that are struggling,” Lisa Kinlen, Old Town Celtic Shop Owner said.
She and her husband have been in business for several years now, but say right now times for them and some neighbors in Old Town are tough.
“A lot of shops have been closing and you can walk around Old Town and there are a lot ‘For Lease’ signs,” Kinlen said.
While Lisa and her husband try to keep their Irish gift shop alive, the area near Old Town appears to be getting new life.
“We’re noticing a lot of privates sector investments, millions and millions of dollars in private sector investment and that’s beneficial to the overall community,” Gilbert Montaño with the City of Albuquerque said.
The city says Country Club plaza, home of Five Star Burgers and Amore Pizza is near capacity.
The live-work-play development mixes retail shops with homes.
Just feet away, Garcia’s has expanded their operation.
And nearby, the city’s newest hotel is also taking shape, the $40 million Chaco Hotel.
“It’s strategic and organic and it’s something, as a city, we hope to continue to embrace and encourage,” Montaño said.
Back in the heart of Old Town, this small business owner says she hopes locals don’t forget this historic plaza and the businesses that are already there.
“We always ask people, ‘Where you from?’ and we applaud the locals for coming down because it’s something that doesn’t seem to be done any more,” Kinlen said.
“I could understand and sympathize with certain businesses that maybe not have seen the thriving times as different businesses have,” Montano explained.
Another development near Old Town is at 14th and Central where the owners have plans to build a retail and restaurant location.