ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The windows are boarded up, signs now flipped over, and lease signs are everywhere along Eubank and Juan Tabo.
“It’s starting to look a little third world,” said George James.
“There’s so many vacant spots,” said Tyrel Vann.
Business owners along those strips said there’s many reasons why people are closing up shop.
“We still haven’t recovered from the economy, everybody’s still reeling from all the crime,” said James, the owner of Creative Enterprises along Eubank.
He said he makes signs for the businesses both coming and going.
“Grand opening, to going out of business, there’s the whole spectrum there unfortunately,” he said.
James said the overall look of the area is also a problem.
“The infrastructure, it’s not well kept, it’s not well maintained,” said James.
Tyrel Fann owns a barber shop on Juan Tabo and said two businesses in the shopping strip where he’s located both left recently.
“My last neighbor was the nail salon, and they got broken in pretty bad where they went out of business,” said Fann.
The city does not deny the economy being a factor.
“In part, the economy has changed, the digital age has created more opportunity for people to shop online, have things delivered directly to their homes,” said Russell Brito, the Planning Manager for Design and Development.
Brito said they hope the Integrated Development Ordinance changing zoning codes will address the vacancies.
“Hopefully create some more synergy between higher density residential, smaller businesses that could be in a ground floor of a mixed use building, ” said Brito.
The city is also hoping to find use for unused spaces in parking lots outside big vacant strip malls.
“Hopefully inject some more vitality in these areas that are not as busy as they once were,” he said.
City Council will be introducing the integrated Development Ordinance Monday, June 19, and will have public hearing to follow. They hope to vote on the ordinance by September.