Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Albuquerque is listed as the #1 community by CNN Money for people to retire and take up residence.  One reason given was the revitalization of downtown.  Something I was given hell for when I was Mayor for pursuing and something that the current Mayor Berry is trying to minimize with his impact fee strategy that favors undeveloped desert land over the city's core.  I do think Berry is a decent guy, but he is so wrong on this I can't begin to enumerate the reasons why.

It was nice to see that the city planning department is giving a thumbs down on the Walmart location at Coors and Montano.  That is a positive thing.  It will be interesting to see if the Mayor and City Council will back them up on this gutsy recommendation.  If you know the intersection you will recognize that it just isn't appropriate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Urban planners - in general - do not yet realize that our cities are too dense, with too much air pollution. Density makes it difficult for cyclists and pedestrians. That's why planners have ideas about walkable communities, urban villages, infilling, and smart growth revitalization, such as in downtown Albuquerque. As for the west side, everything along Coors and the west side is a congested mess, along with cookie cutter homes with tiny yards on the west side. Historically, the very best urban planners, architects, and landscape architects of this century - such as Ian McHarg and Frank Lloyd Wright - recognized that it's best to "Design With Nature," and spread things out. Therefore the Albuquerque planners made the right decision in this case, since Montano / Coors is too congested. Wouldn't most people prefer living in low density areas with horses like Placitas, out along I-40 or near the airport, or up near Edgewood, on one acre lots? I think that it's best to spread things out, and move big box stores, and large apartment complexes, to the urban periphery, rather than in the middle of the City. And, isn't Costco a better store than Wallmart, with better employee benefits, and higher quality meat and produce? I would be afraid to travel to Albuquerque again and see the increased density and traffic. My favorite neighborhoods are Placitas, Corrales, Edgewood, and the far NE heights, due to their low density (Placitas, many properties are several acres.) And, these very peaceful, bucolic neighborhoods have lots of wildlife and native plants, so they're "greener" than high density downtown areas or the west side. As for Albuquerque retirement, many retirees would prefer a home in Placitas compared to a place downtown. In real estate, we are finding that as baby boomers are healthier and live longer and, they prefer an active lifestyle during retirement, living in homes surrounded by nature with gardening and bike paths, rather than in condo towers. Indeed, Northern New Mexico, SW Colorado, and NE Arizona (near Show Low) are popular for active baby boomer retirees in the sun belt. In many cases, downtown smart growth areas, and near UNM, meet the market needs of more transient residents, such as UNM students who often don't have cars, and don't want to drive from apartment complexes in other parts of town. - Tom Lane