ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Formerly blighted and vacant stretches of Central Avenue are coming back to life, thanks to continuing investment by Albuquerque’s development community.
Transformation of Central Avenue is an ongoing, incremental process. In 2015, the Journal reported that an estimated 60 properties or more had undergone radical improvement in the previous decade, either through new construction or major renovations, for those looking to live, work or play along the avenue.
At that time, veteran developer Paul Silverman, whose company was behind the four-story Imperial Building Downtown, predicted that up to $2 billion would be invested in the corridor’s redevelopment over the following 20 years. “You’re basically going to see a new city built,” he said then and still asserts.
Sharing this vision of resuscitating the corridor, other development teams are thinking big, with hotels, apartments, eateries and breweries, and retail spaces.
“Our main focus is Downtown, because that’s where the most need is,” said Silverman of future projects now on the drawing boards. Silverman’s company, Geltmore LLC, said the success of those projects will be pegged to the controversial Albuquerque Rapid Transit. “It’s really going to rejuvenate Central, the oldest road in the town,” said Silverman, an unabashed fan of transit-oriented development. “The progress (along the ART route) already is amazing: new sidewalks, curbs, lighting and fiber optics.”