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Paseo corridor draws new day care, restaurant and medical office

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Infill developers are eyeing several different sites along the heavily traveled Paseo Del Norte corridor for new projects.

With no shortage of residential rooftops nearby, two vacant parcels of land are primed for a new Weck’s restaurant and a daycare/early education center.

Site development plans being considered by the city include applications for a 5,000-square-foot Weck’s at 7301 Paseo De Norte NE, and a 14,000-square-foot facility called Primrose School of Sandia on a vacant infill site on the north side of Palomas NE between Wyoming and Barstow. The street now is home to three residential facilities serving senior citizens and several office buildings.

At one time, U.S. Eagle Credit Union considered acquiring the nearly one-acre site that the preschool company now is eyeballing, but a zoning change asking for a drive-through riled neighbors in the adjoining Countrywood subdivision. The credit union eventually nixed its plans to build a store at the site, according to EPC documents.

The preschool/child day care center proposal also has raised concerns about traffic from residents living near Palomas, the only way in and out of their neighborhood, but EPC staff recommended approval of the two-story building, which would be west of the MorningStar Assisted Living and Memory Care facility.

According to the EPC application, Primrose plans to serve about 190 children and will create up to 40 new jobs. Calls to Primrose headquarters in Katy, Texas, seeking comment were not immediately returned.

On its website, Primrose executives say each school awards up to $2.5 million in local construction-related work. Primrose has 342 schools in 27 states and is targeting 480 franchise-operated facilities by 2020.

Weck’s, owned by Art Kaplan since 2004, will build its newest eatery on Paseo del Norte between Louisiana and Wyoming, according to the development application. The site is an informal overflow parking lot for New Covenant Church.

The Albuquerque breakfast-and-lunch chain will build the restaurant on a 0.8-acre site that was originally owned by the church. It will be accessed off of Holly Avenue.

Weck’s currently has a restaurant nearby at 6650 Holly NE, which will close, said Joe Garcia, vice president of operations.

“We should be in our new Paseo location within a year,” said Garcia of the freestanding eatery. He said the company also plans a “ground up” store on South Coors, one mile south of I-40, in about 18 months. Weck’s, whose slogan is “A full belly tradition since 1991,” currently operates 14 eateries in the state, including stores in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Los Ranchos, Los Lunas, Santa Fe and Farmington.

The Paseo trade area has 50,000 workers in a three-mile radius, according to commercial real estate brokers.

With the corridor awash in activity, developers of medical and dental offices also are looking at infill opportunities, such as Rio Grande Realty & Investments. The applicant recently asked for a zone map amendment to develop a medical office complex on a vacant three-acre site on the south side of Palomas.


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