Just two months after the Walmart in Albuquerque’s International District closed for good, the property is now up for sale. And the City of Albuquerque still has an interest in purchasing it.
In an update Monday from the Mayor’s Office, spokeswoman Ava Montoya said the city has earmarked nearly $2 million it received in capital outlay from this year’s legislative session for redevelopment in the area – money that could go toward purchasing the vacant property.
The property at 301 San Mateo SE went on the market at the beginning of May, according to a posting on LoopNet, a commercial real estate marketplace. CBRE Senior Vice President Jim Dountas couldn’t be reached for comment to discuss the sale price and if there has been any interest in the property. The listing shows the property spans 206,278 square feet and is zoned as mixed-use. Reports put the property’s market value at several million more than the nearly $2 million the city could use to purchase it.
Montoya said the city could look at additional sources of funding, both externally and internally, if it goes ahead with plans to purchase the property.
Lauren Willis, a spokeswoman for Walmart, said the company will “continue to work with the city to ensure the community’s needs are addressed.”
“The ultimate use of the property may help dictate the most appropriate sources,” Montoya said in an email to the Journal, adding that community input will also help drive the city’s plans for the area.
Walmart’s announced closing sparked an outcry from community members, who said it would leave the area with more barriers to accessing cost-friendly and healthy foods.
City and community leaders – including state Sens. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and Mimi Stewart, state Rep. Janelle Anyanonu, City Councilor Pat Davis and Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa – are working with the community to identify the needs for redevelopment.
Enrique Cardiel, director of the Health Equity Council, plans to set up input meetings where community members can discuss their hopes for the neighborhood. But Montoya said those sessions are still in the works, adding that officials are “following the community’s lead on the input process so they are in control of the timeline.”
Local officials first announced in late February – just weeks after Walmart said it would close the store – that the city was interested in purchasing the property. While there has been no official plan for the property’s use, if purchased, local officials referenced the potential as a “transformative project” and “community asset” that might include housing and food.
“We’re working on redevelopment efforts in the International District that will help fill gaps in much needed resources and amenities,” Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement. “While the future of the Walmart property is undecided, we will work with the community no matter what to make investments that improve quality of life for residents.”