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Editorial: Pueblos’ vision in focus for former Indian School site

The newest and biggest Starbucks coffee shop in the state is also the only stand-alone Starbucks in the U.S. that is licensed to a Native American company.

Indian Pueblos Marketing Inc., the development corporation owned by the 19 New Mexico pueblos, is operating the new enterprise that celebrated its grand opening last Monday.

Located on land that once was home to the Albuquerque Indian School, this Starbucks has a decidedly Native American flair, complete with two kiva fireplaces, commissioned artwork, historic pueblo photographs and of course hand-crafted pottery in the shape of a Starbucks travel mug.

The cafe’s debut signals more commercial activity to come on the pueblo-owned land near 12th and I-40.

Michael Canfield, the corporation’s president and CEO, said the cafe is the first of three new buildings planned for this phase of development at the old school grounds. And the corporation is hoping for brewpubs, restaurants and other retail businesses at the roughly 3-acre site.

It also has asked to be among the test stores when Starbucks decides to add beer and wine sales in New Mexico.

The cafe is across the street from the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center that includes a museum/gallery, restaurant and gift shop. Other enterprises already on the pueblos’ grounds are a hotel, office buildings and a travel center that includes a gas station, a smoke shop, a restaurant and convenience store.

The pueblos and officials with Indian Pueblos Marketing Inc. are to be congratulated for their vision in developing this location into a vibrant commercial job-creating zone.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.