The Paseo del Norte retail corridor in northeast Albuquerque is buzzing with activity.
A 7,000-square-foot space at the Holly Plaza, formerly occupied by Western wear store Sheplers, is now being transformed into a Skechers, Kira Wege, a broker with Pegasus Realty, told the Journal.
Skechers is a family footwear brand featuring athletic and casual shoes in a range of styles, plus apparel. The new business, located at 6600 Holly NE Suite B-7, is slated to be open before the holiday season following tenant improvements.
Nearby, a 5,000-square-foot space now occupied by an Early Voting Convenience Center is also generating interest from potential new retail tenants. “After the election season, it’ll be full steam ahead in getting this space leased,” Wege said.
On the smoothie front, the owners of the Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchise are looking at opening a second location on a retail pad near Holly Avenue and San Pedro NE. Jake Miller, one of the co-owners, said the business is finalizing negotiations with the property owner for a space north of the Chick-Fil-A restaurant in the Del Norte Plaza.
Miller, fresh off his first year running a Tropical Smoothie Cafe near Cottonwood Mall, said the second store, a 1,750-square-foot space, will have a drive-through.
The business is in a sweet spot, said Miller, eager to capture some of the lunch and dinner trade money. “There are 50,000 workers in a three-mile radius,” said Miller, who owns the franchise with his brother, Nathan.
Eight blocks away on what had been a vacant lot, construction crews are busy erecting a dental office building at 7600 Holly NE. Trinity Construction, dental office specialists, is handling the build-out.
Call center building for sale
The Ten-X Commercial website is offering up the property now occupied by the Lowe’s Home Improvement customer support center for sale. Bidding will start at $3.5 million from Oct. 4 to Oct. 6. While the seller, a bank, is casting a wide net to find a buyer, local commercial real estate brokers are scheduling property tour dates on Sept. 6 and 7, and Oct. 3.
A participation deposit of $50,000 is required for the auction.
“The Ten-X listing is one of the many marketing methods we have available to us,” said CBRE New Mexico’s Jim Dountas, who with Terri Dettweiler are the local brokers on the listing.
The two-building property, 6301 and 6401 Jefferson NE, consists of 95,000 square feet of office space situated on 11.3 acres. The listing says Lowe’s will still be the property’s single tenant.
The opening of the call center by home improvement retailer Lowe’s was announced in December 2011 and the company said the operation would eventually grow to 600 employees.
Housing and health care
UnitedHealthcare is the largest investor in a new mixed-use affordable housing development that resulted in 74 apartments and a grocery store coming to Downtown Albuquerque.
The $11.9 million investment in the Imperial Building is part of the $34 million UnitedHealthcare has invested in New Mexico to connect housing and health care by supporting the construction of affordable housing with support services.
UnitedHealthcare partnered with Enterprise Community Investment in New Mexico to provide the equity for these new developments through the use of Low Income Housing Tax Credits approved by the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority. Enterprise identifies investment opportunities in need of financial support, and works with developers and other partners to help structure the financial resources needed for construction to begin.
“The Imperial Building is an important new affordable housing community that will have a tremendous impact in our state for years to come,” said Charles Milligan, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of New Mexico. “UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to help ensure people in Downtown Albuquerque have access to housing and health care services that will help them live healthier lives.” The collaboration has resulted in the for-profit insurer investing in five affordable housing communities with 315 new apartments and on-site support services in Albuquerque, Deming, Gallup, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.