When the Downtown residents of Albuquerque complain about quality of life, groceries tend to come up. As you might know, Downtown has only one grocer. While that store, Lowe’s at Twelfth Street and Lomas, offers a charming little selection of basics (mostly of the General Mills, Kraft, ConAgra genetically modified large food corporation variety), it’s not a place where you can purchase gourmet items, organics, bulk, anything that would cater to a restrictive diet, natural body products or green cleaning supplies. And shoppers can’t even pick up a bottle of wine there (though the store would like to sell alcohol—it’s not allowed to). With its existing historic neighborhoods prospering, and scores and scores of new loft developments Downtown, why is this our reality? It’s not as though there’s a lack of space either—empty lots, abandoned buildings and storefronts blight all of downtown, and some of these spaces would make cute little bodegas, others could hold a Whole Foods.
Recently this ongoing frustration took shape as a group on Facebook. Read some choice comments on the matter after the jump.
“Alas most of the development that goes on Downtown (or anywhere in New Mexico) is centered first on the interests of the developer, then maybe later on the needs/interests of the community/neighborhood in which the development takes place. In the Huning Highlands neighborhood a few years ago it was shortsighted neighborhood association members that hobbled Rob Dixon when he was trying to get a decent grocery store near the ABQ High lofts. The BCCP/Edo interests at least had some regard for the needs of the neighborhood ... ”
“Yeah, I find it so ridiculous that lofts keep coming up and yet no worthy market exists in the downtown area—sorry Lowe's your canned goods don't meet my needs. There is talk about developing the old Barelas rail yards!!! Contact people in the Barelas Neighborhood Coalition .... they are actively involved, but not sure where the plans are going - except for YES, more fucking lofts!!”
“Who and what do we need to do to get this going? There is a nice spot ont the corner of 3rd and Central. Developers? Investors?”
“What about a REAL Farmers' Market downtown, like Pike Place Market in Seattle or Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia or any number of other great markets??? Anyone interested in a permanent farmers' market?”
“co-op #3!!!! we don't need no liquor for one to open. ... that can be worked on. A STORE!!!”
So, Albuquerque, what’s the hold-up?