Monday, October 30, 2006

Copper Squares and ABQ Uptown thoughts



Just as the Anasazi project is getting underway, an announcement is made about another residential dvelopment just one block away. Copper Square is a 52 (don't quote me on this but I believe it's close) unit conversion of office space into residential. Their published rendering does not appear to contain any retail but hopefully it gets included. No word on when they expect to start construction but still a good sign for the continuing renewel of the core.

ABQ Uptown:

A fuzzy map


Apple store, Albuquerque, NM as of October 22nd


5 miles east, ABQ Uptown will finally hold its grand opening on Wednesday. Last weekend I had to stop by to see the progress on the Apple store, grab a cup of joe, and see what the hype was all about. From a planning standpoint, I'm not sure what good I see in it. They did manage to attract a new level of retail stores to the city and for that I'm not disappointed. But, I really think they could have added a better mix of coffee shops, bookstores and restaurants to maintain a livelier streetscape scene. So far there appears to be no sidewalk seating aside from Starbucks. The lack of integrated housing and office space in the project really leaves a lot to be desired. I think it was a great opportunity that was thrown out the window due to a narrow focus on high rental prices. There is no gathering spaces aside from fountain square which is a very small spot between buildings. The whole area is still mostly parking lots. Oh well, perhaps it will work in favor of Nob Hill and downtown where other retailers might perhaps look for more organic and unique spaces.

Here's an old drawing of the original proposal/schematic. Like night and day.

8 comments:

philly said...

I agree, I'm a little disappointed with the outcome of ABQUPTOWN project. WHen I first saw plans for this a few years back, iwas impressed with the mix use of housing retail and office space. But the version I see now, seems to be a scaled down version with less density.

To me it's another strip mall with bells and whistles on it.

THe only thing I like is the architecture.........

John said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mario said...

I do wish it had a more urban feel to it as well, but I am excited about a few of the stores they have signed. I am more disappointed in the fact that they built it up to be an upscale set of stores, and they originally stated 85% of the stores would be new to ABQ and NM for that matter. As it has turned out a measily 43% of the stores are new to ABQ. I know the folks at Sedberry & Associates tried to lure the true upscale retailers but for one reason or another were unable to do so. It is pretty disheartening considering El Paso, and Tucson both seem capable of getting these stores. I know they get a lot of money that comes over the border in those cities, but so do we. I know on any given weekend many of the golfers here are visiting from south of the border. I also know that we get a lot of Mexican tourist in the winter months who come to ski in our state. And lets not forget that Orbitz recently ranked us as a top 5 up and coming vacation spot. And most important here is that there is a much higher median income in ABQ than both Tucson and EP, so why is it we continue to get looked over by a great deal of retailers?????

philly said...

Maybe if there were more people living in the area, thus having more denisty, they could lure these stores.

Jim M said...

ABQ Uptown is nothing more than a bunch of upscale strip malls thrown on a large lot.

I don't find it very pedestrian friendly. All the parking and traffic running through it makes shopping and strolling difficult. I'd rather walk around Nob Hill which isn't exactly pedestrian friendly either.

I am glad to have the Apple store here. I can live without all the rest. It seems as if half the stores there just moved over from Winrock.

Mario said...

The whole project including the stores is a major disappointment. Hopefully the new downtown arena will spur a true urban retail shopping experience.

Tim said...

Yea, I'm uber excited to see the arena proposals as well as the Rose Co.'s plans for the 2.5 blocks near Alvarado station. Those projects plus light rail..! That's nearly a half billion dollars in the next few years! Screw ABQ Uptown :)

Carlos said...

These articles are fantastic; the information you show us is interesting for everybody and is really good written. It’s just great!! Do you want to know something more? Read it...:Great investment opportunity in Costa Rica: jcondos house, costa rica beach condos, condos rentals. Visit us for more info at: http://www.jaco-bay.com/