New Albuquerque Business Coalition
Albuquerque businesses want a strong retail and dining culture in downtown Albuquerque, this not only benefits the Albuquerque businesses involved, it benefits the entire City. If you have driven through downtown Albuquerque on Central in the past few months you have navigated through a thick forest of orange cones, heavy construction activity and blocked-off side streets. The construction on Central, through the heart of downtown, started last fall and will last through this August. This is causing serious disruption for the small businesses along the corridor, especially on Central between Edith and Rio Grande. The businesses affected by this long construction phase need the support of our community to survive.
The small Albuquerque businesses along the western downtown section of Central between Eight and Rio Grande have been hit the hardest. To help one another survive this common financial crisis, they recently created West Downtown, a new business coalition. The coalition meets weekly and they are cross-promoting each other’s businesses. One recent promotion is the Westdown Wednesday, a weekly promotion with special discounts for customers and cross promotions between businesses as well. They are also planning to have West Downtown T-shirts and signs. Now is an important and cost effective time to come out to shop and dine in West Downtown.
Albuquerque businesses say ART is only part of the problem
The main construction event is the Albuquerque Rapid Transit, (ART). This is a $119 million project to create a bus lane running down the middle of Central Avenue between Louisiana and Coors boulevard. The project, is being built by Albuquerque contractor Bradbury Stamm, and extends nine miles down the middle of Central Avenue and through the heart of the city.
ART spokeswoman Joanie Griffin said that West Central Avenue is one of the most impacted areas — but not just because of ART. Along with ART, there is a separate construction project on Rio Grande Boulevard in addition to Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority construction replacing underground infrastructure that is nearly 80 years old. One of the main beneficiaries of the completed ART project will be easier access and more traffic for the locally owned businesses on the route.
Len Romano, owner of Ripe Inc., an Albuquerque graphic design firm, said he wanted to get involved with the effort and lend his company’s services. Romano said Ripe helped create the group’s name, logo and branding. “We’re happy to provide marketing and branding advice,” he said. “We feel fortunate to be a part of this community and together we’re building something remarkable … ” He said Ripe moved to West Central because he saw the area expanding and wanted to be a part of it.
Below are just some of the businesses participating in West Downtown:
- Albuquerque Little Theater
- Aveda Institute
- Duran Central Pharmacy
- Garcia’s Kitchen