I don't live in Downtown but do work there. I have lived in downtown in the past and found that I yearn for more space. But I think this is totally awesome. Walking around downtown with coworkers I have mentioned in the past that some of the vacant land should be donated or purchased for downtown dwellers to use as an urban farm I have not walked in this area in some time. Now it looks like it has come to fruition. Cool.
If everything falls into place, downtown Albuquerque could have a new growers’ market later this summer or fall. Promoters are hoping it will be the start of a thriving urban market, along the lines of Pike Place Market in Seattle.
A half-acre strip of land between the Gold Avenue parking garage and the new Silver Gardens apartments and between First and Second streets is undergoing a transformation into the Alvarado Urban Farm.
The land, owned by the city of Albuquerque, is part of a master development agreement among the city, the Historic District Improvement Co. (HDIC) and Romero Rose. Development ...
Read more: Planting an urban farm Downtown | New Mexico Business Weekly
Having seen the "Community Gardens - Growing Soon" sign hanging at that property for a while, I was really hoping it would be just that - an urban garden in the middle of downtown so we office-dwellers could rent a plot and spend our lunch break tilling, weeding, etc.
But rather than disappointment, I'm actually pretty excited about this. People have been calling for a decent grocery store (sorry, Lowe's) downtown for years now. Granted, this isn't really a grocery store, but it's a good first step. I'm really curious to see what they've got planned.
I'm a bit confused about what the Downtown Action Team has to do with this project. Also, is the city actually coordinating the project with Romero Rose? I suspect the city is not playing much of a role other than providing the land, but I don't know.
I'm not sure a community garden would work in a downtown plot such as this. I'd imagine there would need to be significant soil removal/replacement, there would be a high probability of broken glass, litter etc due to proximity to the bar scene, and the land values there would likely dictate a more intense use (if not now, then later).
When I first heard about this it sounded more like a community garden than a market. But I suppose there's enough space there for both. I think this is a great concept and I'm happy to hear that the DAT is being proactive in making something like this happen. It's fantastic to see downtown turning into a neighborhood and not just a bar scene or office park.
It will be an "Urban Farm" called "Alvarado Urban Farm", and it will have on site a farm stand called "Root 66". It will have raised beds. The property is leased to the city. If the owners want to develop the property at the end of the lease, the raised beds can be moved to one of the other many vacant lots around Downtown.
I'm also excited about this but as with others, am a bit confused about the details (and maybe they are still ironing them out, which is fine). The Bizjournal article is considered "premium" and so I can't view it without a subscription. Maybe more details are in there but the other sources are woefully short on details. I hope they get some info up on the farm's site soon... I also hope they tap into the Barelas community. That area was historically farmland and I bet there are folks there with useful knowledge who could really make that place bloom.
Excited to see how this develops - it could take so many forms and can change over time. The important thing is for them to keep the momentum up and make some moves on the lot before too long. The rest will shake out over time, IMHO.
So excited about this. I will shop and support this venture, and I hope that others downtown will as well. We desperately need a quality grocery store downtown, but I'm just happy there will be a place to buy my veggies!
Did you know that Lowe's is planning a remodel? A group of local folks petitioned them to see if they would consider upgrading the store both physically and in terms of what they carry. They had done this recently in a few location (somewhere I saw pics from the Lubbock store) and were considering it. They said they needed to sell alcohol to make it worth the investment and I believe that application passed, so they are in the planning phases now.
You can get on an e-mail list to receive updates (or presumeably provide some input) by contacting these folks:
Susan Deichsel: firstname.lastname@example.org
Samantha Clark: email@example.com
I really don't know a lot about it, but I live very close and so am excited to see what comes of it all.