Why is San Mateo Blvd. SE blighted? Why have some of the lots remained vacant for so long? And just Why hasn't anybody really developed this strip of land between Zuni Rd. and Gibson Ave.? I don't know.

But I'm trying to find out.

Hello everybody this is my first post!

As a first year grad student at UNM's School of Architecture and Planning, I've taken on the task of finding out why San Mateo is underdeveloped, but I need your help for further analysis -- the residents of the area.

I need people who live between Carlisle Blvd. SE and Wyoming Blvd. SE AND between Zuni Rd. and Gibson Blvd.

If you happen to live and work in this area please take this survey:
Survey on San Mateo Southeast

It takes appx. 10 - 20 mins pertaining to perceptions, safety, the area in general, and what you'd like to see happen along San Mateo. It's anonymous and you can bail out at any time.


Here's a view...tiny right? Sorry about that. It's appx. a 1 mile stretch from ZUNI to GIBSON. Anyhow, those living in the area should be familiar with the street, I hope. Many developers will not touch this place for many reasons, but namely because of Perception. Perception is Everything. And there's a dirty term used for this area that is just not true anymore. Developers crunch their numbers, and the numbers after the crunching do not make them happy. National chains won't move in due to the funky dimensioning of the lots. They have a formula on how to set up shop and these areas are not conducive to their needs. So, these lots sit mostly empty, ripe for criminal activity. (BTW North is to the left side of the image)

To the upper left you can make out what was once Carrow's Restaurant. I always wanted to see if they had chocolate milkshakes, and if they were any good -- Now I'll never know myself. They closed up a few years back, and the building just sits...vacant. HUGE indicator of Blight. It's like a NEON sign letting everybody know, "Hey, this area has problems..." There are a few other indicators along this street, but this is the Grandaddy of all indicators....

See, Wal-mart doesn't kill all of them. A few businesses survive -- the one's that don't compete with them. This place (Pro-Lube) is a great place to get your oil changed. I've been going there for over 7 years supporting this establishment, and always enjoy talking to the owner, Ray. He's a great guy to talk to. I don't care that the chains are cheaper. It's difficult to find customer care like this these days. Besides, he's one of a few business owners on this strip that really maintains his property well, unlike some of other businesses down the street...with their dirt, and their grime and --


This is but one of many along this strip. These attract criminal activities, transient activity, and weeds. With the loss of Lovelace over there on Gibson, the City is stepping up and doing something about the state disrepair on this side of Albuquerque. It's still a long ways off, but it's a start. Have you heard of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency? No? Here, check them out:

Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency

Then, after the jump, scroll on down to NEAR HEIGHTS MRA EXPANSION
. There, you'll see LONGEST HYPERLINK on the page... Near Heights Metropolitan Redevelopment Expansion - Final Designation Report June 2008. I read it. Good stuff. Too bad they do not have the minutes from the previous meeting as they would tell you some of the suggestions by involved citizens from the previous meeting. That's okay. Because if you take the survey (scroll back up in case you missed the link), you can SEE some of the suggestions offered.

You can offer your own, OR you can vote for the others.


I know. Technically this is meant to stay vacant until customers come by, but this place is out of commission. I didn't really want to pick on the other buildings at this time, so I just chose this one. It's fairly well maintained though, despite it's not being used. There are not only Vacant Lots on this street, but there are also a surprisingly good amount of buildings in disuse. Again, there are a number of reasons why they sit empty, and I plan to compile that information in my research paper.

I promise to post my findings as the semester is coming to a close... but I need further input before that time. So, please, go hit up that survey. And then, I'll see about doing another survey in which I can get responses from the rest of those not living in the area.


PS. Please contact me if you have further suggestions, and/or know with whom I may be able to speak to regarding the HISTORY of this area. There is very little historical documents about this area.

san.mateo.developmentcontact [AT]

Of course, it might be easier to just drop me a line here instead -- I think ;)

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Comment by Another Mike on November 26, 2008 at 8:20am
My wife told me that I was talking to her in my sleep when she got up.
She said that I told her:

"I've got to compile my survey."

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