west-campus-at-spruce

(reprint) The MetroABQ has an amazing amount of untapped potential! Over the holiday I was excited to read about a possible new micro-neighborhood taking shape West of the UNM Campus, across from the Presbyterian Hospital Complex. In a Journal article by Richard Metcalf, the author describes that the available 12.5 acres sitting across five mostly empty blocks may be transformed into a new neighborhood, complete with “a mix of shops, restaurants, multi-family housing, and a hotel.”

Titan Development, a local development company, is entering into a partnership with Presbyterian Health Services, which owns the property. Presbyterian has been acquiring the properties over the span of 25 years, it said. One of the five blocks, according to the article, still has 17 rental properties on it; those single-story buildings will most likely be razed to make way for more dense infill development.

West Campus is a name I have given the area, as it seems to fit. However, the area is already part of an established neighborhood: the diverse Sycamore Neighborhood, which starts on the north side of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, and stretches down to encompass part of Roosevelt park, a stunning 1930’s-era WPA-created park. Within the Sycamore neighborhood are already a bunch of micro-neighborhoods.

Where is West Campus?

Imagine the corner of Central Avenue and Interstate 25…on the west side is the former Memorial Psychiatric Hospital, reborn as the boutique Hotel Parq Central (1.); on the east side of I-25 is the now iconic Crossroads Motel (3.), and the gigantic Presbyterian Hospital Complex (2.) sits across Central Ave/Route 66 on the south. If West Campus comes to pass, it will include the five blocks shaded in light grey. To the east is the retro Route 66 Diner (4.), and further east starts the sprawling University of New Mexico (UNM) Campus (5.). The photos are both from Spruce St. toward West Campus; in tone image you can see the Downtown Skyline.

Below is a three-story office/residential building on Central Ave in the West Campus area, with the Presbyterian complex in the background; that type of three-story possible live/work building is an example of the type of infill planned for the main traffic areas of West Campus.