Gov. Lujan Grisham announces $2.2 million state investment in Barelas MainStreet project
ALBUQUERQUE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday announced a $2.2 million state investment in the Barelas MainStreet project, supporting community growth and economic development by making safety improvements and streetscape enhancements increasing connectivity to area businesses and attractions.
The governor was joined by Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, Economic Development Department Secretary Alicia J. Keyes, New Mexico MainStreet Director Daniel Gutierrez, and community leaders from the Barelas neighborhood to announce the state’s investment in the community project. The investment will fund Phase 1 of the Barelas MainStreet Great Blocks project on Albuquerque’s south Fourth Street to spur economic activity and community revitalization by completing pedestrian safety improvements, streetscape enhancements, landscape design, and increased connectivity to nearby attractions including the historic Rail Yards, National Hispanic Cultural Center, and ABQ BioPark. The $2.2 million total investment includes $1.9 million from New Mexico MainStreet, a program of the New Mexico Economic Development Department, as well as an additional $390,000 appropriated for the project in the 2022 legislative session.
“I’m proud to announce this significant state investment in the Barelas neighborhood to improve pedestrian safety and increase foot traffic to community businesses,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “After being negatively affected by traffic pattern changes and economic neglect over the years, we are re-investing in the Barelas economic corridor to bring Albuquerque residents into the neighborhood and support the community’s ongoing grassroots efforts to support new businesses. This is just the latest of my administration’s continued investments in community infrastructure and economic development, supporting business growth and neighborhood revitalization.”
“Today’s announcement is the latest step in our shared work to reverse the historic disinvestment in Barelas and elevate the community’s leadership and vision for the future,” said Mayor Keller. “Fourth Street has been a thriving corridor of local business and community life with a history that runs back to El Camino Real – today, we’re ensuring it stretches forward to a vibrant future. Albuquerque is grateful for Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s continuous investment in our historic neighborhoods, to the Barelas Community Coalition, and all who made this project possible.”
“This project is the fruition of a long-time vision of community-driven revitalization for Barelas,” said Barelas MainStreet president Keith Romero. “The Barelas MainStreet project will spur equitable economic development for residents and businesses throughout the diverse community of Barelas, and we thank Gov. Lujan Grisham for her support.”
The $1.9 million in funding from New Mexico MainStreet for the Barelas MainStreet project is one of 14 projects funded this year by New Mexico MainStreet for community revitalization and economic growth. Half of this year’s awards, including today’s announced Barelas investment, are for Great Blocks projects, which upgrade a core two-three block commercial area in a district.
Upgrades planned for the Barelas MainStreet project include the installation of drought-tolerant landscaping, curbs, sidewalks, roads, signage, benches, trashcans, bike racks, pedestrian lighting, ADA facilities, and raised intersections for community events. These improvements will calm traffic, update infrastructure, provide opportunities for public art, and create a safer and more welcoming area for economic activity. Construction on Phase 1 of the Barelas MainStreet project is scheduled begin in spring 2023.