A public ad hoc committee in Las Cruces is expected to present its findings later this year regarding the revitalization and development of the city’s historic El Paseo Corridor.
The committee, recently formed by the Las Cruces City Council, will specifically look at issues regarding how to make the well-used corridor more pedestrian friendly, while also addressing vacant properties and abandoned buildings that are also a part of the corridor.
Spanning just under 2 miles from downtown Las Cruces to the main campus of New Mexico State University, the El Paseo Road slices through a neighborhood that, according to city documents, is the home to more than 300 businesses of varying sizes.
City officials have long argued that the area is prime for new affordable housing development, as well as the building of retail and restaurant space. The possibility of a trolley line connecting the central business district to the NMSU campus, and running up and down El Paseo, has also been discussed.
The possibility of creating a new Tax Increment Development District that would use gross receipts tax financing to pay for public infrastructure in the vicinity has also been aired.
In his State of the City address earlier this year, Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima remarked that he could “easily imagine a Paseo through the heart of the city, a well-landscaped thoroughfare with wide sidewalks for pedestrians, designated bike lanes, and leafy trees and shade structures along the way.”
The ad hoc committee is expected to conduct public input meetings regarding the future of the El Paseo corridor before sending its findings to the city’s Transportation, Sustainability, and Infrastructure Policy Review Committee.
From there, the group’s report will go to the Las Cruces City Council for possible action.
By Garry Boulard
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