Nearly eight years ago a building that had housed the Black Eyed Pea restaurant in Albuquerque was destroyed by a fire.
That structure, at 601 Juan Tabo Boulevard NE, had actually been vacant for several years preceding the fire and is part of a larger site that has for the most part been abandoned for more than a decade.
Now city officials are hoping that the site can be brought back to life. In so doing, members of the Albuquerque Development Commission have voted to officially include the entire site into the city’s East Gateway Metropolitan Redevelopment Area.
That designation, according to city documents, will make the area “more welcoming to residents and visitors arriving at the city’s edge by facilitating redevelopment of vacant and underutilized properties and providing for a greater variety of businesses and services that are needed in the area.”
The designation also means that any new commercial construction within its borders would be eligible for significant city tax incentives.
The site belongs to the Orlando-based GRMI, Inc., which is a subsidiary of Darden Restaurants, Inc.
Neither Darden Restaurants nor GRMI has indicated any specific future plans for the Juan Tabo site.
Darden’s restaurant brands, located in more than 1,500 locations nationally, include the Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, Longhorn Steakhouse, Seasons 52, and Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.
To date, the company has more than more than a dozen restaurants of varying brands up and running in New Mexico.
By Garry Boulard
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