Elected officials hope to redevelop Walmart in the International District

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — City and state officials announced they are working to secure resources to acquire the shuttering Walmart store property on San Mateo near Central.

Their plan is to work with community members to repurpose the site to serve local residents. State Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and state Rep. Janelle Anyanonu have led funding efforts, with each securing $1 million in capital outlay from their respective chambers for a total of $2 million.

In early February, residents of Albuquerque’s International District reacted with concern to the announcement that their neighborhood Walmart was closing its doors permanently on March 10. With limited options in the area, many use the store as their primary source for healthy food, fresh produce, medications, and other goods in the area.

“We’re working hard to bring together community leaders, elected officials and Walmart to create a path forward for this property so that it can be a community asset and provide critical access to food and other essentials for the International District,” Mayor Tim Keller said. “Investing in a solution that can help fill the void is important and it’s key that it be a community-driven decision on what that ultimately looks like.”

An additional funding source could come from the passing of Senate Bill 251, which would expand the city’s ability to use gross receipts taxes to invest in redevelopment for projects such as the Walmart site. The bill received a “Do Pass” recommendation last week from the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee.

Track SB 251 during the legislative session.