Public opinion sought on plan
March 1, 2017
A $1 million renovation of downtown Tucumcari’s Princess Theater is one of the key elements to the final stage of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Area (MRA) plan, according to Sites Southwest planners.
Josh Johnson and James Foty, planners for Sites Southwest, the Albuquerque design and planning firm that has guided the MRA process, summarized the plan for the Tucumcari City Commission on Thursday.
The plan also includes improvements to storefronts facing on downtown streets and demolition of some buildings.
Johnson said public commentary will be accepted until 30 days from Thursday’s meeting — the end of March.
The draft plan is available online at http://www.plantucumcari.com.
“We want to draw Tucumcari visitors to the downtown area, so they can spend money in several areas of town, not just one,” Johnson said.
The MRA also incorporates the Great Blocks program, which focuses on design improvements to Second Street, from Main to Center Streets and on Main from Second Street to Adams.
The plan is expected to culminate with a business development plan, a historic area designation and development of housing areas downtown.
The whole program is planned to unfold over five to 10 years, Johnson said.
The plan document lists projects with a total cost between $1.5 million and $2 million over the five-to-10-year period.
Sites Southwest has received $50,000 to develop the plan from Metropolitan Redevelopment Area funds administered by New Mexico MainStreet, a division of the state Economic Development Department.
The plan also outlines funding sources for its projects ranging from private sector investments and grants from private and government sources to capital outlay allocations.
Local property owner Paul Miszczuk asked whether a building he owns near Main Street and Second Street would qualify for assistance since the building next door to his collapsed and damaged his structure.
Miszczuk said he intends to start a recycling business on the property.
Thomas McGill, owner of the former Crescent Creamery building at Main and Monroe streets, said he hopes for some assistance in cleaning up and improving the interior of the building, long considered a Tucumcari landmark.
McGill said he would like to market the building as a brewery site.
City Manager Jared Langenegger said at the beginning of the planning process, the improvement plans are expected to pay for themselves through “tax increments,” the additional tax revenue that an improved downtown is expected to generate by attracting increased business activity and more businesses.
Downtown Tucumcari qualified for the MRA program, because it was considered to be blighted with deteriorating buildings and streets, according to the draft plan document.