Commerce here centers on a thriving retail industry that boasts a full spectrum of shopping opportunities, from chic street shops to traditional indoor malls.
“There are a lot of great things happening in Albuquerque because of our retail industry,” says Marcy Cook, who is the executive director of the Uptown Progress Team, a non-profit organization that brings together business owners, developers and civic leaders in order to promote the Uptown area. “We are really progressing towards becoming a more cosmopolitan city.”
By working directly with the community, the Uptown Progress Team has taken an active role in promoting development in the area, which has in recent years grown into the largest concentration of retail in Albuquerque.
“Uptown was on the outskirts 50 years ago,” Cook says. “But now it’s really and truly the center of Albuquerque.”
While the designated area measures less than two miles, the cluster of businesses offers thousands of square feet of commercial space. The undisputed centerpiece is ABQ Uptown, a new and upscale open-air retail district filled with shopping, entertainment and dining options. And because 75 percent of tenants are new to the market, ABQ Uptown has changed the way people shop in Albuquerque.
“It’s not just the shopping, it’s the experience,” says Trent Stafford, vice president of development for the Hunt Development Group, which has overseen the growth of ABQ Uptown. Developers and civic leaders have worked together to turn the area into a business district where foot and bike traffic are the norm, and the live-work-play lifestyle is a reality. “The open-air lifestyle is not just changing the way people get around, it is changing the culture of the community,” Stafford says.
The residential component is essential to the model. And thanks to a new community sector plan that allows for the mixed use of retail, residential and business space, ABQ Uptown is also fast becoming one of Albuquerque’s hippest places to live. The modernized, 198-unit urban loft development called ABQ Uptown Village, along with the arrival of a new Trader Joe’s grocery store in 2009, is sure to help propel Uptown into a new era of growth.
“What we are trying to create in uptown is a place where people can live, work and play,” Cook says. “Albuquerque is really starting to become a very connected community.”
Outside of Uptown, Old Town Albuquerque makes for a classic shopping experience that combines retail, culture and history. The tourism and lifestyle center has been the heart of the city since it was founded in 1706.
Today, the area’s more than 300-year-old buildings are home to approximately 25 art galleries, seven museums and nearly 200 boutiques, shops and restaurants. Jewelry and a host of artistic finery help to make for one of the most culturally rich shopping experiences in New Mexico.
Traditionally known as a religious center because of the parish church of San Felipe de Neri, Old Town is best experienced at Christmas time when luminaries line the area’s historic streets.
Nob Hill is another excellent shopping and dining destination. This vibrant district is bursting with eclectic shops, swank dining and chic nightspots. Route 66 neon signs and architecture combine with predominantly locally owned shops, galleries and restaurants to make Nob Hill a hip and fashionable area located just east of the university.
Other shopping destinations in Albuquerque include major metro malls such as the Cottonwood Mall and Coronado Center, traditional shopping malls that feature major department stores as well as dozens of specialty stores.
Explore more businesses in Albuquerque, NM.