Target area includes downtown, Civic Center, hospital

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FARMINGTON — Farmington’s Metropolitan Redevelopment Area plan has helped the city hire consultants to develop the Complete Streets plans, encourage developers to transform a trailer park into apartments and led to zone changes at businesses, according to senior planner Cindy Lopez.

The city is now in the process of updating the plan, which was created in 2009.

“Just having a plan helps developers feel comfortable with coming down and working here,” Lopez said.

The update is being funded in part by a grant from New Mexico Main Streets and from the New Mexico Finance Authority.

The Metropolitan Redevelopment Area essentially encompasses the area between Apache Street, Butler Avenue and West Murray Drive. This includes downtown Farmington, the Civic Center and the San Juan Regional Medical Center.

The 2009 plan identified five opportunity areas within the Metropolitan Redevelopment Area: the Animas riverfront, the Civic Center, the San Juan Regional Medical Center, the historic downtown gateway and the area west of the medical center.

The MRA plan of 2009 eventually led to the Complete Streets project and the remodeling and expansion of the Civic Center.

Assistant city manager Julie Baird told the MRA commission on Wednesday that the update will likely look at the Civic Center’s expansion.

“What does that district’s future look like as a result of the expansion?” Baird asked.

The update likely will look at the Civic Center’s surrounding neighborhoods and examine how to redevelop the area in light of the remodel and expansion that is underway. It also will examine the future of the Animas District, which encompasses the San Juan Regional Medical Center and stretches to the Animas River. The city would like to connect the Animas District with downtown.

“The Animas District has a lot of potential,” Lopez said.

A copy of the 2009 MRA plan can be viewed online at fmtn.org.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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