UNM moving forward with Lobo Village plan

Posted at: 12/11/2012 5:49 PM
Updated at: 12/11/2012 6:22 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The University of New Mexico is taking a big step forward with its plans for a retail shop and restaurant development next door to the UNM Arena and the Lobo Village student apartments on the south campus complex.

The UNM Board of Regents approved a "master development agreement" Thursday that paves the way for a company called Fairmount Properties to start recruiting businesses for the project,.

Got space? You bet. There's plenty of it along Cesar Chavez Avenue, right beside Lobo Village, where 900 students live and commute to the main campus by shuttle bus. It's just a stone's throw from the Pit, where thousands howl for the Lobos. How could restaurants and retail shops fail here?

"It's really convenient," said student Madison Olguin, who lives in Lobo Village. "It's right by the Pit, it's right by all the Lobo athletics so everyone lives here, the students, so I think it's a good thing because we could all just go walk to the food or walk to the grocery store."

Student Ismael Giab also lives in Lobo Village.

"I think it's a great idea because everything is pretty far from here, so if we can have a place, like a cafeteria where we can eat, or something like this, I'm pretty sure it's a good idea," Giab said.

"Yeah, it would be cool for the people that live around here," said student David Romero. "More options, more places to eat. I think that would be all right for them."

The Regents' action will eventually turn the project over to Fairmount, a Cleveland-based company that specializes in developing commercial zones like this one for universities across the nation.