Nearly 40 acres of vacant land south of Carlsbad could be bustling one day with a combined 20 retail shops and restaurants, said Carlsbad Department of Development’s Marketing Director Jeff Campbell.
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Campbell called the proposed shopping centre Project Whale.
The shopping center will be situated near the intersection of National Parks Highway and Chapman Road.
Campbell said the Carlsbad Department of Development (CDOD) noticed the community’s population density shifted south along National Parks Highway during the past five years.
“There’s been at least two apartment complexes that have opened. There’s been several housing developments right off of National Parks Highway and further south between National Parks Highway and Old Cavern Highway. There’s been a lot of infill with housing developments there,”Campbell stated.
Carlsbad’s population density, a measurement of population in a unit area, was 1,0008 people per square mile, according to data from the World Population Review. According to the U.S. Census, the population grew from 26,138 people in 2010 and 32,238 in 2020.
Pegasus Group, Albuquerque, are the land developers for the project. Two national retailers signed leases, according to Dale Janway, Carlsbad Mayor.
He stated that Hobby Lobby, an arts and craft retailer based in Oklahoma City and Marshalls Department of Massachusetts, would open new centers.
Hobby Lobby’s impending location in Carlsbad would be the third in southeast New Mexico, according to the company’s website. One location is in Roswell, and one in Hobbs.
Marshalls has locations in Albuquerque and Las Cruces, according to the company’s website.
Campbell claimed that the new stores would prevent “retail leakage”Carlsbad residents can shop in larger towns with money that leaves Carlsbad.
“That hurts us on the bottom line in terms of gross receipts taxes (GRTs) that we cannot recoup because it’s going into other markets,”He said.
“When we see it, we see a lot of needs that are here we view those as opportunities to try and go fill in a consumer base,”Campbell stated.
He stated that CDOD had worked for almost ten years to bring national retailers to the community.
“It just turns out that different circumstances didn’t allow them to be here in the past whether it was population or their own expansion plans. It looks like some of the stars are aligning better for us. The Pegasus Group is the backbone of this,”Campbell stated.
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Janway stated that Pegasus helped the City of Carlsbad with past retail recruitment efforts, including Ross Dress for Less at 81 West Pierce.
“It’s going to help us keep gross receipts dollars here in town and finally give people what they’ve been asking for in terms of restaurant and retail needs,”Campbell stated.
Campbell stated that efforts to bring in national retailers and restaurants require commitments from all parties in Carlsbad or Eddy County.
“The Mayor, the City Councilor’s everybody is always looking for things to come to Carlsbad. They’ve been behind a lot of the projects from the get-go,”He said.
Campbell credited the City of Carlsbad Planning, Engineering and Regulation Department with fostering business, retail, industry, and housing growth in the City.
He stated that construction of the shopping center could take two years. No firm date was given for groundbreaking or building.
“This is a monumental development for Carlsbad and further proof that our city is continuing to grow,”Janway.