The sights of tractors, 18-wheelers and mounds of dirt can be seen at the Aggie Uptown development site on the east side of the New Mexico State University campus, giving a preview of what’s to come.
Located on East University Avenue next to the NMSU Golf Course, Aggie Uptown will eventually be the home of a 36-acre development project that will include a mix of retail and dining areas, assisted living facilities, and a communal park space.
The most noticeable change to the Aggie Uptown plot is the dirt work and semi-constructed steel structure off the corner of East University Avenue and Las Alturas Drive.
According to the president of Aggie Development Inc., Scott Eschenbrenner, the structure will be a Maverik gas station. Upon completion, the station is set to have six gas pumps, a convenience store and a food establishment located inside the store. Additionally, one or more electric vehicle chargers are expected to be installed at Maverik. ￼
“I think it will provide some additional services,” Eschenbrenner said. These services will include more employment opportunities and food options at the establishment. Maverik is also expected to bring a steady stream of income to the university based on ground rent revenue.
“I’m excited about the potential,” Eschenbrenner said. “I hope that NMSU is excited about the potential for taking some land that was previously unutilized, with nothing going on there, and converting it into revenue streams.”
As of September, the only large company that has signed a lease agreement with Aggie Development Inc. has been Maverik. Eschenbrenner said there have been talks with a national food brand to move onto the Aggie Uptown property, but information regarding that business remains confidential until an official deal is made.
The infrastructure for Aggie Uptown was completed in 2020 at a cost of $2 million. That project included construction of new road outlets, sewage pipes and natural gas piping that will soon be put to use.
While Aggie Uptown is expected to be completed in three separate phases, a final opening date is subject to general economic conditions and demand for the spaces built, according to Eschenbrenner.
“Our hope is to basically create a town center,” Eschenbrenner said. “An area that would not only appeal to NMSU faculty, staff and students, but also to the community as well.”
While still in the early building stages, NMSU student Maxine Lucero said Aggie Uptown will add a lot of marketability for prospective students that are considering attending the university.
“I feel like if they have a communal area to go get drinks or go shopping or offices and stuff like that, then it will probably raise more attraction to freshmen that are interested in NMSU,” Lucero said.
A recent Kokopelli X poll showed the majority of respondents believe entertainment spaces are missing from the areas surrounding campus. Respondents (39%) also said restaurants and bars are missing near the university, followed by shopping areas (10%) and other unspecified activities/venues (10%).
According to Lucero, Aggie Uptown will be an attractive place for people to gather, but the project must be promoted properly.
“It has to be a big grand opening,” Lucero said. “Then everyone is going to go, and it will start from there.”
The plans drafted by a South Florida-based consulting firm, Dover, Kohl & Partners, are available for viewing on the company’s official website.