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Monday, February 17, 2014 - 8:12pm
EL PASO — A proposed new shopping center in Northeast El Paso could alleviate long drives for residents of a growing area north of US 54 and Chaparral.
Located off of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and US 54, the North Hills Crossing Shopping Center would bring in a new Walmart and other medium to large retailers like a Ross or an Office Depot.
"We do need more businesses," said Magdalena Jimenez from Chaparral. "We do need a shopping center."
Census data predicts the new shopping center would serve an estimated 35,000 people within a five-mile radius.
In addition to that, people from neighboring Chaparral would also frequent the new development.
"It's no surprise there's a lot of retail investment and commercial investment that is following all that growth," said University of Texas El Paso Economics Professor Dr. Tom Fullerton.
Fullerton said with new residential developments in the area the big box retailers are soon to follow.
While that area off of is booming, some of the older parts of the Northeast are seeing much less commercial activity.
The Sunrise Shopping Center on Dyer was a popular shopping destination for decades, but now the once-thriving area has nearly as many vacant spaces as it does shoppers.
"It's slow," said Sabino Cruz. "No people come down here."
Fullerton said the older buildings as well as the new ones will constantly see a turnover in retailers depending on how much they can pay for space.
But the newer shopping centers see more traffic.
"Consumers tend to flock to the places where they have multiple retail clusters available," Fullerton said.