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Trinity Site: An idea whose time has passed

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By Robert Gibson

Redevelopment of the “Trinity Site” into a shopping center has been pursued since 2005.  

Times, circumstances, and the proposed development have all changed since then.  

It is time to abandon this approach. 

Two principal motives drove the original concept.  Lease and property tax revenues would pay the debt service for new county and schools shops and yards, now built at Pajarito Cliffs.  

The shopping center would provide a retail anchor and ancillary businesses to revitalize our sagging retail sector by making more goods available locally.  

Lack of any large land parcel under single ownership had frustrated previous efforts to attract an anchor retailer.  

The community has consistently rejected the concept of a plain “big box” surrounded by an asphalt sea for parking, so Trinity Site was conceived as a “lifestyle center,” an attractive mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment venues.

There have been three game-changing events since 2005.

First, in 2006, the county’s gross receipts tax (GRT) base increased dramatically when LANL became a tax-paying for-profit business.  The county also raised its GRT rate by a half-percent.  GRT revenues soared.  


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