Ruidoso Area Commercial Property Overview
Though you’ll find commercial properties throughout all communities in Lincoln County, the vast majority are concentrated along HWY 70 in Ruidoso Downs and Sudderth and Mechem Drives in Ruidoso. There exists a short commercial stretch along HWY 48 just north of Ruidoso in Alto as well.
Following are descriptions of these various areas which include a concentration of commercial properties each having its own characteristics, types of businesses and audiences they serve.
Ruidoso Downs has a corridor of commercial properties which essentially forms the town center along HWY 70. The more significant portion of our visitors pass through this corridor as they travel to Ruidoso from West Texas points of origin.
Most properties, with few exceptions, are Retail or Special Purpose categories. Service stations, non-franchised fast food restaurants, churches, contractor office and yards and gift shop type retail storefronts describe the bulk of the properties. This strip is not considered prime area commercial and the property valuations will reflect this. But for those businesses which simply need space and not high-volume customer traffic, these properties may be an attractive option.
This area can only be described as the main commercial property zone in Ruidoso. The area fans out along HWY where it meets the beginning of HWY 48 on its west side. Hence, this intersection forms a “Y”. Here’s you’ll find our few national and regional brand retailers, fast food franchisees, automobile dealerships, flagship hotels, our area’s medical center and a host of other independent businesses fanning out from this intersection in three directions.
Some of the newer commercial development in the Ruidoso area has occurred along the “Y” mainly to accommodate the types of occupancy populating the area. National, regional retailers, fast food franchisors and flagship hospitality typically have more stringent requirements than a typical independent business.
Palmer – Gateway
As you head west on HWY 48, also known as Sudderth Drive, into the majority of the land mass of Ruidoso you’ll travel through the Palmer – Gateway zone. Mainly a collection of established independent businesses, banks, service stations and automobile repair shops and a host of what only be classified as specialty retail.
This area sees little new construction and most of the properties are older and needing improvement. With a few exceptions, most of the businesses along this corridor are oriented to serving local customers rather then providing tourist related services and products. Depending on what type of business is considered and the target audience, this area can be desirable because of its high automobile traffic count.
As Palmer Gateway continues west it eventually morphs into Ruidoso’s Midtown area. The zoning changes from C-2 Commercial to C-3 Commercial, requiring no parking and allowing construction without setbacks as compared to the C-2 classification which encompasses the Palmer – Gateway zone. Ruidoso Midtown is the center of Ruidoso’s tourism activity. It’s essentially a walking district where HWY 48 (Sudderth DR) is lined with a myriad of specialty shops, eateries, drinking establishments and clothing boutiques. The stretch is only about 4 blocks long but includes almost 100 different businesses in this highly specialized and unique commercial zone.
Most properties in Midtown are older with many displaying one of a kind design. As C-3 zoning permits construction right on lot lines, many buildings abut each other wall to wall. There are just a handful of properties which are less than 25 years old.
Most properties are small by commercial standards, with many not exceeding 2000 square feet. All this said, if you want to cater to tourists, this is the spot to be.
Continuing west on HWY 48 (Sudderth DR) past the small stretch of Midtown places one in the Uptown commercial zone. Here zoning reverts back to C-2 Commercial with banks, hotels, retail strip malls, independent restaurants and the like. Most businesses here cater to the local population versus our tourism economy. The zone stretches about ½ mile until it reached the entrance to Ruidoso’s historic Upper Canyon.
With a few exceptions, buildings are larger and newer when compared to the two districts to the east, Ruidoso’s Midtown and Palmer – Gateway. The commercial zone is described as having moderate density.
About halfway point as HWY 48 (Sudderth DR) heads through Uptown it takes a 90 degree turn to the North. Mechem DR, also HWY 48, continues approximately 6 miles to the edge of Ruidoso. Along this stretch you’ll find office buildings, our local community college, an Albertson’s Grocery, some specialty retail, a smattering of eating and drinking places and stretches of residential construction as well.
This stretch, like others is more local oriented in its customer targeting and is described as low density commercial.