Business owner hopes to draw new neighbors

By Thomas Garcia: PNT Staff Writer

Local business owners are trying to attract new and existing businesses with the construction of new office and retail space in the 400 block of South Avenue C.

There will be 11 units constructed for retail or office use, said project owner Max Merrick.

There is no date set for the completion of the building, but in 60 days the outer shell of the building should be complete. The interior work on the spaces will be completed as the stores are needed, Merrick said.

Merrick said that he has spoken with several potential shop and office managers about placing their business in the new complex. In addition, the Merricks plan to open a mattress and bedding store which will occupy three of the units.

“The plan is to draw in new business from out of town or offer existing businesses a higher profile location.”

Merrick said the project is about one-third done, and he is working with the city on the landscape designs.

The tree program started by Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega encourages and assists business owners to build new sidewalks and the planting of trees to improve existing landscapes said Portales City Manager Debi Lee.

“The city provides the trees, work crews and labor to remove the old concrete sidewalk,” Lee said. “The business owner must pay for the new sidewalk.”

Merrick said that he and his wife June Merrick have been in retail business for over two decades.

The Merricks own and operate Trader Horn’s True Value hardware store and the Ashley Furniture Homestore, both in Portales.

Merrick said that he has been wanting to develop the lot where the new retail center is being built for some time.

“I knew that I wanted to build on the land,” he said. “I just never got around to it.”

He said that construction on the block will also include a remodel of the Landall’s Box Office building, immediately north of the new building, which Merrick owns.