New Mexico

Second Las Cruces business closes, blaming Valley Drive construction

Pic Quik on Valley Dr in Las Cruces...

The Pic Quik on Avenida de Mesilla will soon shut its doors permanently, becoming the second Las Cruces business to blame construction for its closure.

"It's cheaper to pay the rent that I have on the building than it is to keep it open," said Oscar Andrade, the owner of all the Pic Quik stores in southern New Mexico.

Andrade told ABC-7 he lost close to $45,000 in revenue each of the past three months of the construction on and near Valley Drive. However, he said the loss of profit isn't the reason for his closure.

"I can survive the construction," Andrade said. "I have 21 other stores, but what I can't survive is going to be the aftermath, which is going to be the finished product."

Andrade told ABC-7 that permanent concrete medians on Hickory Drive and Avenida de Mesilla will make it nearly impossible for large trucks to enter the west and north sides of his business.

"I'm losing one of the best corners in the city of Las Cruces because of lack of access," Andrade said.

25 of his 300 Pic Quik employees are at the Pic Quik on Avenida de Mesilla. They all will be transferred to other locations, he said. That includes the employees at Santa Fe Grill, which is inside the gas station.

"From five employees, I'm down to two employees (at this location)," said Juan Morales, the owner of Santa Fe Grill. "It's hurt us a lot."

The tip jar for the cooks at Santa Fe Grill was completely empty toward the end of Wednesday afternoon.

"We don't make sales," Morales said.

Earlier this month, La Fiesta Bakery announced its closure after 13 years serving the community, becoming the first business to shut its doors permanently on Valley Drive after the construction started.

"We're still trying to stay on top of it and try to stay in touch with businesses," said Ami Evans, a spokeswoman for the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

With a text to the governor, Mayor Ken Miyagishima said he was able to secure $1.5 million to expedite the project by three months.

"We've done a lot and we're getting some positive responses from the businesses," Miyagishima said. We're just trying to help them worth through this."

"The intention is always to minimize impacts as much as we can," Evans said.

Andrade was strongly critical of the city administration for not working with the state to prevent the installation of the concrete barrier on Hickory Drive, a city-owned street.

Mayor Miyagishima avoided commenting on that because Andrade has already filed a lawsuit against the city, he said.

"It's best to let his lawyers work with our city attorney," Miyagishima said by text.


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