THE BLOCK is a new retail and entertainment centre being developed in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Credit: Jade ThaiCatwalk/
THE BLOCK will feature indoor and outdoor retail units. Credit: Dean Drobot/
The main attraction of the centre is a central courtyard that will host dining, live music, and movie events. Credit: DisobeyArt/

THE BLOCK is a new retail centre and entertainment destination being developed in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, US. It will feature indoor and outdoor retail and event area made from repurposed shipping containers.

Real estate investment management company TDA Investment Group (TDA) announced the project in October 2022. Construction on the project commenced in November 2022.

Scheduled to open in 2023, THE BLOCK will offer a unique shopping, entertainment and gathering space for the local community.

Location of THE BLOCK

THE BLOCK is being developed in the north-west corner of The Plaza at Enchanted Hills, a 165,000ft2 retail centre in Rio Rancho. The Plaza has the capacity to be expanded to 38,000ft2 of retail space and contains an additional 3.5 acres of tracts.

THE BLOCK is located 30 minutes north of Albuquerque at the corner of NM-528 and Enchanted Hills Boulevard.

THE BLOCK retail development details

THE BLOCK will be an open-air retail destination comprising both re-purposed shipping containers and newly constructed buildings on 1.3 acres of open space. It will offer a leasable area of 12,000ft2 in increments as small as 200ft2.

The original site plan included the use of re-purposed shipping containers around a central park or landscaped area. The plan was slightly modified following feedback from potential tenants and a high level of interest from food and beverage vendors.

The modified plan includes newly constructed buildings, including an eatery, storage space, restroom, and a management office. The storage space includes walk-in coolers, freezers, and dry storage to fully supply the eatery and other food vendors. The centralised storage space will eliminate the need for allocating storage spaces within existing small lease areas.

A service yard is also planned to offer a loading area for food deliveries and facilitate proper waste collection. It will be shielded from the public through a concrete masonry unit wall and security gate.

The gross building area expanded with the addition of the storage and other support areas although the leasable area of the project remains the same.

THE BLOCK will use the existing surplus parking spaces available in The Plaza shopping centre’s parking lot.

Retail and entertainment facilities

THE BLOCK will feature indoor and outdoor retail units, as well as local eateries and speciality food trucks, live music, and boutique shopping.

The centre accommodates a combination of retail and food vendors surrounding a central courtyard area along with a dedicated location for three local food trucks.

The highlight of the centre is the dining and entertainment courtyard for live music, theatrical and movie events.

An outdoor bar on the rooftop offers views of the courtyard and the Sandia Mountains.

The development will have plenty of space to relax on THE LAWN or enjoy the view from THE BLOCK’s upper deck.

THE STAGE in the centre of the facility will host multiple movie screenings, local live music, food, local brands, outdoor movie nights, and entertainment all year round.

THE BLOCK will also have several boutiques, in addition to local pop-ups and mainstay favourites.

Some of the retailers that will be part of the retail development include Pet Smart, TJ Maxx, Dominos, Michaels, and Ross.

Local muralists will be hired to paint vibrant, provocative accents on the shipping containers.

Contractors involved

Architectural, planning and consulting firm Autotroph is responsible for designing the retail facility.