Businesses looking to either set up shop in or expand into Rio Rancho should give the city’s Enchanted Hills neighborhood some serious thought, because it’s brimming with more than just a nice locale.

One of the shopping centers in Rio Rancho’s Enchanted Hills neighborhood. (Observer file photo)

It’d be a prime opportunity for a store to establish itself in a section of town where shopping centers are a bit more spaced out and have plenty of parking, all while potentially expanding its customer base to include surrounding communities.

The latter is particularly important, geographically speaking.

Rio Rancho’s Mariposa neighborhood is about 8 miles west. Mariposa residents can take northbound Unser Boulevard to US 550.

Placitas is about 11 miles east, with residents able to jump onto westbound NM 165, which turns into northbound US 550 around Bernalillo High School.

Per Sandoval Economic Alliance data, the median household incomes for Mariposa and Placitas are $72,542 and $94,357, respectively.

Placitas residents’ in-town retail options are limited to shopping centers just off NM 165 and Tierra Madre Road (Placitas Pizza Company, Placitas Cafe and The Merc), plus NM 165 around Paseo de San Antonio (Placitas Mini Mart and Placitas Winery).

Mariposa residents don’t have any retail options within several miles, so they have to make do with places along Unser Boulevard and in Enchanted Hills.

Bernalillo’s about 5 miles southeast, in which residents can simply take US 550. The median household income in Bernalillo is $50,528, and residents there already voiced their desire for more restaurant options.

Whether someone’s eager to get away from the construction and chaos or looking to relocate to an area that can open doors for additional service, establishments should seize that chance to plant flags in Enchanted Hills.

As of Tuesday, 83.7 percent of Sandoval County’s adult residents have completed their primary vaccination series. That’ll help people be more at ease to be out and about compared to this time last year.

While it’ll take some time to assemble all the necessary permitting and licensing, businesses wanting a change of scenery would be wise to jump on that process now so they can enter Spring 2023 ready to go.

They’d also be wise to keep an eye out for vacant buildings and abundant lot space in Enchanted Hills.

That alone could present a huge break working toward an even brighter future.

Rio Rancho’s Enchanted Hills neighborhood. (Observer stock photo)