In this paper, we explore a scheme to tackle a challenging problem of stable Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) with attractive atom interactions. In this scheme, the s -wave scattering length is tuned in space, rather than in time as previously studied, by a far-off-resonant Gaussian optical field, from negative to positive in the center region of the potential well. We find that this tuning leads to coexisting repulsive and attractive interactions within a single atomic gas and consequently a stable BEC in the repulsive region. We investigate the ground-state properties of the tuned BECs and show them to exhibit a strikingly different spatial density distribution from a conventional one with a positive s -wave scattering length. The tuned BEC is formed only when the condensed number is less than a critical number. We derive a formula for the critical number. © 2006 The American Physical Society.