Local Greedy Developer Richard Gonzales is at it again. Gonzales is the developer who bought the “El Vado” hotel for a really nice price and tried to bulldoze it and put up townhouses on Central.
You may remember that the City and the Mayor prevented Gonzales's request to get permits
from the city for his screw-the-rest-of-the-city-I-need-to-make-money plan.
Not getting the hint that his development is not what we want, he has now applied to simply bulldoze the property. He must be thinking that if he can’t get approval to do what will make him richer because there is a city landmark on his site, he should simply bulldoze the landmark. There would be no reason to oppose building town homes once the landmark is gone anyway, right?
The extra irony? The last time Richard Gonzales went in front of the City Council, he made a big point about how he didn't want to simply bulldoze the...
(what he is proposing now).
Did it matter to Richard that the “El Vado” is probably the best of Albuquerque’s Route 66 motor hotels, one of the few remaining in 66 icons in the City? Nope.
Does Richard care if Albuquerque’s Route 66 turns into a soulless street of strip malls? Not if it will let him put a few extra bucks in his pocket.
Will tourists come from Europe to look at some out-of-place townhomes instead of the “El Vado.” Richard wants to be too busy counting his money to care
Some people suspect that the bulldozing idea is a game of chicken with the city
-- trying to force the city to buy the El Vado for an inflated price -- around $3.25 million (compared to the 2/3rds to 1 million he reportedly bought it for.)
Forunately, with a little citizen outrage, it would be difficult for Gonzales to get what he needs. Ed Boles from the City of Albuquerque Says:
A permit would be required in order to Legal demolish a building.. This would require a sign off from several departments. These department would the Historical Preservation, Zoning, Building and Safety and Environmental Health. They would also have to provide a Hazardous Material report indicating that there is no Asbestos, Lead or any other possible hazardous material that would require special consideration when removing.
Bottom line is they still need to legally go through an extensive
process if they are looking at demolishing this property. We will monitor this location to try an insure that if they intend to demolition they obtain the proper permits.
Honestly, I want to know I live in Albuquerque, not Tuscon or Cleveland, or Gary Indiana when I drive up Central every day. The El Vado is one of the few things we have that can remind us of that.
I don’t want to be embarrassed when I drive my out of town guests down “The great all-American Rt. 66” and they see crammed-together townhouse where the cool stuff used to be.
The City council and the Mayer already did the right thing to block Gonzales once, I am counting on them to do the same thing in round 2.
P.S. Check out these postcards of of what we have largely already lost on Central at http://roadsidephotos.sabr.org/66/central.htm