The City of Albuquerque is offering $680,000 to buy El Vado Motel from owner Richard L. Gonzales, who wants to raze it and put up luxury townhouses. If the offer is rejected, the city intends to condemn the historic Route 66 property and seize it from Gonzales to save it from demolition, reports the Albuquerque Journal
Gonzales has advertised the property for $2 million to $3 million. He bought it for $675,000 in late 2005, so Gonzales is trying a markup of at least 200 percent, despite the fact most of the motel’s furnishings have been removed and no maintenance being performed on the structure.
Mayor Martin Chavez has said before that he would use condemnation to take the motel from Gonzales to keep it from meeting the wrecking ball. In June 2007, he told the New York Times
“If we can’t come to a resolution with the developer, we’ll condemn it and take it ... Route 66 is very much a state of mind,” he said. “It’s part of who we are. It would be like New York without the Statue of Liberty.”
Sounds like the city is turning up the heat to reach a settlement more quickly.
(Cross posted from Route 66 News