ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - After five years as a hulking monument to a difficult economy and bank fraud, the Anasazi Downtown is buffed and open for business.
Construction on the Anasazi building stopped in 2008 after the bank financing the project failed. The original developer, Vincent Garcia, siphoned money from bank loans intended for the Anasazi project and eventually pleaded guilty to federal charges.
For roughly five years the Anasazi, which had promised restaurants, condos and retail units, stood empty looming over the intersection of Central Avenue SW and Sixth Street. Vandals marked many of the empty units with graffiti.
Construction revived just four months ago on the decrepit exterior, the ground-floor retail units and 45 condos on the upper floors.
The project manager said they've hired local workers for construction, and that they tried to hire subcontractors who had worked originally on the Anasazi.
PEM CEO Paul Mashni said his group initially was wary of taking on the Anasazi.
"I think getting through the red tape to get the project started was a little bit tough, but from the day we were able to break ground and open it up, it's really just been an enjoyable experience," Mashni told KRQE News 13.
So far, none of the condos have been sold and no tenants have signed leases. A one-bedroom condo starts at about $140,000.
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