ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –An Albuquerque building with a controversial history might soon be on the market. The city will decide whether to sell a now vacant building on the corner of First and Marquette. Some businesses say a sale could help revitalize the area.
“To hear that it’s for sale is exciting because the possibilities are potentially endless,” said Alex Espinosa, Owner, Novel Point Coffee.
The corner of First Street and Marquette is home to a warehouse with a long history and infamous roots. It was once the site of Albuquerque’s only all-nude strip club. It was also considered an eyesore because of a provocative mural showing naked women.
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“You’d get a lot of drunk people coming in, people wouldn’t have anywhere else to go. They’d come and they’d patronize the establishment and basically, it was not great clientele it made for a really rough scene,” said Dennis Gromelski, Executive Director of FUSION.
In 2005, the city bought the building and turned it into the youth facility, Warehouse 508, which has now outgrown the space and moved on. Now the city is considering selling the property which could mean bringing new life to the area. Business owners say the property is prime real estate because it sits along the route of the planned rail trail that is expected to make the area more accessible.
“That’s a big deal, it’s no longer a dead end. It’s no longer Albuquerque’s cultural cul-de-sac here on First Street,” said Gromelski.
“I hope it brings just daytime activity whether it’s retail shops or some type of small business I think ultimately we can all benefit from that,” said Espinosa.
The building includes more than 30-thousand square feet on a half-an-acre of land. Nearby businesses say it’s a great opportunity. “I think that first street is really coming to life and I’m excited to see what it has in the future,” said Espinosa.
On Monday, City Council will vote on whether to sell the property. It was appraised for $1.3 million.