Albuquerque business owners still trying to rebuild after violent protests

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been more than four months since rioters went on a rampage in downtown Albuquerque, causing thousands of dollars in damage. Now, one property owner says he’s still trying to recover.

What started as a Black Lives Matter protest turned into destruction caused by a separate group into the early morning on June 1. It left a lot of downtown Albuquerque business owners left to pick up the pieces.

Rich Baca of Bourbon and Boots on Fourth Street and Central got hit badly by the vandals. “It was pretty shocking. I live pretty close to here, so I rode my bike down here when I found out they were busting out our window,” he said back in June.

Fast forward to Sunday, the bar has fixed the busted windows, but the building’s owner says it wasn’t that easy. “One of the most damaged was Bourbon and Boots at Fourth and Central. That was close to what I describe as the epicenter,” says Doug Peterson.

Over the next few months, Peterson Properties’ owner, says he was left with a $12,000 bill to fix all of his damaged downtown properties. “They had nearly every window broken out,” he says.

While some of his neighbors in downtown have still chosen to keep their windows boarded, Peterson says it was important to him to quickly rebuild from the destruction, especially after the city recently stepped in to help.

“I will though, however, give credit to the city. They finally came through with the check to reimburse us for that amount,” says Peterson.

While Bourbon and Boots and some of the other businesses Peterson owns still cannot open because of the state’s health order, he says everyone is doing their best to keep business afloat. “We’ve spent tens and thousands of dollars to expand and to put in patios for some of our tenants. So, in light of all that, they’re doing the best they can,” he says.

Peterson says he’s willing to hire security guards to watch his properties in downtown moving forward. The city says it helped about 30 business owners replace their glass windows and have reimbursed them more than $139,000 to help pay for the damages.

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