ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) It’s a historic motel right in the heart of Nob Hill, but years after an explosion left a gaping hole in the building, people are asking, what’s next for the property?
Neighbors are now calling for the city to take action at the Hiway House Motel saying the growing “eyesore” has seen better days. “It’s a bombed-out building. It looks like a war zone, said nearby property owner, Sofia Eleftheriou. Eleftheriou says the building has continued to deteriorate since the motel’s 2019 explosion where investigators say a small propane tank blew out part of a wall on the building’s south side “I don’t understand why it is not condemned, it is dangerous and it’s ugly,” said Eleftheriou.
Since then, neighbors say they’ve noticed a growing number of boarded-up doors and a big mound of trash collecting in the parking lot. Neighbors saying it’s continuing to give Nob Hill a bad look. “I actually have an Airbnb and often guests are asking me about what happened here and what is going on and when I have to tell them it happened four years ago and nothing’s happened. It’s embarrassing,” added Eleftheriou.
A realtor for the property said a newer owner has relisted the property for sale as of June, saying the current owner acknowledges the motel has attracted “the presence of squatters,” neighbors said it’s much worse. “There’s people climbing in and out of this building. It’s full of rats, of mice and cats. We’ve had multiple fires here since then because people camp out in there.”
The realtor says the owner has been in contact with the city to help manage problems on-site. A spokesperson for the mayor’s office said the property is on the city’s radar and the city is working to process permits for a potential remodel once the last five units have been vacated.
The property realtor also said, that in the meantime, they are looking for a buyer that could spruce up the motel with an asking price of $6.2 million.