ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One of the most recognizable pieces of property in the heart of Albuquerque will be demolished. The walled grounds, which include four old homes, take up half a block in Nob Hill just off Central. The homes in the lot were built around the 1930s. The new owner wants to tear it all down to put in apartments.

“You know, it’s mostly an abandoned property. It does attract a lot of critters. We get a lot of raccoons on the property a lot of birds. And also, that stretch of the block because it’s just kind of not populated…attracts RV’s and sometimes abandoned cars,” said Paul Dickson, a neighbor of the property.

“It’s been there for generations. And so, we were all very skeptical about what was going to happen,” said Pamela Weese Powell, a neighbor of the property. This corner lot on Wellesley and Silver occupies an acre of Nob Hill and is a piece of Albuquerque history.

“It’s a lot that’s a block wide and so you rarely get to see those anymore,” said Powell. “We’re getting architectural walks all the time that are coming to see that specific property.” The Mediterranean-style homes were built in the 1930s by the Bachechi Family—the patriarch of whom built KiMo Theatre downtown in the mid-1920s.

(Photos above are from the City of Albuqueruqe Planning Department Urban Design & Development Division’s Landmarks Commission)

When the estate was built in Nob Hill, it was on the outer edges of Albuquerque. However, it’s not registered as a historic landmark or cultural property. The compound consists of a two-story main house and three one-story rental units enclosed by a wall, but neighbors say it’s seen better days.

“I did attend the demolition meeting and some of the photos were kind of terrible. The outbuildings are all a big mess and falling down. The main house I’ve heard is not in good shape. You can’t tell from the outside, but I’d heard that before,” Dickson says.

“We’ve all watched that property go down in value for many years. So, we’re glad that it’s getting a facelift,” Powell says.

The new owner plans to turn the property into a three-story complex with around 40 pueblo-style apartments. The plan says adding more homes here will help the local economy and help alleviate the housing crunch in Albuquerque.

“It looks good! I hope that it ends up looking like the designs are. You know I’m a big fan of infill and I’m not going to be a nimby and say, ‘can’t do it on my block!’ So, I think it’s a much better use. I think it’s good for the neighborhood,” said Dickson.

The demolition plan had to go through the city’s Landmarks Commission because the homes here were all more than 50 years old. The plan was approved last week; no word yet on when the demolition will actually take place or when the apartment buildings could go up.