City selling former firehouse in historic neighborhood

An old firehouse in a historic part of Albuquerque is up for sale and can be turned into a home or a business.

Albuquerque Fire Rescue said it’s been sitting empty for years and it has neighbors wondering what could be moving into that spot.

Huning Highland-Edo is Albuquerque’s first subdivision, so there’s a lot of historic character in the neighborhood, longtime resident and Maddox Real Estate Realtor, Barbara Maddox said.

It has a very distinctive look, neighbor Robert Elwood added. These Victorian houses are really appealing and really nice.

The Highland Fire Station was the second ever built in the city of Albuquerque back in 1925 off Silver and High Street. It has been vacant since the department left for a new, bigger firehouse in 2012.

It was really sad to lose it but I know that it was outdated, Maddox said.

A look inside shows what was once the fire crew’s living quarters, kitchen, office space and engine bay. The city put it up for sale for the first couple months of 2019 for $480,000.

I think it’s a little high because it’s going to need such an extreme amount of work to get it redone, Maddox said.

That’s the price at which it was last appraised seven years ago for the half-acre property as is.

A historic building so whoever buys it can’t demolish it or change it in any substantial way, Elwood said.

It’s in a neighborhood that homeowners say has taken time to get cleaned up and developed, with many restaurants and other businesses along nearby East Central.

There was a lot of crime and a lot of vandalism and not safe conditions into the ‘90s perhaps. But, things seem to really be on the upswing, Elwood said.

The city rejected the one bid it received, saying the offer was too low.

A restaurant would work great—something that would enhance our neighborhood I think is really, really important, Maddox said.

The city is now reappraising it in hopes of finding a buyer to keep the integrity of this historic area.

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