The stretch of Central between Broadway and I-25 has come a long way in the past decade or so, with lofts, restaurants and hotels. Still, people who live and work in EDo say there’s some work to do.
“I love that neighborhood and I’ve been living there over three years,” said Maelia Cecil.
Cecil says over the last few years, the historic East Downtown neighborhood has been a little more difficult to enjoy.
“Drug dealing activity, prostitution. They go through the dumpster that is located right behind the motel,” she said.
The motels she’s talking about are the Imperial Inn Motel and the Knights Inn, which are surrounded by new businesses and historic homes.
“It’s no mystery that the motels attract a seedier folk,” said Collin Troy.
Troy co-owns the Octopus and the Fox, which is also in EDo, and says he’s seen some strange activity around the motels as well.
Albuquerque Police say they’re very familiar with both motels.
“The Imperial, I believe, 60 calls to service in the last, since April basically. That’s a lot of calls for service, that’s a lot of manpower,” said Officer Simon Drobik.
For residents like Cecil, that’s too close for comfort.
“I’d like that, if they could, close the motel,” said Cecil.
However, the city’s Planning Department says it’s not that simple. The Imperial and Knights Inn haven’t had any code violations lately.
“Right now in that area, that stretch of EDo on Central, we don’t have any active violations,” said Planning Department spokesperson Carmelina Hart.
The city’s Planning Department says it works with a metro redevelopment agency that works with the neighborhood to keep up with the charm.
Since there are no active violations from motels, they can’t go in and enforce anything.
Back in 2002, the city closed down the infamous Gaslite Motel along that stretch of Central, because of the problems it was causing.