Area People Happy With Fall Mansion Renovation


POSTED: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 6:18pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 6:23pm

CENTRAL EL PASO- People in El Paso's Golden Hill area say it's been an eyesore for years. Now the city seems ready to renovate the fall mansion.

On Wednesday, construction was full underway, and neighbors say that despite the noise the renovation is causing, they are happy Fall Mansion is finally being cleaned up.

With a $1.2 million dollar budget, the City of El Paso says it's about four months away from completing the renovation of the Fall Mansion on Arizona Street. Neighbors say its been a long time coming.

"It's bad, real bad, and then people break in and vandalize and everything,” said Gilbert Marquez.

Marquez has lived in his home across the street from the historic building for 30 years. He remembers when the property started to fall apart.

"It used to be a nice house, now it is just abandoned,” said Marquez.

He isn't the only neighbor who says the property has been an eyesore for a long time.

"The grass and the wood were in bad condition. The house didn't have paint and there was a lot of garbage,” said Guadalupe Arellano.

Arellano says the mess across the street drives property value down in the neighborhood.

"It's so clean here, and in such bad condition over there. People would come and take a look, but would never do anything about it,” said Arellano.

Initially, El Paso Mental Health and Mental Retardation was in talks to take over the property, but decided the building would be too expensive to maintain. Commercial real estate broker Wayne Windle says the city could turn the historic mansion into something that serves the public.

"The fact that the city owns it, it would be a great nonprofit place. That could be a museum, some type of family outreach, or a children's library," said Windle.

Windle also says the history of the mansion makes it very valuable on the real estate market.

"When you consider what a great place it is, and how much historical significance it has,” said Windle.

The previous owner of Fall Mansion was Sib Abraham, however the city took control of the property in 2007.

City leaders say that they do have prospective tenants.

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