Talon News - Good Local News

By Jacque Ritchie





by Jacque Ritchie, TALON

A colorful flurry of activity on the corner of Chaco and Main is bringing smiles to Aztec residents and local shop owners alike.

Constructed in 1910 the red brick building at 100 N. Main was originally a dry goods store operated by D.C. Ball and Son. Over the years, the building was once a shoe store and then an insurance agency. From 1969 til 2017 the property was the home of Ramsey Realty, when the family decided to move up the street to 112 N. Main.

Current owner Mike Smith is breathing new life into the property with hopes that the upgrades will inspire area property owners and residents at large, "I'm an investor with many commericial and residential properties... If you have a property, you have to make it as attractive as possible, there's a lot of competition out there." Smith said, "The cities of Aztec and Farmington are both trying to revitalize their downtown areas and that is admirable and hopefully people will be attracted to use the downtown." Smith recognizes that given the steady and inevitable losses in oil and gas revenue, attracting new business to the area is vital. "Without new industry coming into the area, unfortunately this could be 'the new norm' for us."

Smith contracted J&K Stucco (Farmington) to remove the old stone facade, re-stucco and paint, "It's hard to say exactly when we will be totally finished...you know how it is, when you have and older building and are working with contractors," said Smith. As part of the building revitalization, Aztec Sorehead Kim Bixler secured the talents of renowned Albuquerque muralist Richie Arviso to create a 10' by 10' mural in memory of Casey and Paco, the two students lost in last year's school shooting. "It was really awesome of Mike (Smith) to allow us to use part of the building to feature Arviso's artwork in this way, we really want to thank him" said Bixler.

The 3,500 square foot building will offer three residential apartments with entrances on Chaco. Smith said the units will feature brand new appliances, cabinets, and countertops. Two one bedroom and one bath units, and one two bedroom two bath are offered with utilities included. The commercial storefront of the building is 1000 square feet and includes a living space in the rear, "It would be ideal for a single person that has a business that doesn't need a whole lot of storage space for inventory, like a lawyer or an accountant someone like that." To keep things cool in summer and warm come winter Smith is installing new central heat and air conditioning. "About 90 percent of the calls I've had are about the residential units, they are going to be really nice, it seems like people are very interested in living in this area, it has history and unique character."


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