Business Section

Tuesday - September 28th, 1999

Jones Building Owners Battle County

¡ Front Page

By Andrew Padilla
Journal Staff Writer

Condemnation Stay Sought

Register of Historic Places.
County Attorney Tito Chavez said Monday that he did not want to comment on the request for injunction and temporary restraining order because it is still pending.
The county wants the building to turn it into a Route 66 community cultural center with $800,000 in voter-approved bond money.  That would be matched with $500,000 of state funds.
The Bonfantines, who bought the building for $850,000 last month, want to renovate it for use as a 200-seat restaurant and microbrewery.  They currently lease space and run a 100-seat restaurant and bar next door at 3200 E. Central.  That lease expires Dec. 1.
County Commissioner Tom Rutherford said Monday the judge's decision will impact how the county will proceed.
"I think the commission's intent, unless the judge tells us to do otherwise, will be to keep proceeding along that (condemnation) path," Rutherford said.
Late last month, an Albuquerque zoning examiner denied a request by the Bonfantines for a zoning permit to establish a home-brewing operation in the Jones building saying it would aggravate existing parking problems.  The decision is on appeal.
Even if a brewing operation isn't

The owners of a historic Nob Hill building have asked the state District Court to stop Bernalillo County from trying to forcefully take their property.
Dennis and Janice Bonfantine, who own the old Jones Motor Co. building, filed for an injunction and temporary restraining order Monday to stop the county from following through on its threat to take the building through condemnation.
A hearing before District Judge Robert Thompson is scheduled at 9 a.m. today.  The hearing is being expedited because the County Commission is expected to decide at its 4:30 p.m. meeting today whether to proceed with its condemnation plan.
In the request for an injunction, the Bonfantines state that the county hasn't taken all the legal steps required to move forward with condemnation, including getting permission from the Albuquerque City Council.
"The bottom line for us is the county's threats to take this property sound tough, but they are legally hollow," David Campbell, an attorney for the Bonfantines, said Monday.
The Bonfantines also argue that state law prohibits the county from taking ownership of a historic building through condemnation.  The 60-year-old building at Central and Wellesley is listed on the National

allowed, the Bonfantines say they still plan to use the building as a restaurant and bar.
"If we're not able to do the brewing on-site, we may be able to do it elsewhere," Campbell said.