The map below shows the former “Arena Footprint” (in red) and the former “Arena Master Plan Area” (in yellow).

Mike Churchman, who resides in Equador, is busy renovating the historic tenement complex at 311-315 W. Overland Ave. (photo attached) By this summer he will be leasing 24 units at an average price of $950/month, and this promises to bring around 50 new residents into the neighborhood!

Mr. Churchman told me today that he will not sell his property, as he has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars on renovations, and that he and his son intend to operate it as a long-term investment.

On the west side of Leon Street, opposite the former Master Plan Area, Enrique Guajardo acquired three properties with plans to rehabilitate them. The Pancho Villa Stash House at 331½ Leon Street is finished and will soon be a bar/restaurant. The Coffin House, built in 1882 and located at 400 W. Overland, has been converted into an Airbnb and is already rented for the next several weeks. The former Rock House Cafe at 327 Leon Street is a work in progress and will soon be a taqueria/cafe.

Today I learned that Guajardo has aquired a fourth building, at 333 Leon Street, which is under renovation and will soon become a gym.

That is five historic properties in Duranguito that are being put back into productive use with private sector money, without any tax credits or other government incentives.

Imagine what will be possible once the 12 City-owned properties in the former “Arena Footprint” are added to the National Register of Historic Places and then sold to the private sector to be rehabilitated.

Don Luciano owns the tenement building at 215-219 W. Overland. He had evicted his tenants in 2016 in anticipation of demolishing it for the arena project but has now put it up for sale. Built in 1899, it would be an excellent candidate for a federally-subsidized housing project.

Once the Downtown National Register Historic District is created and the City and County agree on a strategic plan for creating an “old town,” we will see private investors acquire the properties, restore them, and establish businesses in them.

The City will receive new revenue from property and sales taxes as a new and exciting tourist attraction emerges in our historic urban core.

I only wish the Downtown Management District, Chamber of Commerce, and Central Business Association would get behind this process.

Have a great evening.