Don Luciano, owner of the Duranguito tenement at 217-219 W. Overland, at the northwest corner of Chihuahua St and across from the Chinese Laundry, is currently demolishing part of his historic complex, which was built 122 years ago.

Luciano is the principal of Lucmor LLC, which has owned the property since October 2012, only days before the QOL bond election that included the MPC.

His property lies just outside the “Arena Footprint” but within the City’s MPC “Master Plan Area,” which has been subject to eminent domain authority since October 18, 2016.

Luciano’s LLC applied for two demolition permits on April 7: one for 217 W. Overland and the other for 219 W. Overland. These permits both state the same objective: “DEMOLISH OLD WHITE BUILDING SURROUNDING RED BRICK BUILDING.”

Both the addresses are cited in the 2017 County architectural survey as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places as contributing properties within a future Downtown El Paso National Register Historic District. The County submitted its nomination in 2020 but so far the National Park Service has not established the proposed district.

Luciano made the news when he evicted the building’s tenants around Christmas 2016 and then allowed the property to languish, failing to secure it multiple times.

Amazingly, he served for years on the Historic Landmark Commission, which is charged with enforcing historic building codes and maintaining the integrity of historic buildings.

In February 2017, Luciano was ordered to fix his building or go to jail, and in August of that year he told the El Paso Times that he planned to renovate the building.

Since that time, his property has been invaded by intruders repeatedly, and it was badly damaged by fire this past August 9.

I have no idea what Luciano is planning at this point, but I am sure the demolition will reduce his property tax bill.