City eyeing demolition of vacant, mouse-infested Central Ave. business

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Squalid conditions inside a now vacant, former Albuquerque restaurant are causing problems for a neighboring non-profit. In response, the city is now considering tearing down the problem property along Central Avenue.

Just west of Wyoming Boulevard, the property at 8411 Central Avenue NE has been on the Albuquerque Code Enforcement division’s radar since 2014. While the location remains boarded up, the neighboring non-profit Street Safe New Mexico says it continues to deal with issues coming from the next-door property it shares a wall with.

The non-profit’s Executive Director, Christine Barber recorded video of a recent indoor tour of the property. Barber’s video shows the vacant business has large piles of trash inside. Barber describes the overwhelming smells of feces and rotting trash.

“That smell,” Barber said. “Holy crap, no wonder everyone thinks someone’s dead in here.”

Barber’s next-door non-profit has been dealing with the mouse problem since May. The mice were determined to be coming from the vacant building next door. Barber estimates the non-profit has killed around 120 mice in the last four months. She says the rodents are getting into health supplies that the non-profit provides to women living on the street.

“We have so much damage that’s been done to our building,“ Barber said. “There’s ‘Tom and Jerry’ mouse holes in all of the walls, they are coming from next door, they have to be coming from the abandoned building next door.”

Photos gathered by the city show inspectors recently found piles of trash, bloody needles and signs of homeless camps around the property.

Monday night, city councilors voted to move forward with a demolition of the old restaurant but councilors did not vote to expedite the process so the soonest it could happen in mid-November. Street Safe says that’s not soon enough for them to stay in the building safely in the meantime, so for the moment, they will not operate out of that space.

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