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AZTEC — The Aztec City Commission chose to sell the building that currently houses the business incubator, or HUB, despite the fact that the sole offer was $20,000 less than the appraised value.

The City Commission unanimously approved the sale during its Dec. 17 meeting.

The building was appraised at $150,000, and the single response to the city’s request for proposals was an offer to buy the building for $130,000.

The buyer, Double D Investments, plans to operate the building in a similar manner and hopes the main tenant, 550 Brewing’s taproom, will remain. It will also lease space to  businesses.

Mayor Victor Snover said that through the sale, “in kind of a side door sort of way, it’s accomplishing what it had been set out to do.”

While the offer came in under the appraised value, Snover said the building does need some work. Commissioner Rosalyn Fry said holding on to the building could be worse financially for the city than selling it.

Commissioner Mark Lewis agreed with Fry, highlighting the cost the city would have to pay to maintain the property.

Commissioner Sherri Sipe bemoaned the fact that the plan to use the building to help start-up businesses did not work out the way it had been envisioned. She emphasized that it was a good plan, and even won an award.

"It's really sad that the whole idea of the HUB didn't take off like we thought it would," she said.

She said the downturn in the economy around the time the city opened the HUB contributed to it not being successful.

In the end, faced with the expense of repairing the building and bringing it up to code, the Aztec City Commission chose to have it appraised and seek buyers.

"It was a great idea, it was a great opportunity for us," Sipe said. "It just did not come to fruition like we thought it would."

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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