City paid $660k for 5-acre parcel of land near Animas River

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FARMINGTON — An old, unused gas station was torn down Monday, and other buildings on an approximately 5-acre parcel of land near the Animas River will be destroyed in the upcoming weeks as city officials work to transform the community.

City Manager Rob Mayes said in a text message that Farmington paid the appraised value of $660,000 for the land, which includes a 9,000-square-foot warehouse that is not slated for demolition.

Mayor Nate Duckett watched as the gas station was demolished Monday morning.

“I saw renewal,” Duckett said when reached by phone Monday.

He said the property had been an eyesore for a long time.

“This property gives us the opportunity to be strategic with its development,” Duckett said.

The city has hoped to revitalize the area of Farmington known as the Animas District, which is where the property is located. The 2009 Metropolitan Redevelopment Area plan outlined various opportunities for the Animas District, which connects downtown with the river.

“We’re on a mission to develop the riverine corridor,” Duckett said.

Mayes said the city does not have a final plan for what it will do with the land, but it has several options it is considering. Those options include a riverside park, a makers' space or a multi-use area that includes both residential and commercial spaces or professional buildings.

“The immediate need was to clean up a blighted property that has posed both a hazard and nuisance to public safety and welfare,” Mayes said. “The second consideration is now the most strategic repurposing to facilitate community transformation and economic development.”

The City Council passed a gross receipts tax increase earlier this year that is intended to fund the community transformation and spur economic development. Since then, the city has transferred money from its general fund into its community transformation and economic development fund to get projects started, like the purchase of the property in the Animas District. The money will be repaid to the general fund after the gross receipts tax goes into effect next year.

“I think the council recognizes that the timing is critical,” Duckett said.

Mayes said city officials are hopeful that the investments the city makes in Farmington’s downtown and surrounding areas will serve as a catalyst for private investment.

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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