El Paso buildings owned by businessman Billy Abraham up for auction
Three highly coveted downtown El Paso buildings are going up for auction.
The buildings belong to local businessman Billy Abraham.
The three downtown buildings are hitting the auction block in a few weeks, along with eight other properties.
The city says by selling these buildings they could speed up the changing downtown development scene.
The Toltec, Caples, and Newberry buildings have stood in downtown El Paso for more than 100 years.
They're owned by Abraham, who's been cited multiple times for letting them fall apart.
“It is just important to get them back into a condition where we could get activity, we could get people utilizing the space,” said El Paso Economic Development Director Jessica Herrera.
“If they’re going to keep the buildings up, at least re-establish then and restructure them,” said El Paso resident Leanne Rosa.
Now the buildings are listed for auction at the next El Paso County sheriff's sale.
They're being seized to pay a debt Abraham owes for bringing a Juan Gabriel concert to El Paso in 2015.
The city of El Paso says the availability of the properties is a long time coming.
“I think this is only going to give property owners, not only within the downtown footprint, but really all the way around the streetcar up to the university, to really give people a sense of optimism for redevelopment,” Herrera said.
El Pasoans and the city are confident investors will pay for the chance to rebuild the forgotten landmarks.
“I see a lot of value in it. But if they’re going to be making something new out of it, then at least put something that the whole community can use,” Rosa said.
“From the city side and the county side we will continue to be as aggressive as we need to get these buildings opened and restored,” Herrera said.
The sheriff’s sale will take place at the El Paso County Courthouse Feb. 6.