It is ludicrous and shortsighted to consider encumbering the Los Alamos County taxpayers with the ownership of the Reel Deal Theater, and the former CB Fox Building.
There are only two beneficiaries of this arrangement … the present owners.
The cost of gentrifying these two properties will be exorbitant compared to the return on investment. What becomes of an aging theater? A fine arts center for a population of some 18,000? We already have auditoriums. CB Fox might be transformed into 8-10 apartments and a few shops. How many decades will that experiment take to become flush?
This clouded notion of eclectic boutiques, galleries, cosmopolitan eateries, and trendy storefronts transforming Los Alamos into a destination panacea is fractured.
People move here or retire here for quiet safety. Santa Fe is your retail mecca. This apparent self-serving selfishness that is insistent about leaving some form of edifice legacy is not financially prudent.
As a county, the business of real estate development has been met with very limited success. We have ‘Round-about’ construction on Trinity Drive that will be entering its 3rd year of construction. Either we can’t manage our county development contracts, or we can’t say no to change orders.
Lastly, we have not even cleared all of the hurdles associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic. Are the Council People wagering our tax dollars that there will never be another pandemic? Is this insatiable need to spend tax dollars instead of save for the future more important than supporting existing business owners, with tax subsidies and low or zero interest loans?
Editor’s note: The Trinity Roundabout is a state project managed by the New Mexico Department of Transportation, not by the County.