Portales downtown district seeing revitalization to long time fixtures
PORTALES, N.M. (KFDA) - The city of Portales is working to beautify and restore long time fixtures in its downtown district in an effort to not only attract visitors but also provide more local jobs.
For nearly two decades, the Roosevelt County Community Development Corporation (RCCDC) has been restoring downtown buildings. Most of them have been renovated and are now occupied except for two buildings that have been standing in Portales for over 80 years.
After failing to bring a new theater to replace the once popular Tower Twin Theater, the Merrick family converted it into the Tower Loft Apartments which now holds four modernized living spaces.
"It was abandoned for seven years, it was an old movie theater," said Megan Hamilton, Tower Loft Apartments Co-owner. "In fact, it had burned in the 1970's and was revitalized, then it was eventually abandoned. We just hated driving by it. It stuck out, so we thought that maybe some downtown living would be unique to Portales and a lot of fun."
"We want to give people a different sight of Portales, and we want to show them that there are neat things in a small community," said Cassidy Self, Tower Loft Apartments Co-owner. "You don't have to be in a big city to find neat property and different designs."
Before the lofts property is fully complete, there are hopes to add a restaurant to the building as well.
The second building to also see a new future is the Portales Inn. This hotel has been vacant for over a decade, and now there are plans to restore it to its original state as accurately as possible.
The Portales Inn will have about 50 rooms, a large lobby and multipurpose rooms.
"The Portales Inn, formerly known as the Hotel Cal Boykin, has had many different owners, but we have finally found an owner that we feel can contribute to our community, Ambience Hospitality, who is ready to develop and make this project a go," said Sammy Standefer, Portales City Manager. "I'm happy to see not only the dilapidated buildings being restored, but it also brings vitality back to our community."
"We're hopeful that the Portales Inn will attract people to Portales. We really believe we are on the cusp of really revitalizing our whole downtown area and this is part of that," said Randy Knudson, RCCDC President. "We are really fortunate because a majority of our buildings downtown have a lot local retail and restaurants."
The construction of the Portales Inn will begin June 1, where it will open as a Best Western Plus in about a year.
Knudson says Roosevelt county is seeing their efforts pay off as these projects are attracting other businesses to the area, which has the potential to bring more local job opportunities.