A U.S. Bankruptcy Court proceeding in El Paso, set for late July, could determine whether one of the buildings owned by local businessman William Abraham could be leased out and transformed into a new hotel.
If approved by Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee Ronald Ingalls, the lease could be worth around $185,000 annually over a stipulated 30-year period of time.
That figure would ultimately be considerably greater than a $250,000 offer by businessman Paul Foster to purchase the property outright.
Located at 105 N. Oregon Street, what is known as the American Furniture Building has been largely vacant in recent years, and today has only one tenant, a ground-level UPS store.
The building, which was designed by architect Henry C. Trost and opened in 1922, served as a combination showroom, office, and workspace for decades for the American Furniture Company.
It was converted into general office space by the 1980s.
In 2010 a report for the City of El Paso’s Building and Standards Board said the structure had electrical, mechanical, and plumbing violations.
Two months ago, Abraham indicated in court proceedings that he had been working on a possible deal with Jose Gonzalez, an El Paso developer, to transform the 7-story building into a TRYP Hotel as part of the national Wyndham hotel chain.
That deal, currently being reviewed by Ingalls, is expected to be opposed in court by Abraham’s creditors.
TRYP hotels typically cater to an upscale clientele and also house restaurant and retail space.
By Garry Boulard
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