The City of El Paso has accepted the terms of a settlement agreement reached in the William Abraham bankruptcy cases and the bankruptcy trustee has agreed to sell several of Abraham’s historic buildings in Downtown El Paso.
The buildings include the Kress Building, American Furniture Building, Caples Building, and other “iconic buildings,” the City said in a news release.
Interim City Attorney Karla Neiman said the settlement agreements represents a new chapter for downtown. “It will afford the new owners the opportunity to join the City of El Paso in our efforts to honor our heritage and fortify the local economy by investing in the preservation and restoration of historic buildings,” Nieman said in a news release.
The City said it is satisfied with the ettlement agreement because it addresses many of the City’s concerns, including code enforcement violations, payment of delinquent property taxes, and payment of a judgment the City obtained for code violations at the American Furniture Building, located at 105 N. Oregon.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the developers who purchase the Abraham properties must commit to complying with the City’s building codes, the City said.
The proposed agreement calls for:
Code enforcement concerns to be fully addressed, ensuring health and safety are resolved and maintained;
Payment of the City’s final judgment, which was obtained as a result of many years of safety and code violations;
Payment of delinquent property taxes as the properties are sold; and
Dismissal of all pending litigation, including appeals, related to the judgment.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved the terms of the settlement agreement on Tuesday, September 11, 2018. The City Council accepted the terms on Tuesday, September 18, 2018.