EL PASO, TX — The City of El Paso typically doesn't comment on pending litigation, but today wanted to clear things up on the future of Hawkins Plaza, after documents negotiating the sale were made public. It turns out financial problems for Patriot Place Ltd. had been apparent for a year.
"We had sought to terminate the lease for default," said Joyce Wilson, El Paso City Manager.
The termination was put on hold when Patriot Place Ltd. filed for bankruptcy on May 31st. Then the negotiation for the $2.9 million dollar sale of Hawkins Plaza, began. Those details, leaked to the public, brought on today's press conference. City Manager Joyce Wilson wanted to clarify: the bill isn't being paid with tax dollars.
"The tax payer does not support any of the airport's operations," said Wilson.
But one small business owner in Hawkins Plaza says its costing him everything. Details in the sale indicate an eviction for tenants like the Three Legged Monkey, described as undesirable.
"Collusion, cronyism and corruption is alive and well in the city of El Paso. To force a small business owner out of business for the financial gain of possible real estate cronies along with the city, I think is just outright despicable,” said Mike Armstrong, owner of The Three Legged Monkey.
Even though Wilson would not comment on the Three Legged Monkey, she says the agreement is strictly a bankruptcy settlement.
"It'll be in our best interest to maximize the opportunity of that site where as we would not be able to do that now if the lease stayed in place as it was," said Wilson.