Vandals Wreak Havoc on Iconic Albuquerque Tower

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The former Bank of the West tower on east Central Avenue suffered significant damage over the weekend after vandals broke in and caused tens of thousands of dollars in destruction as per to the sources covered by Yahoo.

The perpetrators reached the penthouse of the 17-story building and threw items, including a washing machine, out of the windows, triggering the building’s fire sprinklers.

The building, owned by Houston-based Route 66 Multi Family ABQ LLC, is undergoing preparations for a major housing project. However, ongoing crime has posed a serious setback.

Project manager Landen Nowak described the scene, stating, “They came in here. They wrecked the place upstairs. It looks like they started a fire in the penthouse.”

The fire activated the sprinkler system, leading to a broken pipe and flooding in parts of the building. The water supply was finally shut off on Monday.

Additionally, Lobo Internet Services, which operates from the building, experienced outages due to damage to their internet tower and equipment in the flooded basement.

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President of Lobo Internet Services, Carl Muehlenweg, mentioned the challenges they face in maintaining services, including hauling propane daily to keep generators running. “There is still a little more to do to get it 100%,” he said.

Efforts to secure the building have been ramped up, and project leaders are collaborating with the city to increase police patrols in the area. Despite this setback, the owners remain hopeful about proceeding with their plans to convert the shorter building on site into apartments.

The vandalism highlights the difficulties faced in revitalizing historic structures, but the team is determined to overcome these challenges and move forward with their vision for the property.

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