The owners of the Evelyn Motor Inn are determined to sell the property

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A representative of the owners of the Evelyn Motor Inn tabled a statement to the city council calling for the motel to be zoned in hopes of converting it into a bus station. The terminal is said to bring financial benefits to Laredo as the San Bernardo location would complement the hotels and business district in the area.

“Right now we’re paying nearly $ 30,000 in annual taxes on this hotel and leasing it for less than that,” the rep read. “We’re old, sick, and don’t have the luxury of waiting any longer for someone to come along who is ready to buy a place plagued by criminal activity and willing to invest in restoration.”

On the other hand, a letter from Margarita Araiza and the Webb County Heritage Foundation shared their concern over the possible demolition of the Evelyn Motel.

“It’s an architectural gem hidden beneath the facade of years of neglect,” says the letter, which affirms that the Evelyn Motel is one of the few remaining examples of mid-century modern travel architecture in our community.

A petition with over 70 signatures was filed to protest the zoning of the property in B4, which would allow the construction of a bus station, and other concerns.

Although the property directly opposite the Evelyn Motel entrance is already designated as a B4 zone, the battle to change the Evelyn Motel’s zone continues as the owners have been trying to sell it for eight years.

The owners of the Evelyn Motel commented that now that they are over 70 and sick, they can no longer worry about such a large investment. They also announced that because of the death of their daughter, they now had to look after their three children alone and even go back to work. Owner Antonio Gonzalez said he was not interested in making his property a historic landmark.

The Texas Historical Commission said the property is “eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places by Architectural Criteria,” but the property is not historic as it has not gone through the official naming process, and the historic status can only be given to the property if the owners ask to provide a representative for the prospective buyer of the motel. Since the buyer understands that the hotel’s restaurant and signage have historical value, the plan would retain and renovate them and the gift shop when the proposed bus station was built.

Alderman Alyssa Cigarroa expressed her condolences to the owners but went on to say that it is their duty to represent everyone in their district fairly as many residents are not satisfied with having a bus station at 2720 San Bernardo Ave.

“I’m a representative of the entire district as a whole … that’s something the local area doesn’t like,” said Cigarroa. “I don’t think this is the right place for a bus station … it’s not in the best interests of the neighborhood and of San Bernardo.”

The motion required a super-majority of the council, i.e. at least six votes that have not yet been received, which has not yet resulted in a clear decision on what to become of the property.

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Twitter @CeciliaTrevinoA


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