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          Front Page




The Beach Will Be Torn Down; Waterpark Was Closed in 2005

By Susan Stiger
Journal Staff Writer
    The big tower of stairs and slides— an Albuquerque recreational landmark for 18 years— is coming down.
    Owners of the Beach Waterpark have announced an auction of parts and equipment from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in advance of selling the property at I-25 and Montaño Road.
    "We have not committed to anyone as an end-user," said Jim McClintic, managing partner with Montaño-I25 LLC, which has owned the property since December. "We are tearing down the structures to have buildable, vacant land."
    Interested parties have mentioned restaurants, hotels, motels and office buildings as possibilities for the site. So far, no one is talking about recreation.
    McClintic estimated the land, a 6.73-acre parcel and an 18.23-acre parcel, is worth between $10 million and $12 million. He was concerned that the property's value might be in jeopardy after the city of Albuquerque mistakenly declared it a public nuisance in May. Vandals had caused a mineral oil spill when tearing up a transformer to steal copper tubing. The city assumed the property was abandoned.
    The transformer, since removed, was actually located on a Public Service Company of New Mexico easement and was therefore the responsibility of PNM, according to utility spokesperson Susan Sponar.
    "The mineral oil did not contain any PCBs," she said.
    Almost all of the 250 gallons has been cleaned up, except for a small amount blocked by asphalt and concrete, which will be removed when the land is cleared. The drainage system was flushed and cleared, she said.
    The city rescinded its "notice and order" declaring the property a public nuisance in May.
    After the auction of equipment, slides, towers, canopies and park benches, The Beach's remaining structures will be demolished. McClintic expects the property to be cleared by the first week of January.
    His partners in Montaño-I25 LLC are Mike and Steve Abraham, who are also his partners in JMS Construction, along with several unions. JMS Construction is not involved, he said.
    The Beach Waterpark, a summer draw for 18 years before closing last June voluntarily shut down after receiving an unsatisfactory rating from the Environmental Health Department. The park included a half-acre wave pool holding 370,000 gallons of water, four slides, a "Lazy River," a children's pool and volleyball courts.