KINGMAN – Catholic Charities of Arizona has told inquiring city officials that the Route 66 Motel it purchased in Kingman is not for sale. And the organization has indicated it will continue its campaign to renovate the dilapidated property for a transitional housing project operation.
City officials inquired about the availability of the property given significant opposition and worry that the housing program would harm quality of life and property values for the residential neighborhood to the west. Proximity to the nearby Manzanita Elementary School on Detroit Ave. is another concern.
Deputy City Manager Tina Moline told council members during their Jan. 16 meeting that Catholic Charities remains committed, and is heavily invested in the project.
“They obviously purchased the building at a cost of $1.5 million,” Moline said. “They’re planning on investing over $4 million and they are not interested in selling. They are planning on moving forward with the project.”
Mayor Ken Watkins said Catholic Charities requires no zoning, permitting or other municipal approvals and is free to proceed.
“They have done their due diligence and they are well within their rights and the law,” Watkins said.
Council member Keith Walker said city officials understand and respect project opposition, but also that they’ve exhausted alternative contemplations.
“There was nothing we could do to stop this project. I think it’s a great project. I think it’s a bad location, but there’s nothing we can do,” Walker said. “Even if they wanted to sell it I don’t think we could come up with the money … and I don’t think we need to be in the business of owning a half-built motel.”
Mayor Watkins said subcontractors are already at work at the motel rehabilitation site at 2939 E. Andy Devine Ave.
“They’ve already started construction. They are in the asbestos removal phase right now,” Watkins said. “We have seen the plans for what they have in mind for that hotel. It is going to become much better than what it was, so I think we need to look for the positive on it.”