ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A local business that was supposed to open its doors Tuesday will have to wait. Green Jeans Farmery had scheduled its grand opening Tuesday night but it’s still waiting for permits and the approval from the city.
Tony Lopez said opening his shop, Epiphany Espresso, at Green Jeans Farmery was a no-brainer. His business is part of the new shipping container complex just off of I-40 and Carlisle.
But now, an unexpected delay in getting city permits is keeping many businesses from running.
“We hear one thing and we’re finding out that they expect something completely different,” said Lopez.
Shop owners said they keep giving the city what it asks and then are told it needs to be done differently.
“We’ve been slowed down and handcuffed because of permitting issues with the city,” said Amore Pizza Owner, Gabriel Amador.
The city disagrees. “You have to have a professional designer stamp the project plans and that was the case we’ve been held up on,” said Gilbert Montano, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff.
Montano said businesses must get an architect to approve final plans. The city said it’s a state requirement and crucial to safety, adding that they told everyone a month ago they needed it.
“But I assure you, and based on documentation for the last month, we have been trying to rectify and explain to this developer that this has to be done,” said Montano.
Even on Tuesday, the city said they’re still waiting.
“It’s no exception and unfortunately it has waited until the twilight hour before the grand opening,” said Montano.
But business owners claim, they were told about the final requirement only two weeks ago.
“It takes time, it’s not an easy thing that they’re requesting,” said Amador.
Now on opening day, they’re still closed.
“I mean we have employees that have jobs and are willing to work and they’re filing for unemployment and things like that right now,” said Amador.
But both sides do agree on one thing.
“It’s an unfortunate situation that we’re in on the last day,” said Mantano.
“I’m really upset and bummed,” said Amador.