BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) – A husband and wife entrepreneur duo recently purchased a landmark Belen building only to find a treasure trove of items and signs pointing to an era long gone.
The F & E building on Main opened in 1928 by German immigrants of the last names Feil and Ellermeyer, who built it as their mercantile. But for the last three years, the nearly 90-year-old building has sat boarded up, useless.
“I think it’s a shame to have such a nice building, old building that they just left vacant,” Darrell Green said.
Then Green and his wife, Sheryl, came along and scooped it up. That was just last week.
“We walked through this [building] and I…loved it. And I told [Sheryl], you gotta look past that trash and all that, we’ll just clean that up,” he said.
The F & E building was a mess: graffiti, dead birds, dog feces, windows and A/C units smashed. It was clear people were living inside for some time.
But the Greens, who own Blue Star Insurance and Hardkor Fitness – also in Belen – saw potential. They decided they would move Blue Star Insurance here and expand their gym by taking over the space the insurance company leaves behind.
“I think it’s awesome, because there’s so much history here,” Sheryl said.
As they began renovations, they found that history around every corner. Underneath the stucco exterior, the old Coca Cola bottling logo on the south side and the Feil and Ellermeyer sign on the north side are still legible.
“These wood floors are beautiful,” Darrell said, who plans to stain the original wood to restore it to its former glory.
The buildings original elevator is still inside, in relatively great shape. The Greens have also found old milk and soda bottles.
“I need my metal detector,” Darrell laughed.
They want to bring this old building back to life – with a modern touch – and bring a smile back to Belen.
“Not having the windows boarded up, just gives the town some hope,” Sheryl said.
The Greens plan to move the insurance company in by January, and hope to one day open a restaurant inside the building, lease office spaces and possibly host renters.