Ed Butts expansion plan extinguished

A story I wrote in todays paper follows up the Ed Butts Ford saga which isnt really a saga anymore since the city decided to go with another developer, hence terminating all negotiations with Ed Butts for the site.

Some quick background: Ed Butts and the city have been in talks to expand the dealership on a parcel of city-owned land along Hacienda Boulevard for about five years. But the two parties have been at odds over liability of environmental issues on the site, which was once home to a contamination clean-up facility. Ed Butts wanted indemnification. The city said the soil was clean.

Now just a little more insight: I spoke with Ed Butts General Manager Anthony Iannone Wednesday and he told me he and his father had yet to hear from the city, even though the City Council voted Tuesday night to go with another developer. The Iannones werent too happy, but Anthony said they would just be looking out for our business in the future.

Some contradiction to the story on the citys side: Mayor Louie Lujan said Wednesday that he personally tried calling Iannones last week and Tuesday, before the council meeting, but didnt get any calls back.
He also said that while the city was willing to give them indeminification in the form of a memorandum of understanding, Ed Butts refused. Lujan said they wanted indeminifcation in the lands deed which would have set it in stone forever.

  • Voodoo Daddy

    What a lot of us old timers in LP have been complaining about is that the city has been on the hook by spending over $3 million dollars to buy the property next to Ed Butts Ford so Iannone could expand his run down dealership. Why should we the citizens pay this tab and then be held over a barrel by Iannone. We need tax revenues to provide more senior programs for our aging population. If Beverly Westwood can provide that tax money by developing the site, good for them. Maybe Ford/Iannone should be more concerned about the potential environmental issues on Ed Butts property itself.

  • C. Senor

    Thank goodness we have a Mayor and Council that refuses to be held hostage by Ed Butts Ford. Its about time we move forward and develop the property. Ionne and Ford had 5 years to make this happen and it is obvious that they were never serious about it. I applaud the Mayor and Council for their action.