By Tony Parra
Mayor Orlando Ortega called the Saga Motel, located on Ave. D near Family Dollar, an “eyesore.” By the end of the year the new owner hopes to change that.
Suzi Webb purchased the property where the Saga Motel is located and will begin a new children’s clothing store and hopes to have it open by November. The store will be called the Webbdirect2U.com Children’s Apparel and Specialty Store, according to Webb. She said construction on the roof will begin in August.
“I support and applaud her efforts,” Ortega said. “The building has been on my top 10 list for improvement. It’s been an eyesore for at least 15 years.”
Hubert Morgan, owner of Morgan Realty, said the purchase of the building was closed on Friday. The previous owner was John Boyden of Hobbs.
Webb said family and Victory Life church members have helped her with the clean-up work (i.e. cutting down trees) over the weekend. She said she was greeted by some tenants, cats, in the old Saga motel. According to Webb, the building has been vacant for 15 years since the motel closed down.
“There have been people interested in buying the property,” Morgan said. “They were either not serious enough or (were not) willing to pay the asking price.”
Webb said she began her business through the internet and created the Web site Webbdirect2U.com for people from around the world to purchase the apparel and her business has been functioning since 2000.
“I started the business with $1,000,” Webb said. “I went on eBay and opened a child store. I was a stay-home worker. It really has been amazing. I’ve been able to compete through the internet.”
Webb said she wanted to place a store in Portales is to improve service to local customers and to stock merchandise that takes up my of her home.
“We (Webb and her husband) were running out of room for our merchandise,” Webb said. “We wanted to have a store for the local customers with regular business hours. We are able to provide apparel for weddings, pageants, communions and quincellera. The lord has really blessed us.”
The Saga Motel will be the second motel within six months to go through a transformation into a new building. The Hillcrest Motel was torn down in late May and a new Holiday Inn Express hotel will be located in its place. It was located on the west part of town off of Highway 70.
“There’s a positive momentum in our community,” Ortega said about the increase of new businesses. “When people think positive, positive things will happen. I’m happy to see a lot of people in the community stepping up. It’s challenging and a risk, but we support new businesses. I hope she does well.”
Webb said her family’s history in Portales dates back to the early 1900s. She was born in Clovis and graduated from Portales High School in 1992.
“I’m sure glad to see her purchase it (Saga Motel),” Morgan said. “It’s in a great location. She ships a lot of clothes all over the world. She’s got a great vision and the property is going to be in good hands.”