How the Land Was Taken Over

Land Acquisition

Disposal of Granada War Relocation Center Land, Property

The WRA purchased the properties that it consolidated into the 16-square-mile Granada War Relocation Center after a process of condemnation that paid local farmers pennies on the dollar for 10,500 acres on the south bank of the Arkansas River. In addition, the Santa Fe Railroad ran through the entire six-mile length of the combined properties, adding to the land’s value.

After the $4.2 million dollar Granada War Relocation Center closed on October 15, 1945, most of the center’s buildings and contents were sold and removed. The fifteen square miles used for agriculture and animal husbandry – along with the canals that provide for irrigation – were sold to local farming interests. The one-square-mile barracks area (“Amache”) was sold to the Town of Granada for $2,500. Otero County School District 11 bought over three dozen buildings and the University of Denver bought more than a dozen for classrooms, offices, and utility buildings. The price for these properties was determined by deducting 80% from their estimated fair market value.

As of 2012, there has been no investigation of the land, water and property transfers for evidence of wartime profiteering.

A closer investigation of the Granada War Relocation Project would add a valuable new chapter to an already rich history, especially because there is a tradition in the west of fertile bottom lands near cattle-town rail-heads being fraught with a history of conflict.