You Can Own a Military Base Town Complete With a Cafe, Post Office, and Trading Post

by Matthew Memrick

If you’re in the market for a military base town that has a cafe, post office, and trading post, a New Mexico town is going for $11 million.

Fort Wingate housed military men from 1860 until 1910, according to The New York Post. The current owner acquired the 18-acre town in 1956. 

The town went on the market on Nov. 5 and could be enticing for a movie studio or Native American reservation.

Fort Wingate, close to Gallup, is roughly a two-hour drive from Albuquerque.

Military Base A Buyer’s Paradise 

The town is reportedly 7,000 square feet with a trading post, a café, a post office, and even a gas station. 

Another prominent feature is its massive parking lot. The lot currently houses over 80 recreational vehicles and 27 rental homes, all of which are “100 percent occupied,” according to the listing.

Real estate agent Mark Price told the newspaper that the café and gas station stopped operating when the town went on the market.

Price reported that one family had owned the land since 1946, with the current owner living there his whole life. The agent added that the owner had never left town and the family wanted to travel now.

The owner had been a one-man band, working as fire chief, police chief, and landlord while managing the town’s rentals and commercial operations.

The agent said the owner desired to “pass on the baton.”

The post office, inside the cafe, is still functioning, and there’s a school only 250 feet from the town.

The town’s abandoned military base stored explosives from World War I and World War II, so maybe you could bring your metal detector.

Military Base Town Considered Sacred 

The real estate agent said the town is sacred due to its surroundings.

But really, maybe he’s just trying to sell it more.

“Sitting down with the owners and hearing about the Buffalo soldiers and the Navajo code talkers (that graced this land) is what made me take on this project,” Price told the newspaper. “Being in the center of the Wingate, surrounded by Navajo, Zuni, BLM (Bureau of Land Management), BIE, National Forest, and the old fort, which are all within walking distance, is what makes this property so unique.” 

Reportedly, some film studios have already approached the owner about turning the place into a movie set. Part of the deal would mean the studio would maintain the RVs and residential units.

But, it’s up to the new owner. Price said that person or organization could boot the residents or occupants, but ultimately a new buyer is sought to take over the business and rentals, he added.

Does running an RV park make money? According to the website Go Downsize estimate in 2019, a booming RV park owner can make $50,000 to $90,000 a year. But then again, this sale means you’ve got to take on all these other businesses, so make of it what you will.