Route 66 News

Luna Lodge in Albuquerque soon will be reborn

The nonprofit NewLife Homes has scheduled a groundbreaking ceremony for noon March 23 for a project that will reuse the historic Luna Lodge motel in Albuquerque into a 30-unit mixed-use development and apartments for low-income families and special-needs people.

The redevelopment will preserve the Luna Lodge’s Pueblo-style architecture. The Luna, at 9119 Central Ave. (aka Route 66) was built in 1950 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. It’s been vacant for several years.

Here are artist’s renderings of the redeveloped Luna Lodge:

NewLife provided a few details about the project:

The project is a 30 unit development including a community room/small business incubator training kitchen, laundry room and office. The project includes the rehabilitation of the old motel into 14 apartments and the development of an additional 16 units on the North side of the property.  This area is targeted by the City of Albuquerquefor significant revival over the next few years with special zoning ordinances being fast-tracked and a transportation hub being developed.

The project is respectfully designed and attractively positioned with the appropriate height, scale, and mass to preserve the historical significance of the old motel. The community room will serve as a small business incubator for a commercial kitchen/café and double as a meeting space for residents.  It is the hope that the training kitchen will serve as a resource for community residents seeking to acquire skills in the food industry.

Project has equity from historic tax credits, sustainable tax credits, and federal low income housing tax credits along with numerous grants.

New Mexico has been seeing a small but nice trend in reusing old Route 66 motels. The historic Sundowner Motel, also in Albuquerque, will be converted into housing for the mentally ill. And the Stage Coach Motor Inn in Santa Fe is being transformed into lower-income housing.

Albuquerque in particular is saturated with motels along Central Avenue. So it’s good that the city is trying to find other ways to use them, instead of simply tearing them down.