Route 66 News

Former Route 66 motel site in Albuquerque will be apartments

An apartment complex is proposed for former site of the Silver Moon Lodge near downtown Albuquerque, reported the Albuquerque Journal. However, the developer will pay tribute to the motel and its Route 66 roots by reusing its sign.

The Silver Moon Lodge’s original sign will be used with the proposed apartment complex.

DBG Properties, a division of GSL Properties in Portland, Ore., has applied for $8 million in revenue bonds from Bernalillo County to pay for construction of the four-story, 150-unit project at 918 Central Ave. (aka Route 66).

The motel, which dated to the 1950s, was closed for several years before being razed in 2011.

Longtime Route 66 roadie Mark Potter said it formerly was a Desert Skies Motor Hotel.

According to the newspaper:

The urban renewal project, called the Silver Moon Lodge Apartments, would consist of one 106,307-square-foot building shaped like an “L” and built along the sidewalks on Central and 10th, according to a project description prepared by Bernalillo County. The interior of the lot would have a swimming pool and limited parking.

The Silver Moon name was adopted as a nod to the site’s decades of use as Route 66 lodgings, said Walter “Skip” Grodahl, chairman and CEO of DBG Properties and a principal of GSL Properties, the most-active apartment developer in Albuquerque during the 2000s.

“We’re going to re-use the original lighted Blue Moon sign to mark the apartments,” he said.

Albuquerque Business First says the Silver Moon Lodge was used in a scene in 2007’s Oscar-winning film “No Country for Old Men.”

At least two dozen vintage Route 66 motels still stand along Central Avenue, but there are not enough Route 66ers and other tourists to keep all of them going. Many of the motels now exist as low-income housing.

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