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Route 66 News

De Anza project may be in jeopardy

The main developer of the historic De Anza Motor Lodge along Route 66 in Albuquerque says the revitalization project may be scuttled if historic tax credits aren’t approved soon by the federal government, reported Albuquerque Business First.

The newspaper said:

Developer Rob Dickson said the approval of historic tax credits, which represent almost 15 percent of the project’s $4.3 million cost, is again sitting in the hands of the National Park Service after almost a year.

At issue is a “conditional approval” by the Park Service of the project’s plans, Dickson said, adding that he’d hoped for an approval with a few acceptable conditions.

“With the [current] conditions the financing won’t go,” Dickson said. “But part of the problem now is not only the conditions, but the timing. If much more time passes, I think it’s dead. I don’t want to be starting construction in 2014 and finishing in 2015 either.” […]

The Park Service wants the plan to follow a 1964-era layout, while Dickson’s plan follows that of 1954.

A city planner says if part of the De Anza the plan is rejected, it can be appealed. The city should know within two weeks. After that, the city can appeal within 30 days.

I suspect Dickson’s comments are a bit of saber-rattling to persuade the Park Service to see things more his way. The De Anza project has seen almost a decade of delays and setbacks, and the feds don’t want to be seen as the bad guy in this.

S.D. Hambaugh, a tourist court operator from Tucson, Ariz.; and C.G. Wallace, a trader with the Zuni Indians, built De Anza Motor Lodge in 1939. It closed during the 1990s, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.

UPDATE 4/15/2013: De Anza is appealing the decision.

(Image of De Anza Motor Lodge by Debora Drower, via Flickr)

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