Developer Rob Dickson had ambitious plans for the De Anza Motel at Central and Washington. He promised to create 39 apartments, a Zuni jewelry store, a Route 66 visitors center and a cafe. But that plan depended on federal funds through the U.S. National Park Service.
The park service insisted on a different, more expensive plan, so the developer is dropping out.
The station said the city will open bids for a new plan.
Dickson walking away from the development wasn’t a big surprise, as warning signs popped up all over the place last year that the project was in jeopardy — including an op-ed that persuasively made the case that Dickson was the wrong developer for the motel.
It’s still disappointing, because the city’s efforts to redevelop De Anza predate the founding of this website in 2005.
Don’t be surprised to see New Life Homes, which has seen success in the Duke City in converting Route 66 motels into housing without messing up their historic character, step up to the plate as De Anza’s eventual savior.
De Anza is located at 4301 Central Ave. (aka Route 66). S.D. Hambaugh, a tourist court operator from Tucson, Ariz.; and C.G. Wallace, a Zuni Indians trader, built De Anza Motor Lodge in 1939. It closed during the 1990s, and was designated to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. De Anza received some brief notoriety a few years ago when it was included in a scene in the “Breaking Bad” television drama.