The city of Albuquerque on Wednesday announced the signing of contracts earlier this month to redevelop the historic but long-closed De Anza Motor Lodge and El Vado Motel, both along old Route 66.
According to a news release from the city:
The agreement with Anthea @ Nob Hill for the De Anza Motor Lodge is a lease-purchase agreement, while the agreement with Palindrome for the El Vado site is a development agreement. In addition, FCS entered into an agreement with the Family Housing Development Corporation to create 32 mixed-income housing units on the Casa Grande property, located immediately adjacent to the El Vado Motel site.
“The City of Albuquerque is entering into these public-private partnerships to rehabilitate these historic sites,” said Rebecca Velarde, manager, Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency. “Doing so will spur economic development in eastern Nob Hill, as well as along Central’s western corridor. This will also help to remove blight along historic Route 66.” […]
“The El Vado/ Casa Grande site will have various uses including mixed-income housing units, a boutique motel, an event center, food pods, a tap room, an amphitheater and a pool,” Velarde said. “The De Anza site will have a boutique motel, an extended stay hospitality facility, a restaurant, retail space and a pool.”
With the signing of the agreements complete, both the El Vado and the De Anza projects move into a contingency period with a ground breaking on the new construction anticipated to begin no later than January 2017.
The city emailed artist’s renderings of the projects. Here is the De Anza:
Here is El Vado:
And here is Casa Granda, next to El Vado:
Palindrome is based in Portland, Oregon. Albuquerque Business First reported some changes made to the El Vado / Case Grande project. Palindrome couldn’t get federal tax credits it sought, so it partnered with city’s Department of Family & Community Services for a different tax credit.
It also scaled back the Casa Grande project from 60 workforce-housing apartment units to 32, plus 10 market-rate units. The bottom floor also was converted to commercial space.
All told, the El Vado / Casa Grande project will cost about $12 million. The developer expects to break ground on both this fall.
The De Anza project changed little from the original announcement last year with locally based developer Anthea @ Nob Hill. It will cost about $8 million. The developer expects to break ground in January.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, the city’s public-money share of the projects is $3.4 million.
The newspaper also said the developer is talking with Zuni Pueblo about how best to preserve rare murals in De Anza’s basement conference room.
With the 18-month construction window, Route 66 travelers can reasonably expect to stay in the reborn El Vado Motel or De Anza Motor Lodge by July 2018.
Zuni trader and Indian art collector Charles G. Wallace built De Anza Motor Lodge in 1939. The motel at 4301 Central NE is on the National Register of Historic Places. The site was used in a scene in the acclaimed television drama “Breaking Bad” and recently was used as a shooting locale for a Tina Fey movie, “Fun House,” slated for release this year.
Irish immigrant Daniel Murphy opened El Vado Auto Court Motel on Route 66 in 1937. Later renamed El Vado Motel, it long was cited as one of the best examples of pre-World War II motels in New Mexico. It joined on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.
El Vado closed in 2005 after new owner Richard Gonzales said he wanted to tear it down for luxury townhouses. The city seized the property a years later after a long fight to save it.
(Images courtesy of the City of Albuquerque Planning Department)