De Anza Motor Lodge in Albuquerque, previously closed along Route 66 for years, celebrated its grand reopening last week after years of reconstruction.
Mayor Tim Keller, City Councilor Pat Davis and Deputy Cabinet Secretary Jon Clark attended the reopening, reported The Daily Lobo, a student-run newspaper for the University of New Mexico.
“This is not an apartment where you would be short-term,” Jim Trump, the leader of the development team, said. “This is an apartment because you want to be in a community.”
Trump was asked three-and-a-half years ago if he would take up the project after multiple developers failed before him.
“These motor lodges were not made to last a long time. So, unfortunately, the construction style made it pretty hard to develop the building,” Trump said. […]
“You have the motel feel still,” Trump said. “You’re not as tight as apartments, where you’re walking through a hallway to get someplace. You actually feel like you’ve got your own residence.”
De Anza is about 90% leased.
Zuni artist Tony Edaakie painted 12 religious murals at the motel. The murals now are protected in a safe and natural environment.
In the future, tours will be organized to view the murals. Trump said there likely will be a fee that goes to a nonprofit organization in collaboration with Zuni board members for the preservation of the murals.
Developers also are working with Edaakie’s grandson on a new exterior mural.
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.
(Image from the De Anza Motor Lodge grand reopening via Facebook)