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Nov. 15, 2012

Historic Motel Converted to $5.7M Low-Cost Housing; Downtown Sears Building on the Market

By Camelia Bulea, Associate Editor

Renovation work on the historic Luna Lodge is almost complete, and residents will be able to move in after Thanksgiving.

Built in the 1950s, the Route 66 motel has been converted to low-cost housing, including 14 apartments and a new 16-unit wing added to the north part of the property, according to the New Mexico Business Weekly. Developer NewLife Homes also plans to convert the adjacent Mexican restaurant as part of the Luna project, adds the publication.

Financing for the $5.7 million project consists of:

  • $1.2 million grant from the city of Albuquerque
  • $1.3 million in construction loans from the Mortgage Finance Authority
  • $3.2 million in federal tax credits purchased by RBC Capital Markets

The developer is currently working on another motel renovation in Albuquerque. Back in September 2012 the company announced the conversion of the Sundowner Motel into a low-income apartment complex, under a contract worth $5 million. According to the New Mexico Business Weekly, the motel located on Central Avenue will include 71 apartment units.

In other news, the historic Sears Building in downtown Albuquerque is on the market for $3.8 million. Built in 1936 as a Sears store, the building was converted into an office building years after Sears closed it.

In 1991 the U.S. military leased almost half the building’s 56,000 square feet for its New Mexico entrance processing station. Earlier this year the building’s anchor tenant announced it would move its entrance station to Copper Pointe, vacating the 25,000 square feet of space it has leased for the past 21 years.

Photo courtesy of Route 66 News

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