ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – What may look like just another construction site is home to the original De Anza Motor Lodge. The De Anza, built in 1939, has now been turned into luxury apartments.
“Right now we’re in our studio unit, approximately 570 square feet,” said David Peters the property manager.
It’s furnished with stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, double balconies, and big windows.
“We’re very proud of this unit. It’s a very open, 9-foot ceilings, it’s a great unit,” Peters said.
In 2003, the city purchased the De Anza for close to $900,000. It sat vacant for years, becoming a magnet for the homeless, and was falling apart. Deals to redevelop kept falling through. But now, that site is long gone.
“What our future plan here is to have Keith Adaci paint a mural, a Zuni mural of the rainbow man,” said Jim Trump, the developer for the project.
Pieces of the original lodge have been salvaged. Friday, the motor lodge’s old sign, with a fresh coat of paint, went up. It’s something locals are happy to see.
“We need this. You know, if we can’t save a building then we need to do something with the property,” said Anthony Gomez, a local who was watching the new sign go up.
The Zuni murals that filled the motel, will also be on display in the main common area.
“Being able to save the Zuni murals that had been here for years and years and years is a big deal,” said Dale Armstrong, an investor for the project.
The Turquoise Restaurant was also salvaged, along with the stones and five of the old rooms along Central, which now serve as the leasing office. The site consists of 40 units, 15 of which have been set aside for a boutique hotel.
“Really, it becomes a community service because we’re upgrading what is available in the area, which will attract people to the area, which will help the businesses up and down Central,” Armstrong said.
The units range in price from $900 to $1,200. People could start moving in next month.