ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – People know it as Hotel Blue, a prominent piece of property at the corner of 8th and Central in Downtown Albuquerque, that’s been there since 1965. But for the last few years, it’s sat vacant, attracting problem after problem.

“There was a lot of people jumping the fence and, you know, all those kinds of different things – breaking into the rooms and I think I called several times. I was like, I think I heard broken glass but I don’t know,” a local business owner said.

Back in 2019, there was some hope things were going to change. A Los Angeles developer bought the hotel with plans to invest more than $20 million. Ezra Callahan says they were shovel-ready in the spring of 2020 but the pandemic, rising costs, and changes in contractors caused major delays.

Victoria Vandame, the owner of Curious Toast – a cafe directly across the street, would like to see the historic hotel up and running again. She says it would be a game changer for her business. “It will be a win for downtown for sure and Curios Toast will definitely feed all those guys,” Vandame says.

Callahan says construction on the old Hotel Blue will be starting in a couple of weeks. It will become “Arrive Albuquerque” a boutique hotel with a new pool, bar, and restaurant. “This being such a big property, if it’s a boutique hotel, that’s going to bring in a certain type of customer, which is going to tie in really nicely with some of the other plans going on,” said Joaquin Baca, the President of the ABQ Core Downtown Neighborhood and Business Association.

Baca believes this will bring new life to all of downtown. “I think two to three years from today, it will be completely new, completely different, and people will love it,” says Baca.

The project should be done by the end of 2024.