ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In an effort to boost the availability of housing across Albuquerque, the City has finalized the purchase of the SureStay Hotel at Eubank and Lomas.
The to-be apartments include one bedroom options as well as studio apartments, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller explained in a press conference. “It gives different options depending on where people are at and also different price points,” Keller said.
It cost the city $5.7 million to buy the property, according to Family & Community Services Project Manager Rick Giron. On top of that, the city is looking at spending $3 million to $4 million to renovate the hotel, he says. And while that seems pricey, he adds that it’s cheap compared to a brand-new building, which might cost over $20 million.
Partial funding for the property purchase came from the state via the Casa Connections grant, and the other portion came from COVID-19-related federal funding. The City will pay for the remodeling.
As for what rooms will cost, pricing will likely be based on fair market rates, which would start around $660 per month. The idea, officials say, is to make the apartments affordable for people earning at least $27,000 per year.
Officials say that once the apartments are ready (which will likely take six to nine months), they’ll be available to individuals with a range of incomes, including previously unhoused individuals. But officials say that just like any normal apartment, if a tenant is causing problems or not abiding by apartment rules, they could face scrutiny.
In addition, there will be an on-site services coordinator to help residents, according to Carol Pierce, the director of the City of Albuquerque’s Family and Community Services Department. That coordinator will help residents with things such as budgeting or accessing other community services.
The city is planning on converting more hotels into apartments, according to Mayor Keller. “We have too many hotels that are not necessarily being utilized,” Keller said. “On the other side, we have a need for housing.” In total, the Mayor says Albuquerque needs 30,000 units.
Back in 2021, KRQE News 13 reported that a private developer was looking to convert the Ramada Inn – in the same shopping center as the SureStay Hotel – into apartments. So far, that hasn’t come to fruition.