Oct 112016
 

desert-sands-abq








An Albuquerque two-story brick motel with nearly 70 rooms that was once regarded as the latest in modern motel offerings is soon to be no more.

The Desert Sands Motel at 5000 Central Avenue NE, designed by well-known Farmington architect Irving Corywell, was put up in the mid-1950s and shortly became a favorite for both Route 66 travelers as well as local residents.

Owned by businessman Clyde Tyler, who also built the Desert Inn at 918 Central, the Desert Sands featured a front swimming pool, landscaped entrance, and two private dining rooms.

It was those spacious dining rooms that attracted everyone from the Kiwanis Club to the Philatelic Society, and the Bernalillo County Federation of Republican Women to hold their regular meetings there.

But in recent years the motel, after a series of ownership changes, fell on hard times.

This summer three separate fires destroyed much of the U-shaped building, finally prompting Albuquerque’s Safe City Strike Force to take control of the property.

“Prior to the third fire, we had not condemned the property and had not taken administrative control of it,” says Leslie Torres, in the City of Albuquerque’s code enforcement division.

“At that point the property owner did have potentially up to a year to decide what to do with it, as long as it remained secure,” says Torres.

But the third fire last month changed all that.

“At that point it was demonstrated to us that the property had not remained secure,” says Torres. The Safe City Strike force then gave the owner of the property an October 1 deadline to demolish the structure or put in place plans to do so.

Although that deadline was not met, the owner has made what is called a “good faith effort” to finally get rid of the old motel by the end of this year.

The decline of the Desert Sands, which according to one 2014 complaint filed with the local Better Business Bureau had both water leaks in one room and the smell of mold, is also a story of dozens of motels along Route 66 that have fallen into disrepair.

“There are a lot of them,” says Charlie Gray, the executive director of the Greater Albuquerque Innkeepers Association.

“And some of those old Route 66 properties have great value, although many don’t,” Gray adds.

Built before the advent of the federal highway system in the late 1950s and 1960s, the Route 66 motels in New Mexico at one time numbered more than three hundred, although less than a third are left today.

But some of the properties are have survived for a new day.

The late 1930s El Vado Motel at 2500 Central SW is undergoing a $12 million restoration which will see the creation of a boutique property with an outdoor theatre, community food court, swimming pool, and retail space.

The De Anza Motor Court at 4301 Central Avenue, opened in 1939, is similarly seeing an $8 million restoration that will turn the property into an extended stay motel with a restaurant and pool.

“Everything we’re doing on this, the signage, the lighting along the way, the landscaping, we’re trying to stay true to that historic Route 66 form,” Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry declared this summer as the project to restore the De Anza was announced.

Both restoration projects came about through a unique combination of public funding and incentives.

But many others have gone by the wayside, although restoration specialist Doug Reames says even heavily damaged properties like the Desert Sands can be saved.

“You need to preserve the architecture the way it was, and take on the new marketing techniques that we have today to really promote these properties,” says Reames, adding “but that also requires a financial commitment.”

“There is definitely a new interest in these motels among the Millennials, and that’s a good thing,” says Gray.

“The question now is whether there is enough interest to make saving them feasible,” he adds. “And I don’t think we know the answer to that yet.”

By Garry Boulard – Construction Reporter

Aug 102015
 

rockin-y








We are privileged to be one of the first to be asked to help get the word out to the Route 66 Community about this opportunity.

Unique opportunity to buy, own and operate turnkey, a successful restaurant business on Route 66!
Serious inquiries only, full financial disclosure available upon signed confidentiality agreement.
Send all inquires via email to duggerbiz@yahoo.com ONLY!
Please do not call the restaurant directly and do not inquire within.
For sale is Rockin’ Ys’ Roadhouse in Tucumcari, New Mexico FOR SALE by Owner.

Rockin’ Ys’ Roadhouse is a successful business on Route 66 in Tucumcari, at a prime corner location on one of Tucumcari’s 2 busiest intersections, at the corner of Route 66 and Mountain Road, near Interstate 40 and Highway 54. Near Kmart, Tractor Supply, 2 commercial truck stops and several Route 66 motels. The restaurant itself is 3,800sq.ft. and seats up to 145, including kitchen, small gift shop business and a private dining area.
Rockin’ Ys’ Roadhouse serves traditional American cuisine, Mexican food and has a Beer & Wine license. The property included sits on 3 1/2 lots totaling 68,589sq.ft. plus 2 out buildings. There is additional frontage road land available separately if interested. Rockin’ Ys’ Roadhouse is a AAA Diamond rated restaurant, it’s owners were awarded New Mexico Restaurateurs of the Year in 2011 and it is consistently top ranked on TripAdvisor, Yelp, UrbanSpoon and more. The restaurant has many recent upgrades including: new website, signage and electronic reader board, kitchen equipment and seating. Owner will consider partial financing assistance. Great opportunity for retired couple with family, as well as room for financial growth. www.rockinysroadhouse.com

The owners are looking towards retirement, but would obviously like to see a buyer from within the Route 66 community globally, that would have interest in retaining a family owned mom & pop business on the route…

May 192015
 

de-anza-motel









The Albuquerque Development Commission’s selection of a developer to resurrect the historic but rundown De Anza Motor Inn in east Nob Hill has been appealed by the company that came in second place.

De Anza Co., which includes Albuquerque businessman Jerry Landgraf, argues in its appeal to the City Council that its 65-room boutique hotel concept was shortchanged in a “scoring matrix” used to rank five proposals submitted for the project.

In its “Explanation of Appeal,” De Anza Co. also criticized the winning proposal by Anthea@Nob Hill, which is headed by Bill Smith of Construct Southwest and TLC Plumbing founder Dale Armstrong. Anthea envisions 30 furnished apartments rented like extended-stay motel rooms.

Contacted for comment on the appeal, Smith said in an email Tuesday, “We are excited about performing on this development for the City and Nob Hill and look forward to helping revitalize the area with a high end property that will have a positive economic impact.”

The five-member redevelopment commission makes the final decision on who redevelops city-owned property. Appeals of those decisions go to the council, which rejected similar appeals on what became Villa de San Felipe apartments in 1999 and El Vado Motel in 2014.

Both the De Anza Co. and Anthea proposals include restaurants. De Anza Co.’s $13.8 million emphasizes historic preservation with a tourist-oriented Route 66 theme, while Anthea’s $8.2 million proposal calls for substantial new construction and a focus on the business traveler.

De Anza’s appeal argues that its original proposal document was more detailed and based on a more realistic business analysis than Anthea’s rival proposal, yet received lower scores in several components of the scoring matrix, such as financial structure and financial capacity.

In addition to Landgraf, who owns redeveloped properties in Nob Hill, De Anza Co. principals are Trip Rothschild and Eric von Starck, both of Santa Fe,

By  – Albuquerque Journal

Dec 132013
 

midway-trading-post









RETRO – Relive the Route

This is one group who are taking preservation to the next level.

I have had the pleasure to spend time with Roger Holden in and around Moriarty NM. Not only did we speak via Email, Facebook and phone calls, he invited me to stop out when I was coming back from Chicago and gave me a personal tour of all the projects they were working on.

We spent about 4 hours together first meeting at an antique car museum, heading over to the Whiting Bros. Gas Station they are helping with the restoration of the 2 signs, then over to the Midway Trading Post to walk around the property and he showed me what the plans are. We stopped out for lunch to talk preservation and then he told me about a Valentine Diner which was sitting off of the route.

Well, we had to check it out.

These folks are doing GREAT work preserving and growing Route 66 on their stretch of New Mexico.

Visit them on their Face book page at https://www.facebook.com/Relivetheroute

Jul 082013
 






Albuquerque officials want to encourage businesses to add neon lights that will lighten up Central Avenue along the city’s 15-mile stretch of historic Route 66.

The City Council last week approved a package of proposals for incentives. The Albuquerque Journal reported that Mayor Richard Berry intends to sign the proposals.

The proposals would allow larger and taller neon signs along the stretch of Central Avenue within city limits. Also, permit fees for neon signs would be waived if the signs meet design guidelines.

Berry and other supporters said adding more neon would make the area vibrant and encourage businesses to create interesting things to see.

Berry, whose administration sent the proposals to the council, said he hopes the changes will “allow businesses to create more iconic images up and down Central Avenue.”

City Councilor Isaac Benton cast the only vote against part of the package, saying it’s unpredictable how things could work out.

“My concern is that the historic signs are going to be lost in the sea of new pseudo-historic signs,” Benton said
Benton, who did support allowing more flexibility for neon signs in the Nob Hill and Highland area, said it’s not easy to determine “what’s creative and expressive and what’s just garish.”

Councilor Rey Garduno predicted the businesses will regulate themselves because they’ll want something that appeals to their areas.

“They’re trying to enhance what they have,” Garduno said.

Russell Brito, a city planning official, said the proposals center on incentives and don’t require anyone to use neon.
“We’re just hoping for a glowing reception from the business community,” he said. “Pun definitely intended.”

Apr 182013
 





ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Route 66 motor lodge in Albuquerque where Bill Gates and Paul Allen lived while launching Microsoft Corp. is being redeveloped into apartments as part of a neighborhood revival project.

Officials broke ground Thursday on the redevelopment of the Sundowner Uhuru Apartment Complex, one of many projects sought to help revive a once busy area of Albuquerque.

The federally-funded project will create 70 apartments for veterans, the homeless, mixed-income residents, and residents with special needs.

The Sundowner was built in 1960 during the heart of Route 66 tourism.

Gates and Allen later lived at the Sundowner Motel when they wrote a version of the programming language BASIC for the Altair 8800 computer, invented in 1975 by the Albuquerque-based company MITS. The motel was used as a base camp in the mid-1970s before the pair moved Microsoft to the Seattle-area.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry says the motel was “ground zero” for the personal computer revolution and needs to be redeveloped for history.

“All these historic hotels up and down Route 66 have so many stories to tell,” Berry said. “If the walls could talk….”

Justin Spielmann, the geoscience collections manager at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, said the motel “is practically where Microsoft started” and played a key role in the upcoming technology revolution.

“This is really the cradle where personal computing sort of came into its own,” said Spielmann. Albuquerque is really the seat of personal computers and the Sundowner plays into that origin.”

The $9 million-development includes plans for a growers market, retail, and community space intended for small businesses.

Asbestos remediation on the motel was recently completed and constructed has started on a project official says will bring dozens of jobs to the city.

The Sundowner project is one of many slated for a once popular area of Albuquerque along Route 66.

In recent years, the area around the Sundowner, which was vacant, has been a high-crime zone and known for prostitution.

By Russell Contreras – The Associated Press

Mar 182013
 





Luna Lodge is back to its Route 66 glory, which was no small task.

The motor lodge, originally built in 1949, was deemed substandard by city officials in 2008. Officials said they found syringes, fecal matter and raw sewage flowing into a lot next door. Tenants were given two weeks to find new housing before the lodge was boarded up.

NewLife Homes, an Albuquerque non-profit, recently stepped in.

“We just felt this had a good fit. It was in a good location that needed revitalization,” said John Bloomfield, the executive director of NewLife Homes. “Some projects look challenging, but they can be done.”

Luna Lodge was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1998; because of this, NewLife Homes had to preserve its historic integrity while bringing the building up to code. Asbestos and lead paint had to be removed before the real work could start, turning the 28- unit motor lodge into 14 apartments, with new units built behind the motor court.

The collaborative construction project cost about three million dollars, and was funded largely by grants.

Bloomfield said all of the low-income apartments filled up quickly, which the people NewLife Homes are most looking to help.

“What’s critical is that we are creating permanent supportive communities where people look out for each other, and are also invested in the broader community,” Bloomfield said.

The official ribbon-cutting for Luna Lodge is scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Bloomfield said the next project for NewLife Homes is renovating and converting the Sundowner Motel into a 71-unit apartment complex and mixed-use facility for low-income residents. Tenants should be in the Sundowner by August, according to Bloomfield.

Kayla Ayres – krqe.com

Jan 032013
 



Albuquerque, at one time, seemed hell-bent on tearing down the old sections of the route for all new development – but it seems they are seeing what a lot of other folks and towns are seeing – the added value of the attraction that is known world-wide as Route 66!

Klarissa Peña remembers cruising on West Central, and now she’s part of the city’s push to try and restore the glamour and the glitz of old Route 66.

“We all appreciate cruising,” Peña said of the West Central community that includes one of the longest stretches of actively used Route 66, the iconic “Mother Road.”

Peña, president of the Southwest Alliance of Neighbors, Mayor Richard Berry and other dignitaries were at a recent ribbon cutting for a gleaming new fire station on 57th Street and West Central. They briefly described to celebrants upcoming projects intended to improve safety and to spur economic development in the area in the next several years. Mentioned were a new library, a series of road, safety and sidewalk improvements, new senior housing and a new visitor’s center on Nine Mile Hill, along with a long list of other potential economic development projects.

“What we hope to do is entice people to get off the interstate to come into the community and shop and to take in some of the sights, like the breathtaking view of the city viewable from historic Route 66,” Peña said.

The City Council in fall 2010 began planning a new West Route 66 Sector Development Plan. The plan noted that in the past 20 years the area suffered from stagnant commercial development, while single-family housing boomed in surrounding areas.

That left a significant imbalance between jobs and services and housing, and thus West Central became a commuter road instead of a destination for jobs, service, retail or more diverse housing.

Peña said she’s “absolutely thrilled” that the building of a new community library is slated to start sometime next summer at Central and Unser, providing critical educational services to area schools and residents.

During public hearings as part of developing a sector plan, the city heard recommendations that it encourage new multifamily and senior housing, attract new commercial development and retain its cultural legacy, including the preservation of Route 66, agrarian traditions, expansive views and the eclectic and unique character of the area, which is marked by its collection of roadside neon lit travel motels, gas stations and cafes.

Particularly involved with the plans for the area have been the mayor, City Councilor Isaac Benton and County Commissioner Art De La Cruz, Peña said.

“We want to bring back the character of the Old Route 66 and develop an Uptown center kind of shopping experience for people on West Central and the West Side,” Peña said. “We still have a long way to go, but with the enthusiasm and the tenacity of the people here, I have no doubt we’re going to be successful.”

Oct 292012
 



If you haven’t checked them out yet – there are two new website to start adding to your collection of Route 66 favorites!

The first one is for the New Mexico Route 66 Museum in Tucumcari NM. After a long time planning, the new museum has found a home in Tucumcari and they are actively putting all the pieces together to get it opened for the next travel season so tourists can stop in and enjoy.

If you have been to Tucumcari or if you have seen the numerous projects which have taken place over the years, you know this town will do an ‘A-1’ job on having the best museum the state could possibly have.






The second one is Wheels on 66. Wheels on 66 is an annual festival which brings out different musical groups, car shows and anything else to highlight Tucumcari’s role on the route.

This year is a 4 day event and will the majority of events will take place at the Tucumcari Convention Center.
This year’s events even include monster trucks!

Check out these websites and make sure you check them often and information will be updated often.

New Mexico Route 66 Museum

Wheels on 66

Sep 152012
 






The tenth (and final gas station of the year) was just completely repainted and cleaned up with the help of volunteers as Tucumcari continues with their plan to make their town a true destination for travelers on Route 66.

The group started at 8am and worked all day until the building was painted and all the trim was completed. A special thanks to the Tucumcari/Quay County Chamber of Commerce for their funding assistance…






























































































Throught the next week – Doug Quarles of Quarles Art Gallery will do what he does best – start with the many murals and artwork on the building to complete the restoration.

This gas station is located right nexct door to Junior Garza’s gas station we painted last year. Click HERE to see that video.