SANTA FE – State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has chosen developers for the Garrett’s Desert Inn property in downtown Santa Fe, with plans to update hotel’s interior and exterior and keep the popular Santa Fe Bite restaurant in place.
In an announcement Wednesday, Dunn announced that Arizona-based GreenTree Hospitality Group will partner with Albuquerque’s Peak Hospitality to lease and redevelop the 1950s-era hotel on Old Santa Fe Trail at Alameda, alongside the Santa Fe River and across the street from the State Land Office headquarters. The Land Office put out a bid for developers and announced four finalists in January. The office acquired the 2.7-acre site in 2016 through a land exchange with Cochiti Pueblo.
The winning bidders’ plans for the hotel, which will stay open during redevelopment, include remodeling the lobby, its main building, guest rooms and other areas with improvements like updated technology and furniture. Exterior renovations include replacing the portico, or roofing at the hotel’s entrance, and “improving curb appeal.”
According to a renovation summary provided by the State Land Office, the developers intend to take two separate small buildings on hotel property and turn one into a suite or extended stay room and the other into a spa. The summary also says the developers intend to remodel the hotel with a “sense of responsibility and respect” for Santa Fe’s historic downtown area. There’s been at least one court ruling that the city can’t impose its historic district architectural rules on state-owned land.
The Land Office said the GreenTree group made the “highest and best offer” — $300,000 annual base rent, a $100,000 bid bonus and 5 percent of annual gross revenues, more than $10 million over the 20-year term of the lease. The companies will have two optional 20-year renewal periods.
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