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$22MIL renovation of old Downtowner planned

RENDERING COURTESY ARRIVE ALBUQUERQUE
This artist rendering shows the new look expected after a $22 million rehabilitation to the 1965-built Downtowner Motor Inn — formerly The Hotel Blue — at 8th and Central.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An LA-based hotel restaurant company plans a $22 million historic rehabilitation to the 1965-built Downtowner Motor Inn — formerly The Hotel Blue — to transform the 8th and Central site into a new, boutique place to stay.

ARRIVE Albuquerque, part of ARRIVE Hotels & Restaurants, plans to hire a local contractor to renovate the hotel with support of city issued Industrial Revenue Bonds, officials said in a news release.

The project is expected to help meet higher demand for downtown hotel rooms that has forced the Convention Center to miss some opportunities, according to the release.

“From creating a sense of place to increasing public safety to creating more jobs for locals, public-private partnerships like this one to redevelop important spaces in our community have positive impacts for Albuquerque,” said Mayor Tim Keller in a statement.

ARRIVE Albuquerque is planning to restore the six-story, 75,000 square-foot building to its original historic exterior.

Plans include 135 guestrooms, meeting space, coffee shop and bar, renovated pool and patio with games, new landscaping, and a food truck park. New neon signage is being designed to pay homage to historic Route 66, officials said.

The project is expected to create 75 full- and part-time jobs with benefits and a management training program.

District 2 City Councilor Isaac Benton, in a statement, said that small cities welcomed Downtowner-brand hotels in the 1960s as I-40 and similar interstates were pulling energy from their central business districts

“I’m happy that ARRIVE will contribute to our wonderfully rebounding downtown and its arts district,” he said.

Other ongoing major construction projects funded by public-private partnerships include Nuevo Atrisco, The Highlands, Broadstone Nob Hill, The Rail Yards, Zocalo, and more.

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