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El Vado redevelopment moves forward

The El Vado Motel, a local icon of the Route 66 heyday, has been in limbo since closing in 2005, but the city of Albuquerque is expected to announce a redevelopment plan for the historic property later this month. (Albuquerque Journal File)

The El Vado Motel, a local icon of the Route 66 heyday, has been in limbo since closing in 2005, but the city of Albuquerque is expected to announce a redevelopment plan for the historic property later this month. (Albuquerque Journal File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Palindrome Communities, a partnership of the Sawmill Community Land Trust and Portland, Ore.-based Pacificap, has been picked to redevelop the historic El Vado Motel and an adjacent parcel near Old Town.

Work is expected to begin in 2016.

The Palindrome Communities proposal is a mixed-use development that includes a community food court, an amphitheater, a boutique motel and a small events center on the El Vado portion of the site, according to a city news release.

The Casa Grande portion of the site will include 60 units of workforce or income-restricted housing. The selected proposal will restore the El Vado Motor Lodge and allow it to become a preeminent destination. It has a design that will respect the surrounding neighborhood and includes a bicycle/pedestrian pathway connecting the neighborhood to Central Avenue.

“The location of El Vado near the BioPark and Old Town on Route 66 makes it a great example of celebrating our history through redevelopment and historic preservation. I appreciate Palindrome Communities’ partnership with the City in this endeavor,” said Councilor Isaac Benton, District 2.

Palindrome Communities is a partnership between PacifiCap and the Sawmill Community Land Trust. The City will enter into development agreement negotiations with Palindrome Communities. Based on Palindrome’s proposed schedule, groundbreaking is anticipated in 2016. Redevelopment costs are estimated at $15.9 million.

“The El Vado Motel is a great opportunity to preserve an historic Route 66 gem while encouraging economic redevelopment near Old Town. We are excited about the Palindrome selection. Their proposal mixes a variety of uses, includes a high-quality design and respects the surrounding neighborhood. This bold redevelopment initiative will continue a resurgence in the Old Town area,” said Mayor Richard J. Berry.

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Courtesy of Palindrome Communities The schematic layout of the rebranded El Vado Real redevelopment project, showing the mix of uses in the former motel at bottom and the housing on the Casa Grande site at top. cmoore@abqjournal.com Wed Oct 01 14:07:19 -0600 2014 1412194039 FILENAME: 179457.jpg

In March of 2014, the City of Albuquerque released a Request for Proposals seeking a developer to redevelop the El Vado Motor Lodge and the adjacent Casa Grande site at the corner of Central and New York Avenue. Five proposals were submitted by the July 11 deadline.

The top two scoring proposals, NewLife Homes and Palindrome Communities, were invited to attend the Albuquerque Development Commission hearing on September 18, 2014 and present their proposals. After the hearing, the ADC selected Palindrome Communities.

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