With its big arrow sign, the historic Luna Lodge Motel beckoned motorists traveling Route 66.
Built in 1949 in Albuquerque, N.M., the property is described as one of the best examples of the tourist motor courts from that era. Luna Lodge lasted longer than many of the other motels along the highway, but it too fell into disrepair.
NewLife Homes, Inc., a nonprofit permanent supportive housing provider, rehabilitated the property into 30 apartments for those earning no more than 30 percent and 50 percent of the area median income.
Ten units are reserved for people with mental or physical disabilities. However, in keeping with NewLife Homes’ mission, the majority of units are occupied by special-needs residents.
“We have many residents from the area,” says Executive Director John Bloomfield. “This allows people to age in place. They can remain in the neighborhood where they have been much of their lives.”
NewLife Homes rehabbed the motel into 14 apartments. Sixteen units are in a new building behind the original structure. Preservationists supported the addition because it complemented the motel’s design.
The team retained the pueblo-style architecture while creating a project that has earned LEED-Platinum certification.
The $4.8 million development was financed largely with low-income housing and historic tax credit equity from RBC Capital Markets.