A more than 50 year-old hotel in downtown Albuquerque, originally opened in the summer of 1965, will soon be getting an upgrade and a new look.
Formerly known as The Hotel Blue, the structure at Central Avenue and 8th Street will undergo an estimated $22 million renovation, turning the six-floor building into a luxury boutique property.
The project will see the creation of 136 rooms, a renovated swimming pool and patio area, meeting space, and both coffee shop and bar.
The project belongs to a group called Arrive Albuquerque, which is part of the Los Angeles-based Arrive Hotels & Restaurants chain.
Funding to upgrade the 75,000 square foot building will partly be coming through the issuance of city Industrial Revenue Bonds.
Originally branded as the Downtowner, the Central Avenue hotel was part of the Memphis-based Downtowner Corporation hotel chain whose heyday lasted roughly from the late 1950s to the early 1970s.
Downtowner hotels were usually located in a city’s urban core, but fell out of favor in the 1970s and 80s when most of the national chain hotels and motels were built just off of major interstate exchanges.
After several changes in ownership, the Albuquerque Downtowner was renamed in 2001 as The Hotel Blue.
In a statement, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller hailed the plans for the hotel’s renovation, noting in part: “This project will help us meet a need for hotel rooms to boost the use of the Convention Center.”
By Garry Boulard
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