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City, Private Sector Partnership Moves Imperial Inn Project Forward

Redevelopment project will transform property into vibrant retail and residential hub

Feb. 20, 2021

The City of Albuquerque is partnering with Palindrome Communities, LLC to renovate and repurpose the Imperial Inn Motel at 701 Central Ave. NE in East Downtown Albuquerque. When completed, the project includes 52 guest rooms, 16 residential suites, and approximately 4,410-square-feet of rentable commercial space that will be located in existing structures and in two newly-constructed buildings.

This $7.6 million private development project leverages a $700,000 Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency (MRA) loan that will contribute to the restoration of a blighted Central Ave. property and create new spaces for commerce, hospitality, and residential living. 

“Revitalization projects like these are part of our recovery plan; they create jobs during tough times, bring new life to our City’s most historic neighborhoods, and boost quality of living for our residents,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “We are preserving our rich culture and history through redevelopment, and creating more opportunities for the city’s future even during tough times.”

Using loan funds that were repaid from the rehabilitation of Old Albuquerque High, the Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency (MRA) released a request for proposals seeking partnerships on urban redevelopment projects in the East Downtown Area last spring. Palindrome Communities, who previously redeveloped El Vado, responded with a proposal that will revitalize the Imperial Inn and add micro retail and restaurant space for emerging entrepreneurs. In December, the Albuquerque Development Commission (ADC) recommended City Council approval of the renovation agreement, which came earlier this month.

“Property redevelopment projects like the Imperial Inn renovation have a significant impact on neighborhoods like East Downtown,” said MRA manager, Karen Iverson. “The synergy created through these public-private investments will have a positive effect on the urban center of Albuquerque for years to come.”

New construction at the Imperial Inn is slated to begin June 30, 2021, with scheduled completion by June 30, 2022. Among other provisions, the development agreement requires that Palindrome Communities ensures 75 percent of the retail and restaurant space is occupied within one year of completion, and that a 75 percent average occupancy is maintained for two years.

“We are eager to undertake another catalytic redevelopment opportunity in partnership with the City. Projects like this would never happen without the support of the City and specifically, its Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency,” said Chad Rennaker, president of Palindrome Communities.

The City’s Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency (MRA), whose mission is to revitalize downtown and the Central Avenue Corridor by leading collaborative public-private partnerships that result in equitable catalytic change, will administer the loan funding. The Imperial Inn renovation is one of ten major redevelopment projects the MRA has in the pipeline for 2021.