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City Breaks Ground on Imperial Inn Renovation

Redevelopment project will transform the property into a vibrant retail and residential hub

Mayor Tim Keller today joined City officials and representatives from Palindrome Communities, LLC, to break ground on a redevelopment project that will renovate and repurpose the Imperial Inn Motel located at 701 Central Ave. NE. The project includes 52 guest rooms, 16 residential suites, and approximately 4,410-square-feet of rentable commercial space for micro-retail and restaurateurs.

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

“Projects like these revitalize Albuquerque’s icons and honor our place as the capital of Route 66. Our downtown core has grown over the past years, and the new Imperial Inn will be a great landmark,” said Mayor Keller. “With each step, we’re moving the downtown core and EDo from a place with potential, to a safe and inviting hub of activity that is a first-choice destination for businesses, residents, tourists, and investors.”

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 in spring of 2020. 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. The Albuquerque Development Commission (ADC) voted to recommend City Council approve the renovation agreement at the Dec. 17, 2020, ADC meeting, and City Council approved the project earlier this year.

“We’re reimagining downtown spaces and activating these vacant buildings that hold historic value for Albuquerque,” said MRA manager, Karen Iverson. “Projects like this one have transformed EDo, and we’re looking forward to the continued progress of the neighborhood, and the entire Downtown corridor.”

With new construction at the Imperial Inn beginning, completion is expected in summer 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.

“The Imperial Inn will be another catalytic redevelopment along Central Avenue that will be an exciting destination for tourists and locals alike,” said Chad Rennaker, president of Palindrome Communities. “We are proud to be partnering with the City again to make a positive impact on the community.”