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Revamp Route 66: Sign Improvement Grant Program

The Revamp Route 66 Sign Improvement Program strives to preserve an important era of Albuquerque’s development through the restoration or renovation of Route 66 neon signs.

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November 11, 2026, marks 100 years of Route 66! Albuquerque’s eighteen miles of historic Route 66 is the longest urban stretch of the route in the U.S. Route 66 is a vital cultural and commercial corridor that City seeks to honor, improve, and celebrate.

As Albuquerque approaches this important milestone, the City of Albuquerque Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) and the Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency have collaboratively developed a Sign Improvement Program. The Sign Improvement Program seeks to restore historic neon signs along Route 66 by granting restoration funds to property owners who are interested and able to complete sign restoration by Fall 2025. A total of $432,000 is set aside to accomplish restorations of signs along Route 66—Central Ave.

The Sign Improvement Program will take applications submitted by property owners between August 7 and October 15, 2023. Funding is awarded on a competitive basis with an emphasis on projects that can be completed within the next two (2) years.


APPLICATION INFORMATION 

The application period is now closed and all submitted applications are currently under review. The City will publish the award list in January 2024.


WHAT AREA IS ELIGIBLE?

In order for a sign to be eligible, it must fall within a 1) Metropolitan Redevelopment Area, identified by the colored areas and 2) be directly along the north or southside of Central Avenue.

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APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY

  • Applicant must be the property owner(s) or commercial lessee(s). If a lessee, the application must include a notarized letter of authorization with property owner signature.
  • Lessee’s seeking to apply must apply with property owner as co-applicant(s).
  • Property Owner shall provide proof of ownership (deed or real estate contract).

WHO DO I CONTACT WITH QUESTIONS?

For application questions:

For design inspiration and other sign related information:

Friends of the Orphan Signs Project Director, Lindsey Fromm: [email protected], 916-759-6014

For sign regulations, permitting process, and to schedule a design consultation:

Planning Principal Planner, Leslie Naji: [email protected], 505-924-3927

For media inquiries:

MRA Public Information Officer, Sarah Allen: [email protected]


HELPFUL RESOURCES

Route 66 Sign Improvement Key Info Presentation

Route 66 Sign Company List - Please note that the City of Albuquerque does not endorse any of the companies listed. This is only meant to help support the efforts of interested applicants and is not comprehensive. Applicants must select and work with the companies of their choice.


FAQ

  1. Can I submit for reimbursement of a sign I recently renovated? No
  2. Is there a maximum amount of funding I can receive? The intention of the City is to award the maximum number of projects with the available funding - $432,000
  3. Does the sign attached to my building qualify? The sign must be a free standing structure.
  4. If there is no sign on my property, can I build a new one? This grant is only for existing free standing signs.
  5. Are there dimensional requirements? Not a part of this program, but all projects must follow the existing City code standards.
  6. When will selected projects be announced?  November 2023.
  7. My property is in the County, can I apply? Unfortunately, no. The funding only applies to properties within Albuquerque city limits.