|By Diane Velasco, Albuquerque Journal, N.M.|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Mar. 11, 2005 - ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Downtown's historic La Posada de Albuquerque was bought out of bankruptcy Thursday by Goodman Realty Group for $4 million.
The group beat out the only other bidder, Corporacion De La Fonda, owner of La Fonda in Santa Fe.
The auction was held Thursday morning on the second floor of the hotel.
The Goodman Realty Group plans to invest "considerably more" money into the property than it paid, company president Gary Goodman said.
"We want to make it absolutely first class," he said. "It will be the finest boutique hotel in the state, and we would like it to be one of the finest in the country," he said.
The group plans to install a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system that will allow climate control in individual rooms, new mechanical systems, furniture, flooring, lighting and more, Goodman said.
"We want to restore it to its original grandeur and then some," he said.
He expects the renovation to take 18 months.
The group had been looking for several years for an opportunity to be involved in Downtown's rebirth, he said.
"I think Downtown is really turning the corner, and we hope this is a major piece of it," he said of the hotel plans.
The hotel employs about 100 people. Goodman credits the staff with maintaining the hotel's reputation for hospitality.
"Now they will have the capital improvements to go along with their hospitality."
La Posada de Albuquerque, at 125 Second NW, is on national, state and city historic registries, Goodman said.
The hotel was purchased several years ago by local investors Mark DePree, Vincent Garcia and others who formed limited liability companies to purchase the hotel and the First National Bank building at 219 W. Central.
The investors sold the bank building in 2003 and restructured their $3.5 million loan on the hotel twice that year, but still could not make the payments, according to court documents.
Goodman and investors also own One Sun Plaza, the landmark former international headquarters for Sun Healthcare in Journal Center, and the Montgomery Plaza shopping center, 4575 Montgomery NE.
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