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June 15--ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The long-awaited redevelopment of the De Anza Motor Lodge moved closer to reality on Wednesday when the city's Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission gave the thumbs up to the site plan.

As proposed, the $8.2 million project would involve tearing down and rebuilding dilapidated buildings on the 2.3-acre site. The preliminary site plan for 4301 Central NE calls for construction of a mix of one- and multi-story buildings that evoke the Pueblo look.

The project is a public/private partnership between the city of Albuquerque's Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency and Anthea @ Nob Hill LLC, an investment group headed by Bill Smith of Construct Southwest.

The redevelopment seeks to preserve historic Zuni Pueblo murals at the site while providing visitors and residents amenities including a boutique hotel, complete with workout facilities, movie and game rooms and communal kitchen; and modern apartments located on the ART route. The ambitious undertaking also calls for retail and office space; and a restaurant complete with rooftop seating.

No date has been scheduled for ground-breaking.

"The De Anza has so much historical significance, not only as the landmark on Route 66 that welcomed visitors for decades, but for the city as a whole," said Elizabeth Chestnut, director of the Route 66 De Anza Association. "I am enthused by what this new development will bring and by its unique blend of new urbanism and preserving our important past."

The city bought the De Anza in 2003 for $891,000. The motel was built in the 1930s.

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