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ALBUQUERQUE, NM-A 107-room hotel designated a U.S. historical landmark has had its $30 million face lift, a name change, and is now ready to face the world as the Hotel Andaluz. The renovations have converted the 1930s hotel into the nation’s only nationally registered historic building that could qualify for LEED Gold certification.

Jeff McIntyre, principal with hotel operator Gemstone Hotels & Resorts acknowledges that the $30 million for renovations on the hotel at 125 Second St. NW was higher than the original $12 million investment anticipated when owner Gary Goodman bought the property, then known as the La Posada de Albuquerque, in May 2006. One reason for cost increases, he comments, is because the building was old and issues such as wiring and plumbing came to the surface during the renovation process, and needed to be corrected.

But the other reason had to do with the owner himself. “Gary wanted to make sure this project made a tremendous statement on the green front,” McIntyre tells GlobeSt.com. “The more he got into it, the more he wanted to move forward and the more he wanted to do something no one had done before.”

The hotel’s upgrades included addition of a solar-heated hot water system and an energy conservation, integrated building energy management system. The windows in place were designed to reduce energy costs, green chemical cleanings sourced and interior finishes and furniture selected that incorporate recycled and low VOC materials. McIntyre says Gemstone and Goodman have applied to the U.S. Green Building Council for LEED Gold certification, and anticipates they’ll know something by the first of the year.

Though the main reason behind the extreme green push for the project was to develop something sustainable, McIntyre says the project gives Hotel Andaluz a great competitive advantage. “There are people who make businesses decisions centered on the fact this hotel is sustainable,” he adds.

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