ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Route 66 motor lodge in Albuquerque where Bill Gates and Paul Allen lived while launching Microsoft Corp. is being redeveloped into apartments as part of a neighborhood revival project.
Officials broke ground Thursday on the redevelopment of the Sundowner Uhuru Apartment Complex, one of many projects sought to help revive a once busy area of Albuquerque.
The federally-funded project will create 70 apartments for veterans, the homeless, mixed-income residents, and residents with special needs.
The Sundowner was built in 1960 during the heart of Route 66 tourism.
Gates and Allen later lived at the Sundowner Motel when they wrote a version of the programming language BASIC for the Altair 8800 computer, invented in 1975 by the Albuquerque-based company MITS. The motel was used as a base camp in the mid-1970s before the pair moved Microsoft to the Seattle-area.
Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry says the motel was "ground zero" for the personal computer revolution and needs to be redeveloped for history.
"All these historic hotels up and down Route 66 have so many stories to tell," Berry said. "If the walls could talk...."