Lamplighter Inn

The Lamplighter Inn, a local motel that opened in 1962, is in the process of being sold to be converted into affordable housing.

Clarification appended

Sixty years as a Cerrillos Road motel and inn appear to be coming to a close this month at the Lamplighter Inn, which is in the process of being sold to be converted into affordable housing, with a working group saying one-fourth of units set aside for the “homeless or would-be homeless without a support system.”

Earlier in the year, Lamplighter Inn owners Parul and Anna Patel put word out they were willing to sell the 80-unit property, and Anchorum St. Vincent was putting out feelers for hotels to purchase.

Ever since, Anchorum and the S3 Working Group have been ironing out details and negotiating to acquire the Lamplighter property, which has buildings dating as far back as 1962, the year the Lamplighter opened.

The sale is expected to close in later January, but many details are still a work in progress, such as who would actually own the property in its new role, said Marisol Atkins, a consultant brought on by the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness.

“We’re aiming to have 58 permanent housing units,” Atkins said. “I think it will be primarily studios and a couple larger units.”

The coalition and more than a dozen entities make up the S3 Working Group. S3 stands for safe, secure and stable. Members include development partner JL Gray and The Life Link, which will provide behavioral health services for tenants.

Santa Fe County, Anchorum St. Vincent, the state of New Mexico and the Interfaith Community Shelter are also in the working group. The county in December committed $1.5 million to the purchase of the Lamplighter, and the city of Santa Fe in January will consider adding $3 million from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and American Rescue Plan funds.

The working group was also involved in acquiring the Santa Fe Suites, which was purchased by Community Solutions, a New York City-based nonprofit working to end homelessness; the city of Santa Fe; the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority; the NM Coalition to End Homelessness and private social investors.

The Santa Fe Suites was similarly converted to affordable housing with 123 units and about one-fourth set aside for the homeless.

“This is hopefully two of many [hotel or other commercial conversions to housing],” Atkins said. “Santa Fe Suites is doing very well.”

Parul and Anna Patel came from Texas to buy and renovate the Lamplighter Inn in November 2019. Once the sale closes, they will return to Texas, she said.

“We buy old hotels that are run-down, we save it, give it life again, then we sell it,” Anna Patel said.

They welcome the purchase organized through the S3 Working Group.

“If we held on to it, it would have been more,” Anna Patel said about the sale price, which has not been disclosed. “The reason we are selling it to the partnership is they are trying to help the community and people struggling right now. They are doing a powerful thing for the society. When they approached us, there was a chance I could help society.”

Atkins stressed the provisionally named Lamplighter Initiative is a collaborative effort with no entity taking the lead. The plan is to convert the existing buildings, she said.

The basic parameters for potential residents is people earning less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income, which is $40,900 per year, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The tenant selection process still needs to be formalized, Atkins said.

The Lamplighter housing likely will have more residents who are clients of The Life Link than Santa Fe Suites does because Lamplighter is next door to The Life Link, said Hank Hughes, executive director of the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness.

He is zeroing in on mental and behavioral health as the working group proceeds with future conversion projects.

“What I want to see in the next project is something for people with severe behavioral health problems,” Hughes said.

Clarification: This story has been amended to reflect the following clarification. The Santa Fe Suites was purchased by Community Solutions, a New York City-based nonprofit working to end homelessness; the city of Santa Fe; the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority; the NM Coalition to End Homelessness and private social investors.

(13) comments

Donald Apodaca

If your household is NOT making $100k a year I advise you to START applying for the new wave of affordable housing hotels/studio apartments. Otherwise you will be priced out of Santa Fe. I see what is coming. If your household is not making $500K

a year you will not be able to afford a single family home. PREPARE.

Daniel Werwath

same trolls that complain endlessly about the shelter down the street, whining when people try to create the thing that fixes the need for the shelter [sleeping] anybody not doing things to actively fix these problems in the community should find new hobbies that don't include sniping at folks that are actually trying to make a difference in their communities.

Richard Reinders

Warehousing with no planned outcome is not making a difference it is just shuffling the problem from place to place. There needs to be outcome based plan to move them on to assimilating to normal everyday life, the mentally handicapped should go to institutions that can give them real help. The able bodied need to go to work somewhere at least 20 hrs a week to start while having counciling for drug and alcohol issues. Self respect and pride in accomplishment will go a long way to solving peoples problems. Instead of name calling The Housing Trust can put these able bodied to work as labor cleaning up their job sites and those with skills do framing or?

Ann Maes

This just makes the separation in SF wider. One side rich, the side destitute.

David Brown

The sale price is not disclosed and it is not known who will run the slim in the making. Something about the ‘nonprofiteers’ always has a bad smell because there is always outsized salaries and profit for the favored few. These folk could teach grift as a stem course.

Bob Res

Those familiar with both Portland and San Francisco’s downward spiral will recognize this in Santa Fe….. if you make it more and more comfortable for the fill-in-the blank (in this case “homeless”), you will have more of the blank.

—— Bob Res

Richard Reinders


Cheryl Maes

It is way past time for the US government to stop sending money to other countries and focus on providing services for the disadvantaged Santa Fe is unrecognizable, the trash, panhandlers, crime, the sprawl of cheaply built apartments popping up everywhere. The cost of housing FOR WORKING families is unbelievable and unattainable. Something must be done to address not add to the problems in Santa Fe.

David Bangs

This is just another step in the complete deterioration and destruction of the Cerrillos Rd corridor. Businesses will struggle and leave, causing even further decay, while a meaningful approach from city hall is non existent. Sad

Henry R.

What impact will this have on traffic for the older surrounding Casa Alegre neighborhood? The streets of Luana, Rosina, Maclovia and Declovina already have a huge amount of traffic and speeding. Will this create problems for the area similar to what the poor businesses and homeowners are dealing with on Harrison Rd. ? This area of town has become a dumping area for the unfortunate homeless; how about locating a project like this closer to the downtown area? Perhaps City Hall should relocate and that building could be utilized for such a project.

Richard Reinders

Most homeless do not have cars, motel visitors do so this is a nonissue , the effect to adjoining businesses will be a real concern with drugs , panhandling, drunkenness and other negative social issues. My suggestion is there are some undeveloped lots on upper Canyon Rd. That a facility could be built on.

miguel de la o

I remember when the Lamplighter opened. I was raised in Las Vegas, NM, but we stayed at motels down the road because the Lamplighter was too hoity-toity (read expensive!) I thought it was the cat's meow!!

Donald Apodaca

Miguel de la o, we still have the NEW Hampton Inn and Fairfield Inn that are 3-Star hotels. Both on Cerrillos are the cat's meow!!

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