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  • Historic Ghost Ranch Lodge Apartments win national honor

    May 22, 2015 | Read More News
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    Ghost Ranch Lodge, the historic Tucson property at 801 W. Miracle Mile that was renovated into low-income senior housing with Pima County funds, won a National Development Council Academy Award at the National Development Council Academy luncheon in Washington, D.C., May 14. In March, the council named Ghost Ranch Lodge one of seven national semifinalists for the honor.

    Ghost Ranch Lodge lobbyThe project was supported in part with a $1.1 million voter-approved 2004 General Obligation affordable housing bond from Pima County. Jerry Abramson, deputy assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs at the White House, spoke at the Academy Awards luncheon honoring the award winners. Ghost Ranch Lodge won in the affordable housing category. Other winners were honored in the categories of community development, creative financing, job creation, community impact and financial structuring.

    Renowned Swiss architect Josias Joesler, who spent much of his career in Tucson, designed Ghost Ranch Lodge, which includes 20 historic buildings built between 1941 and 1953. The property contains the largest Boojum tree in the state of Arizona, and sports an iconic skull sign designed by famed American artist Georgia O’Keeffe.

    The buildings fell into serious disrepair before an affiliate of Atlantic Development and Investments purchased the property in 2007, according to a history of the project’s renovation supplied by the developer. To maintain the architectural integrity of the structures, workers removed roof tiles one by one and rehabbed fixtures and structures to make them code compliant.

    Both the City of Tucson and Pima County supported the $22 million rehabilitation of Ghost Ranch Lodge and committed $2,357,000 in HOME and CDBG funds. Ghost Ranch lodge also secured funding from a number of other sources.

    “This renovation was a great partnership and we were pleased at how willing the developers were to work with all of the historic preservation folks to ensure that this very important property served the low-income seniors while preserving a historic and architectural gem,” said Sharon Bronson, chair of the Pima County Board of Supervisors who represents District 3, where Ghost Ranch Lodge is located.

    “Ghost Ranch Lodge is a great example of adaptive reuse at its best,” added Betty Villegas, affordable housing program manager for the Pima County Housing Center.
     
    The renovation also emphasized sustainable design elements, such as the use of low-water plumbing fixtures, a Solar PV System to offset 100 percent of the electrical load for the common areas, high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems, and energy-efficient windows.    

    In July 2010, Ghost Ranch Lodge began welcoming its first residents: low-income seniors and those with physical disabilities. By March 2011 the property was fully occupied.