Ghost Ranch Lodge to be resurrected as senior housing

Published: Jan. 15, 2009 at 12:18 AM MST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2009 at 4:47 PM MST
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By Barbara Grijalva - bio | email

Money from a 2004 Pima County bond package will help pay for four different projects spread across the Tucson area.

Probably the best known is the historic Ghost Ranch Lodge on Miracle Mile.

When the Ghost Ranch Lodge opened in 1941 it was on the outskirts of Tucson.

A resort for the well-heeled, it has fallen on hard times.

But it soon could see new life as affordable housing for seniors.

Some of the buildings of the Ghost Ranch Lodge are by renowned architect Josias Joesler.

Under the plan, those buildings will be renovated, and more will be built for a total of 60 rental units.

There also will be a community center on the site.

The City of Tucson and Pima County have kicked in about one million dollars each.

That will be used to entice private investors who will be asked to put in the rest of the $12.6 million in exchange for low-income housing tax credits the state is expected to approve.

"There are investors who prefer to invest in these types of tax credits even in these hard times," says Betty Villegas, Pima County Affordable Housing Program Manager.

Villegas believes the new Ghost Ranch Lodge could be the start of something big for Miracle Mile:  Revitalization.

"We'll probably see some growth within the area itself with this project. I think this can be a cornerstone to development in this area," Villegas says.

The city and county expect the state to approve the low-income housing tax credits by the end of January.

Then the developer will use those tax credits to entice private investors to put up the rest of the money for the project.

Construction could begin within six months.

It would be complete by early 2010.