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Route 66 motel in New Mexico where Bill Gates worked on early Microsoft being redeveloped

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A Route 66 motor lodge in Albuquerque where Bill Gates and Paul Allen stayed while launching Microsoft Corp. is being redeveloped into apartments as part of a neighbourhood revival project.

Officials broke ground Thursday on the redevelopment of the Sundowner Uhuru Apartment Complex.

The federally funded project will create 70 apartments for veterans, the homeless, mixed-income residents and people with special needs.

The Sundowner Motel was built in 1960. While living there in the 1970s, Gates and Allen wrote a version of the programming language BASIC for a company called MITS. The motel served as Microsoft's first office before the pair moved the company 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.

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