The shadow of the recession has finally lifted at a key section of the Railyard.
A new chapter began for the long-troubled Market Station anchor building at the Railyard as local investor group 500 Market LLC closed Thursday on the purchase of a large portion of the structure that houses REI, Daniella, Puzzah! and lots of vacant space.
The 500 Market group comes into ownership with tenants ready to fill most of the vacancies once tenant improvements are complete around January, said Kris Axtell, chief executive of Luna Capital Holdings and managing partner of the ownership group, which bought Market Station for an undisclosed price.
Other partners are Tom Wolinski, founder and owner of the new Wayward Sons Distillery, which will be a signature tenant of Market Station, and Mike Vigil, owner of MV Industries Real Estate LLC and the general contractor of the Market Station project. Two silent partners also are involved, Axtell said.
“I think we saw an opportunity to solve something that was a market need,” Axtell said.
Opuntia Cafe will relocate from its Railyard Baca Street location, where it has been since November 2017, to Market Station’s second floor.
Bernalillo-based Bosque Brewing, founded in 2012, will share the former Flying Star space with Wayward Sons. Bosque has a variety of locations throughout the state.
Axtell will relocate the Luna Capital office from near the La Montañita Co-op to Market Station.
“We’re really big on standing behind our project,” Axtell said in an interview. “We want to be part of that community. We see the future of the Railyard.”
The 500 Market group acquired 62,800 square feet of Market Station, where the city of Santa Fe also owns about 7,900 square feet. The proposed tenants fill much of the space, but two 2,000-square-foot retail areas remain available on the ground floor, as do 11,000 square feet of office space on the second level, Axtell said.
The new ownership ends a four-year bankruptcy and foreclosure chapter that began when the original developer, Railyard Co., filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015 as Market Station’s lender, Los Angeles-based Thorofare Capital, foreclosed on the property.
Thorofare, which became the trustee of Market Station in 2016 and listed it for sale in July 2017 for $11.5 million, remained the owner until Thursday.
Axtell said he submitted an unsolicited bid during the foreclosure proceedings but it was rejected. His interest in Market Station, however, continued.
The Railyard has had an uphill climb since its grand opening in 2008 coincided with the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
“We are very optimistic about the future of the Market Station building and look forward to working with the new owners and tenants,” Richard Czoski, executive director of the Santa Fe Railyard Community Corp., the master lease holder of the city-owned Railyard, said in a news release. “With only two out of 42 parcels remaining available, development of the entire Railyard is now in the final stages. Revitalization of the Market Station building is an important step towards realizing the vision of the completed, vibrant public/private partnership that is the Railyard.”
Wolinski will own the space for his Wayward Sons distillery as well as be a partner in the overall Market Station ownership.
“The idea of working with the farmers market, and using botanicals from individual growers in Wayward’s production, was extremely attractive.” Wolinski said in a news release. “Getting to work side by side with the other businesses in the building has become an added bonus as the project evolves.”