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SF’s Sanbusco Center on path to foreclosure

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SANTA FE — Foreclosure proceedings have begun on the historic Sanbusco Market Center, according to court documents. Sanbusco Corp. has defaulted on a major loan and owes nearly $8.98 million, the complaint said.

A statement by owner Joe Schepps of Sanbusco Corp. blamed the foreclosure on a difficult economy and the shopping center’s loss last year of the Borders bookstore.

“We have unfortunately not been able to recover from the Borders bankruptcy and subsequent loss of our anchor tenant and the prolonged economic downturn,” Schepps said in the written statement.

“This turn of events is not a reflection on Sanbusco Market Center, the Railyard, or our tenants, and I remain positive about the area’s future vitality,” he said.

Schepps declined further comment when contacted by the Journal, saying he had “nothing to hide” but was following the advice of his attorneys.

According to the court filing, General Electric Capital Corp. loaned Sanbusco Corp. $9.75 million in 2001. The note was later assumed by GECMC 2001-3 Montezuma Avenue LLC, an entity which registered as a New Mexico company in October 2011 but maintains a principal address in Florida.

Under the terms of the loan, Sanbusco’s loan should have been paid back by last August. The $8.98 million owed includes interest and late fees.

“In light of Defendant’s uncured default, Plaintiff is entitled to a decree of foreclosure, order of sale, attorney fees, and costs,” the complaint said.

Sanbusco has a relatively storied history, having first opened in 1882 as the Santa Fe Builder’s Supply Co. Schepps bought the building in 1984.

The Sanbusco Borders opened in the late 1990s and, by all accounts, brought with it increased sales for surrounding shops. But the Borders corporation filed for bankruptcy protection last year and its two Santa Fe locations were among the casualties.

Sanbusco’s current tenants include Cost Plus World Market, El Tesoro Café and Teca Tu pet store.

Sanbusco abuts but isn’t part of the city-owned Railyard, which includes park, residential and commercial development.

Market Station, the Railyard’s primary commercial center, has had problems reaching capacity. The city of Santa Fe recently agreed to buy most of the empty second floor of the building from owners Railyard Co. for $3.6 million and control of a long-stalled movie theater project. The sale also settled potential legal claims by Railyard Co. against the city.

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