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Multi-use center in Northeast Heights nears completion

The Bridges on Tramway mixed-use project, at Candelaria and Tramway NE. The project is converting the former home of Hastings to a collection of shops and restaurants.( Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE, N.M. — Workers were busy renovating the interior and exterior of the former Hastings store in the Northeast Heights last week, as developer Art Gardenswartz’s vision for the building as a multi-use entertainment center for athletes and other residents is coming together.

Earlier this year, Gardenswartz and his wife, Sonya Priestly, announced plans to convert the long-vacant shop into a multitenant center containing restaurants, shops and exercise centers, which would be known as Bridges on Tramway. Today, seven of the 10 to 11 available spaces have been leased to local businesses that range from a popular Albuquerque brewery to a unique paint-related activity, and Gardenswartz said several stores will be open by February.

Gardenswartz said he expects Bridges on Tramway to be a hit with young families and the Northeast Heights’ sizable outdoor recreation community.

“It’s going to be a strong neighborhood center,” he said.

Each of the tenants has its own front door for easy access, though Gardenswartz added interior walls and a hallway that runs behind each of the storefronts. Overall, he said, the project has cost between $3 and $4 million.

From left, Austin Tidwell and Daniel Kearney of Retail Solutions, along with developer Art Gardenswartz, look at plans for the Bridges on Tramway mixed-use project. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Daniel Kearney, assistant vice president at Retail Solutions, which handled leasing on the building, said the center is anchored by Boxing Bear’s 3,500-square-foot taproom on the northeast corner of the building, and the Burrow Cafe, a breakfast and brunch concept from the team behind Breve Crepes and Coffee, on the southeastern corner. Kearney said having a breakfast spot and a brewery will keep customers coming to the center at different times of day.

“That way, you’re keeping the whole building active,” Kearney said.

Other tenants include CBD Boutique, which specializes in products derived from hemp, Paleta Bar, which offers frozen treats in a part of town without many dessert offerings, a hot yoga studio and Redwine Accounting, the center’s only office tenant. Perhaps the most unusual tenant is Chatter Paint, an entertainment center where groups of customers can spray, shoot and throw paint at blank canvases. Kearney said it is the first of its kind in Albuquerque.

“It’s a good way for people to let off a little bit of steam and be a little bit creative,” Kearney said.

Two spaces remain for potential lessees. Austin Tidwell, another assistant vice president at Retail Solutions, said the center is optimistic about getting a restaurant for an empty space on the center’s eastern edge, and is looking for a store or two, preferably with a focus on the outdoors, for a space on the south side that can be subdivided.

“I’m close to 100% confident that we’ll have everything leased by the end of the year,” Gardenswartz added.

Santa Fe Brewing

New Mexico’s oldest and largest brewery recently finished work on a new brewhouse that will help the company expand its footprint in Albuquerque and beyond.

Earlier in October, Santa Fe Brewing Co. began pouring beer produced in its Krones 70-barrel brewhouse, at its complex at 35 Fire Place near the southern edge of Santa Fe. Brian Lock, owner and president of Santa Fe Brewing, said the new facility allows the brewery to produce nearly five times as much beer as before. Lock said this allows the brewery to meet demand from new developments in Albuquerque and Las Cruces.

Santa Fe Brewing Co.’s fall seasonal beer Oktoberfest. (Courtesy of Santa Fe Brewing)

“This is our backyard; this is our biggest market,” Lock said of New Mexico.

Lock cited growth as the main reason for the new brewhouse. Lock said the brewery is producing and shipping 40% more beer than it did two years ago and needed to expand its capacity.

Lock said the brewery bought the new brewhouse last fall, and began construction later that year. Lock said Krones, a German manufacturer that has worked with such breweries as MillerCoors and Sierra Nevada, customizes each brewhouse to a brewery’s flagship beer. In Santa Fe’s case, the beer is its 7K IPA, and Lock said the brewhouse brews the hops-heavy beer in a way that highlights its flavors while wasting less malted barley.

“They’re really at the forefront worldwide when it comes to brewhouse manufacturing,” Lock said.

The company was hoping to have the brewhouse installed over the summer, but construction delays forced the company to make hard choices. Ultimately, the company opted to suspend distribution to Kansas and Missouri and focus on New Mexico and surrounding areas.

The new facility allows Santa Fe Brewing to produce up to 200,000 barrels of beer annually, more than five times its projected production in 2019, Lock said.

Even with plenty of capacity, Lock said the brewery will continue to focus on New Mexico. The brewery is planning to open its second Albuquerque taproom in Tin Can Alley, a multiuse development made of shipping containers being built along Alameda NE. Lock said the brewery is also hoping to have a taproom built in Las Cruces by the end of 2020.

Antiques on Menaul

Another Nob Hill store shut its doors last week. Unlike several of the others, however, the owner is re-opening in another part of town.

Bob Herrington, owner of Townhouse Antique Mall, closed the store Friday, but said he’s planning to reopen the store with a new name at 8908 Menaul NE next week .

Herrington has operated the Nob Hill shop, at 3911 Central NE, for six years, but said business has declined in the last three years, which he attributed to construction of Albuquerque Rapid Transit. He said the embattled transit project has driven both tourists and Albuquerque residents away from the area.

“They’ve kind of ruined that portion of Central,” Herrington said.

Herrington said the 10,000-square-foot storefront on Menaul, the former home of Charlie’s Sporting Goods, appealed to him because of its location.

“There’s not really another antique store in this area,” he said.

The new store will be called Anteeks on Menaul, a nod to a former antique shop Herrington owned in Albuquerque. He said the new store will open Nov. 2, and will retain Town House’s collection of around 500,000 items, ranging from tools to Western decor.

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