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Santa Fe’s Jackalope goes for $4.8 million

SANTA FE, N.M. — Vendors are calling it the best possible outcome for Jackalope, Santa Fe’s iconic and eclectic folk art and home furnishing store that has been in business on Cerrillos Road for nearly 40 years.

The Jackalope real estate and personal property were sold for a total of $4.85 million Wednesday morning at a foreclosure auction outside the district courthouse in Santa Fe to Global House, Inc., whose director has long-standing ties to Jackalope.

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Harpal Singh, left, listens as William Cooksey, foreclosure special master, auctions off the Jackalope property in Santa Fe, Wednesday morning Singh was the only bidder during the sale held in front of the county courthouse. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Global House was incorporated earlier this year, but its director, Harpal Singh, is president of Classic Concepts home decor company. Classic Concepts is the largest vendor at the Santa Fe location and operator of the Jackalope store in Albuquerque. Singh’s winning bids were $4.6 million for the real property and $250,000 for personal property.

“It couldn’t be better,” said Susan Handelsman, who operates the Santa Fe Hitching Post, one of many vendors leasing space at the Jackalope location in Santa Fe. “It couldn’t be better for Santa Fe, it couldn’t be better for businesses on Cerrillos, and it couldn’t be better for the prairie dogs.”

An enclosed prairie dog town is at the center of the five-acre property that founder Darby McQuade developed starting in 1976. Made to resemble a Mexican mercado, the store sells a wide variety of mostly imported items, including rustic furniture, rugs, pots, and artwork.

McQuade, whose health has deteriorated in recent years, filed for bankruptcy last year after Los Alamos National Bank sued Jackalope for money owned. The bank assigned its judgment to Global House after being awarded a $4.9 million judgment in district court last month. As the business fell on hard times, it was converted entirely to rental space for separate vendors instead of Jackalope selling items on its own.

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The Jackalope in Santa Fe was sold Wednesday. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Singh wouldn’t describe his plans Wednesday. “Once (the sale) is finalized, I would be happy to talk about it,” Singh said at the courthouse, noting that there is a 30-day redemption period before the sale becomes final. Global House offered the only bids at the auction.

Brooks Saucedo-McQuade, Darby McQuade’s son who managed Jackalope until earlier this year, also declined comment. “We’re no longer involved,” he said in a brief phone interview.

Alan Wreyford, who operates Xanadu at Jackalope, which sells home decor and folk art from Mexico, said he and other vendors at the Cerrillos Road location have recently been inundated by shoppers looking for bargains, thinking the foreclosure auction meant that Jackalope was going out of business. “People say, ‘I hate to see Jackalope close. We’ve been coming here for years,'” he said.

Wreyford said he was happy to hear Global House won the bid at Wednesday’s auction. “It’s a good indication that Jackalope is here to stay,” he said.

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