The distinctive Jackalope building in Bernalillo is about to get a major beer infusion, and some new neighbors, as part of a multi-million dollar redevelopment of the property.
Bosque Brewing Co. will move into the former housewares emporium along U.S. 550, the start of the new $7 million to $8 million Riverpointe Vistas project that will also bring at least one restaurant, a new Jackalope store and possibly additional retail.
The craft brewery will use the spacious new digs to headquarter its growing production operation, start canning its beer and host another taproom. Jackalope vacated the site in 2010.
The expansion should help solve what Bosque’s founders have jokingly called their “strip mall brewery problems.” Since opening 3½ years ago in a strip mall on San Mateo NE, they have undergone a series of on-site growth spurts but remain handcuffed by the location. The move will enable them to amp up packaging efforts, which have so far meant only small, in-house bottling runs.
“A big part of this (expansion) is trying to finally get out ahead instead of always feeling like we’re chasing something,” Bosque’s managing director Gabe Jensen said. “We’re always expanding and it’s never quite enough, so this allows us to grow into a facility instead of always trying to figure out how we are going to grow.”
The Bernalillo site, expected to launch by fall, will open with enough equipment to make up to 15,000 barrels of beer a year. Bosque will maintain a smaller brewing setup on San Mateo mostly for specialty beers that could produce another 5,000 annually.
In 2015, the brewery made about 4,000 barrels.
A significant renovation should begin later this spring on the Jackalope building, which will grow from about 10,000 to 15,000 square feet. Bosque will devote most of the space to manufacturing, though it will also have a beer bar, a patio that wraps around the south and east sides and a drive-up spot for food trucks.
The building, 42 feet high at its peak, will have a second level and provide room for additional growth in the future.
“We love this Jackalope building,” said Jotham Michnovicz, Bosque’s director of operations. “We thought it was an iconic New Mexico building, so when the opportunity came to check it out, we just wanted to jump on it and see.”
Harpal Singh and Phil Lindborg are co-developing the old Jackalope site, just over five acres immediately west of the river. The first phase will include Bosque and construction of a new 5,500-square-foot restaurant looking out onto the Rio Grande — tenant to be determined — and a new Jackalope store measuring between 5,000 and 7,000 square feet.
Singh, a manufacturer and importer, recently bought the Santa Fe Jackalope at a foreclosure auction and has long operated the Albuquerque Jackalope location near San Mateo and Interstate 25. He intends to upgrade those locations in the near future.
Lindborg, a local developer, is also a partner in the Village @ La Orilla, a mixed-use project underway on Albuquerque’s West Side.
Riverpointe has been years in the making and will be accessible via a forthcoming deceleration lane and signalized intersection. As currently planned, the development will include a second phase for a fast food restaurant and an estimated 18,000-square-foot retail building, though the plan could evolve depending on which tenants sign leases.
Lindborg said he would like to land an outdoor or sporting goods store to promote the recreational opportunities available on and along the nearby river.
“I wanted to make (this project) more a destination place where people came, stayed a few hours and enjoyed themselves with some different activities,” Lindborg said. “Tying it into the river is a natural.”
The developers are working with Stephen Dunbar of Modulus Architects and Snyder Construction.