Fashion Outlets of Santa Fe, a 122,000-square-foot retail outlet mall on the city’s southern outskirts off Cerrillos Road that long has struggled to keep store spaces filled and draw consumers over the past 2 1/2 decades, is facing a foreclosure suit.
The complaint, filed Friday in the First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe by Wells Fargo Bank, alleges Fashion Outlets of Santa Fe LLC, a company formed in 2012, owes more than $10 million of an $11 million loan and other costs.
The lawsuit alleges the outlet operator has failed to pay full monthly installments of the loan since July 1. It asks a state District Court judge to appoint a special master to conduct a foreclosure sale.
Fashion Outlets has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit, and attorneys could not be reached to comment on how the sale might affect businesses in the mall, which is home to a restaurant and about 20 stores, including Brooks Brothers, Coach, Eddie Bauer, Famous Footwear, Guess, Levi’s, Loft, Merrell, Polo Ralph Lauren, Under Armour and Wilson’s Leather. A directory map on the mall’s website indicates about 40 percent of the retail spaces could be vacant.
In April, the retail center made headlines when a Tesla charging station opened there, one of about a dozen planned for New Mexico.
Santa Fe Factory Stores, as the shopping center originally was known, opened in 1993 at a cost of $8 million. The property later was acquired by the Gulfstream Group, an Albuquerque company.
Florida-based Talisman Cos. LLC in 2007 purchased the outlet mall for $9.3 million from Gulfstream, according to a report in The New Mexican. It drew some new stores at the time, such as Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Chico’s and Gymboree. In 2011, the company brought in four new stores, including Levi’s, and held a grand reopening, saying the center was 93 percent full. Since then, many of those stores have moved out.
James Schlesinger, the founder of Talisman, which owned similar properties across the nation, is listed in state incorporation records as a manager of Fashion Outlets of Santa Fe LLC, along with Jakob Brodt, Brigita Zaidman and Allen O’Brien.
Schlesinger died in 2014, according to newspaper reports.
By: Justin Horwath (Santa Fe New Mexican)
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