Before it became the major emporium that it is today, Sanbusco was once a logistics facility for a major railway. This facility was constructed by the Santa Fe Builders Supply Company, which was originally established in the late 1800’s, and had the distinct honor of being one of the first business establishments to be built along a major railroad line.
As the company grew, the Santa Fe Builders Supply Company was given the informal name of Sanbusco, which is a shortened version of the company’s actual name.
Over the years, the company invested more into their holdings until their original buildings became a group of sheds and warehouses that surrounded the railway line. By 1942, these structures covered a total of five acres, and continued to serve their intended function for quite some time.
However, after a few years passed, new developments in railroad usage rendered many of the original structures obsolete, and they were eventually either condemned or sold off to other companies.
Eventually, a major company decided to buy all of the remaining obsolete buildings. This company was Schepps New Mexico, and they bought the Santa Fe Builders Supply Company’s remaining buildings in 1984.
Schepps New Mexico immediately began working to renovate the damaged buildings along the railway, removing a century’s worth of plaster and repairing most of the damaged areas. Despite the extensive work done on the structures, though, they retained most of their pueblo, western warehouse aesthetic.
Today, the Sanbusco Market Center is used as a shopping facility rather than as a warehouse for passing trains. The market center also features exposed structural elements that include tin roof accents, bricks made at the local state penitentiary and some of the tiles from the original buildings. Despite its new function, the Sanbusco Market Center looks and feels like an old western town or facility, even though many of its new and refurnished buildings have distinctly modern characteristics. Sanbusco also retains most of its wild west/railroad appeal. Most of the surrounding areas are unchanged, and tourists get to experience what it was like to live in the Wild West back in the late 1800’s.
As an emporium, the Sanbusco Market Center offers a refreshing combination of exposed building design, industrial style lights, lively colors and classical western aesthetics. Additionally, the shopping center also contains a wide selection of restaurants, offices and shops, all of which serve Sanbusco’s new era of economic activity. It also has a healthy tourist culture that is characteristic of many New Mexico tourist attractions.
Most important of all, the Sanbusco Market Center was included in New Mexico’s National Register of Historic Places, the New Mexico Register of Cultural Places as well as the New Mexico Register of Historic Places. So although Sanbusco is now a shopping mall, it still retains most of its historical character, and remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in New Mexico.
Today, Sanbusco is still owned Schepps New Mexico but its operations are managed by the Schepps Management Company. All of the buildings in the area were also developed by Schepps New Mexico.