This rendering shows how the center lawn of The Boardwalk could look during a movie night. The social and shopping space is planned for construction this year. Courtesy rendering.

Developers of the Plaza @ Enchanted Hills in Rio Rancho took inspiration from the Sawmill Market, Tin Can Alley and the Corrales Growers Market to introduce “The Boardwalk @ PEH.”

The Boardwalk will be built out of re-purposed shipping containers and host a variety of vendors for food and retail, said Amy Goldfarb, asset manager and vice president of shopping center owner TDA Inc.

The real-estate loan and investment company had started to conceptualize The Boardwalk pre-COVID, she said.

“I just think the community is really hungry for something like this,” Goldfarb said.

The Boardwalk will be built on 1½ acres near the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Enchanted Hills Boulevard.

“The thinking was that a boardwalk is a place that people come to gather — eat, drink, walk and play. We wanted a catchy name that could be something like, ‘See you at The…,’ and ‘The Boardwalk’ felt like a fit,” she said.

According to schematics, key areas of The Boardwalk include:

• Over 8,400 square feet of indoor retail space;
• Over 1,120 square feet of food and beverage space;
• Over 1,200 square feet for a “beer garden”; and
• Over 950 square feet of covered dining.

There will be dedicated parking for food trucks, Goldfarb said. In the center of the marketplace will be an entertainment area for movie nights, live music, yoga and more.

The Boardwalk will be pet-friendly as well. The space is welcoming to families, couples and young people, she said.

Pegasus Retail President Anthony Johnson has been the broker for the Plaza @ Enchanted Hills since its opening in 2013.

“It is with a lot of pride and a lot of energy that we are approaching this new part of the project,” he said. “Retail is changing so dramatically and so quickly in front of our eyes that I feel like this component is just going to drive much, much more traffic and different traffic than a typical shopping center.”

Pre-leasing is available, Johnson said, with about 20 spaces for lease. He is hoping to lease 10 of them to food or alcohol vendors to serve as anchors.

“This is like a place for birth and rebirth and incubation; these are all words we are socializing right now,” Johnson said. “So thinking about it in that context, a vendor who has a successful operation at The Boardwalk project, may say, ‘OK, this is going really well; I am going to lease space in the main center.’”

Johnson has consulted with organizers of marketplaces similar to The Boardwalk and said the operation is metamorphic to balance vendors’ and consumers’ needs.

“I have an understanding of how the different scenarios work. For example, Corrales Growers Market — (vendors) actually reserve their space and they pay a fee to reserve it. I would love to think that we would have that problem, where we would have to turn people away, but the idea is to get (The Boardwalk) busy and populated,” he said.

Johnson said there is a possibility for a designated area where vendors could sell goods for a single weekend if they chose.

“If you showed up in your turnip truck and you wanted a place to sell turnips, we will give you a place to do it,” he said.

Construction on The Boardwalk will begin in early summer and should be complete in the early fall, Johnson said.

This map shows the plan for The Boardwalk in the Plaza @ Enchanted Hills. Courtesy rendering.

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Assistant Editor at Rio Rancho Observer