ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Life and business is coming back to the old Winrock Mall in Albuquerque's Uptown.
The piles of dirt and deep pits in this construction zone draw curious onlookers like Dan Gutierrez.
"You know probably since it started, I come by everyday to see the progress," Gutierrez, who lives nearby, said.
For more than 40 years, Winrock Mall was a shopping destination. But plans to redevelop Winrock fell apart in the early 2000's.
In 2007, Winrock sold to the Goodman Realty Group. Their vision
included an open-air mall, IMAX theater, housing, a hotel and even a self-sustaining miniature version of the Rio Grande.
"We started the IMAX theater, first one in New Mexico," said Darin Sand, the Winrock Town Center project manager. "As you can see right over here, we have all of the theater pits that are already dug, and we're already doing the foundations of the theater."
This construction isn't the only positive sign. Along the periphery of Winrock, restaurants are popping up. BJ's Brewhouse and Genghis Grill opened their doors this fall. Just across the street from Winrock, a mega Target is scheduled to open in March.
All are welcome signs to shoppers who remember Winrock Mall.
"I'm glad to see it because I thought Winrock might be closing after all the stores left," longtime Winrock shopper Linda Daanen said.
The Goodman Realty Group is in talks with several stores and is in the planning stages for a Dave & Busters complex. Sand said the restaurant, bar and arcade could open within the year. And that the future is bright at Winrock.
"The economy was a big challenge," Sand said. "It held up a lot of development here, but things are breaking loose and we're real excited for what the future has to hold, and 2013 in particular."
The 16 screen movie theater with an IMAX is supposed to open next fall.
The Goodman Realty Group would not give a timeline on the work, but said they'll announce new retailers in the near future.