ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Gov. Bill Richardson on Wednesday signed a bill providingfunding to help renovate the now mostly vacant Winrock Center, butdevelopers said they still need more funding before they can beginwork on the project.
The bill signed Wednesday declares the mall, the city's oldest,a Tax Increment Development District. That allows developers to usemore than $100 million in future taxes to pay for infrastructure atthe uptown mall.
Developers plan to redesign the mall, transforming it into anoutdoor shopping center with retail shops, restaurants, a hotel,offices and an IMAX theater.
They're still working to secure financing, said Gary Goodman ofWinrock Partners.
"We'll get it. We'll get it. And it's going to take help (from)our senators, our representatives, we may need some federal loanguarantees to get the banks moving. The banks, despite all the TARPfunds, are still not lending."
The project, expected to cost $650 million, is expected to bring5,000 permanent jobs and 7,000 construction jobs when itbegins.
The bill also provides similar funding for ABQ Uptown, a nearbyoutdoor shopping center. That development will get more than $34million.
Winrock only contains a few stores, but it has seen some lifesince the majority of stores moved out. The comedy Observe and Report, which opens on April 10,was mostly filmed there.
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