ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - An area on the edge of Albuquerque's Old Town is getting a major face-lift. It doesn't look like much now, but by next year the once lumber warehouse will soon be home to what developers are calling Albuquerque's premier urban market.
Right across from Hotel Albuquerque are the sights and sounds of progress.
"The construction hasn't really been distracting for us. It hasn't taken away from anything, so it's nice to see that you're investing in your own city," said Susie Oliverez, Albuquerque visitor.
Workers are transforming an old lumber warehouse into a hub for food, art and shopping, which will soon be known as the Sawmill Market.
The 25,000 square foot building is rich in history. Once home to hundreds of sawmill employees in the early 1900's, the plan includes bringing the best local food, craftsman and artists into a one-stop shop urban marketplace.
"It sounds really good to me. Any kind of business that comes into Albuquerque and makes us look good - I'm all for it," said resident Derrick Adkins.
Local company Heritage Hotels is behind the multi-million dollar project. The same company owns Hotel Albuquerque, Hotel Chaco and other luxury hotels across the state.
Investors hope to revitalize the warehouse district and reflect the surrounding culture near Old Town.
According to the plans, the Sawmill Market will house local vendors, and unique retail raising the bar for the local food scene.
"As a visitor it's nice to find a spot where everything is kinda condensed for you and you can just kinda hop around and find lots of little stores and lots of little restaurants so you can get the most bang for your buck," said Oliverez.
Once that area is fully developed investors hope to bring in as many as 700 new jobs. The Sawmill Market is set to open next year, but there's no word yet on which local vendors will set up shop.
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