Quoted TextThursday, December 09, 2010
IMAX Project Planned for Winrock
By Rivkela Brodsky
Journal Staff Writer
Coming to a mall near you in spring 2012 — a new 16-screen movie theater with what developers say would be the first IMAX screen in the Albuquerque area.
It's been talked about for years as part of the redevelopment of Winrock, but the project now has a timeline.
Winrock Partners, the developer, has signed a 20-year lease with Regal Cinemas to put an estimated 73,000-square-foot theater east of Bed, Bath & Beyond at Winrock, said Richard Sertich, senior vice president of project development for Goodman Realty Group. The company owns Winrock Partners with Michael Kelly and plans to completely redevelop Winrock.
Some details are still being worked out, Sertich said during a board meeting Wednesday of the Winrock Town Center Tax Increment Development District. He said construction is planned to start in April with an anticipated completion date of April or May 2012.
A TIDD is a special district set up that allows developers to use a portion of city, county and state sales tax revenue generated by a development to pay for infrastructure. A board oversees the administration of the TIDD.
The Winrock Town Center board has seven members representing the stakeholders in the district — including David Campbell, CAO for the city; Dennis Chávez II, with the Bernalillo County Economic Development Department; a representative from developer Winrock Partners; and chairman and City Councilor Michael Cook, among others.
The news comes after years of redevelopment plans for Winrock being on hold due to financing issues.
"It's a first step," Sertich said about the theater. "It's a start."
The theater project should also include some retail and restaurant locations — although no specifics were mentioned by Sertich on Wednesday.
Sertich said the company is talking to regional and national tenants about the possibility of taking the half dozen spots that will be available, but there were "none we can announce at this point."
A new theater was first mentioned in 2003 as part of a planned overhaul of Winrock. Tenants began to leave the center in 2002 in preparation of the remodel — a project eventually put on hold due to soaring construction costs and issues with easements and road plans.
Winrock Partners signed on as the leasing agent in 2007. It now owns the property and has been planning a remodel of the 83-acre site in Uptown, a project called Winrock Town Center.
In April 2009, Gov. Bill Richardson signed legislation creating two separate Tax Increment Development Districts — Winrock Town Center and a 7.5-acre development just south of ABQ Uptown planned by Hunt Development Group.
There has been little activity in the TIDDs since their approval, which Goodman Realty Group has attributed to problems obtaining financing.
Gary Goodman, president of Goodman Realty Group, told the Journal on Wednesday that some financing has been secured for the theater project.
Sertich said a future phase of the redevelopment project would include a 2,000-car parking garage that would be near the theater. The company is hoping the theater project helps get the rest of the redevelopment in motion.
"Our hope is this thing ... kind of spurs on the second phase."