Now Winrock is getting some highly anticipated new shopping options as part of its ongoing redevelopment – and more could be on the way.
Winrock officials on Thursday confirmed that Nordstrom Rack and the DSW shoe company will open stores at the revived Uptown property. Both retailers are new to the Albuquerque market.
Nordstrom Rack, an “off-price” division of Seattle-based Nordstrom, has plans for a 33,500-square-foot location. DSW, or Designer Shoe Warehouse, will occupy about 17,000 square feet.
“We’re very enthusiastic and optimistic to see a development taking shape,” said Darin Sand of Goodman Realty Group, the company behind Winrock’s renaissance. “After working on it so many years so diligently, (this) is very satisfying.”
Nordstrom Rack and DSW should open in the fall of 2015, according to Pegasus Retail President Anthony Johnson, Winrock’s leasing agent.
They will join a few still-unannounced stores in what Johnson called “a monster construction project” toward the southwest corner of the Winrock parcel where the old Winrock Inn once stood. The shops will go above a two-level underground parking garage.
Thursday’s news marks the most significant Winrock announcement since 2012, when Goodman unveiled plans for a trio of new restaurants. Two of them – Genghis Grill and BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse – opened in late 2012. Construction on the third, Dave & Buster’s, will begin soon and it should open in October, Johnson said.
The restaurants and the new Regal Cinemas 16-screen IMAX multiplex, which opened last fall, already have breathed new life into Winrock, but Thursday’s announcement takes the project to a new level, Sand said.
“We anticipate it energizing the development and providing momentum that we haven’t had previously,” Sand said.
In fact, the Nordstrom brand is strong enough that Johnson suspects it will help lure other tenants.
“Just the name ‘Nordstrom’ is so important, so valuable that … other retailers who have been on the fence, I think, will pull the trigger now,” he said.
Johnson said he’s waiting on final lease approval for eight more tenants. Another 10 are in earlier stages of negotiation for space.
There could be formal announcements about some of those retailers as early as next week, Johnson said.
Talks are also underway with a full-service hotel brand to open a 150- to 160-room hotel near the planned park at the center of the Winrock development, he said.
The redevelopment is several years in the making.
Goodman Realty Group bought Winrock in 2007. Once the largest shopping center between Dallas and Los Angeles, Winrock began fading in the early 2000s when a slew of retailers closed shop in anticipation of a major overhaul planned by a previous owner. That project eventually stalled.
By the time Goodman acquired it, the mall’s only remaining tenants were Dillard’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and Sports Authority. (Bed Bath & Beyond has since left and Mattress Firm has since opened.)
“Right now, it’s a vacant black eye to the area,” Gary Goodman said in 2007. “We want to create a national buzz to rival anything in the region and be talked about around the country.”
The project has taken longer than anticipated, Sand said, largely due to the recession.
“(With) retailers, if you don’t have the economic base, it’s more of a challenge for them to consider Albuquerque,” he said.
Nordstrom is a name that had been bandied about since the early days of the project.
Nordstrom’s “Rack” model sells apparel, accessories and shoes, including some clearance goods sourced from full-line Nordstrom stores.
A Nordstrom spokeswoman said Thursday that the company looks for a number of factors when entering a new market. This is its first store in New Mexico.
“We look for locations where there is an opportunity to serve more customers. The Rack typically opens in centers with great retail competition, entertainment and restaurants, where customers frequent several times a week. We want our stores to be as convenient and accessible as possible,” Naomi Tobis said in an email.
“Anecdotally, we’ve been hearing from customers in Albuquerque for quite some time that they would love a Nordstrom offering in the area so we are excited about the opportunity to bring a Nordstrom Rack to the area.”
DSW representatives have not responded to messages about the planned Albuquerque store.
A typical DSW location stocks 24,000 pairs of shoes for men, women and children, according to the website for the Ohio-based chain, though the Albuquerque location is about 20 percent smaller than the average store in terms of square footage.