ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Larry Chavez wants to bring some more food to the Uptown table.
The Albuquerque businessman has plans for a new restaurant-centric project in one of the city’s most active shopping, dining and entertainment districts.
Chavez, president of Albuquerque-based DreamStyle Remodeling, said he intends to tear down a former company administrative building across Indian School from Winrock Town Center and replace it with a new 6,000-square-foot building. He expects to fill the new space with up to four food-related tenants. Demolition should take place in the next two months, and he anticipates the project, which will cost an estimated $1.3 million, will be done and available for tenants as early as September.
No businesses have signed on yet, but based on the attention the property has generated since it emptied more than a year ago, he believes he will get it filled.
“We’re going to build it, and I anticipate there’s a good chance we’ll have part of it or all of it leased by (the time it’s done),” Chavez said.
DreamStyle left the property more than a year ago when it consolidated most of its operations at a new headquarters in the Renaissance area. Chavez said he has had “quite a bit of interest” from potential tenants for the space, including at least one restaurant. He said he fielded an offer to buy the property outright.
Noting the crowds that flock to the area — especially for the 16-screen multiplex at Winrock — Chavez ultimately saw it as an opportunity to develop something himself. His goal is a”food court” type venue that offers customers a little variety and relatively easy in-and-out access.
“Every time I get up to go eat lunch I say, ‘Where are we going to eat?’ even though nearby there are lots of places,” he said. “So my thinking is somebody could say ‘Let’s go to the Uptown food court. There are several choices there. You can go pull in the parking lot park and then decide.'”
The building he plans to demolish originated as a gas station more than 60 years ago, and had a later life as a safe company, he said. Chavez’s firm moved to the site on the north side of Indian School between Louisiana and Pennsylvania in the 1990s.