The 3-story anchor formerly occupied by Dillard's will be converted to a bazaar, similar to a flea market, with booths for local vendors. Mall owners say the bazaar, with more than 200 booths, will act as an incubator for startup businesses.
The mall's entrances and bathrooms will be remodeled. In the center court, the carousel will be moved to make way for a new stage and entertainment area, complete with $100,000 worth of new sound and lighting equipment, Ruiz said.
Plans also include turning the former Montgomery Ward into an entertainment venue like a nightclub. Adjacent to it, mall owners want to build a rodeo arena capable of hosting national competitions that can also be used as a concert venue; that project is expected to be built over three to five years, Ruiz said.
Entertainment and cultural activities at the mall have already begun and will play a critical role in the mall's revitalization, Legaspi said.
A circus opens this weekend and there are plans to celebrate upcoming holidays such as El Dia de los Ninos, Cinco de Mayo and Mother's Day. A mariachi band plays every Sunday.