First look inside Manchester Center's makeover

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- When Manchester Center's makeover is complete, you won't recognize it.

On Friday, Action News got a first look at what's planned for the mall and why the old Gottschalk's building will soon be a gathering spot.

General Manager Mo Bagunu says their first focus has been "To revamp the whole exterior portion of the building."

When you think of malls, you may think of a big building with solid outside walls, but Bagunu says retailers now want open spaces with big windows.

"Blackstone being one of the main thoroughfares in the city. One of the highest trafficked areas in the city was a great selling point for us."

Inside crews are renovating the south section of the mall where the carousel used to be.

"We like to say the horses are resting."

Bagunu expects new retailers to be in place by the holiday shopping season.

"We've got either two 20,000 square foot locations or a 40,000 square foot that's all ready to go."

It's all part of a push to re-invent Manchester Center.

Early next year the old Gottschalk's building will become The Marketplace, home to 11 local eateries.

"We've got Rocket Dog signed up already, we also have Green Family Grill."

Food truck operators Smokin Burrito and Yummy-Z will also open at The Marketplace.

Shoppers will join the 2,000 Caltrans and Fresno Police employees who will enjoy the convience of new dining options.

The second floor of Manchester, even inside the old Gottschalk's building will be used for office space only. All the retail and eating places will be on the first floor.
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