DALLAS — At a time when a lot of malls are closing across the country, a North Texas mainstay is getting a new breath of life.

Community members helped break ground on Phase One of Reimagine Red Bird on Tuesday. The $160-million redevelopment plan in the works at the mall has been a hot topic across southern Dallas.

Inside Red Bird Mall, right now, some retail spaces are dark and empty on the second floor. Only a few vendors are still scattered across that level and doing business.

Mall walker Billye Allen said, "When I moved here in '86, this mall was very, very, popular.

The mall’s popularity has declined over the years. However, new owner Peter Brodsky, his partners and their team are working to make a major turnaround at Red Bird.

"Red Bird Mall and malls all over the country have to be re-imagined, because the old business model doesn't work," Brodsky said.

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Brodsky unveiled new designs and strategy for the mall’s redevelopment. Inside, most retailers have been moved to the first floor. The second story will become a hub for business offices. Neighbors and customers will notice more changes outside.

"The first thing the community will see is a new 20,000 square foot building that's going to go up right in the parking field of the former Macy's," Brodsky said.

They are also transforming part of the parking lot into a one-acre green space and adding new streets and landscaping to encourage walkability.

The mall owner also announced Marriott Courtyard will open a hotel on the campus. A 300-unit, high end, apartment building will also break ground before the end of 2019. Families and children will enjoy the indoor trampoline park that will move into the old Macy’s space. There will also be an outdoor walking trail for the community to enjoy.

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“Oh, I love it,” Allen said. “I love it. I love it. We need this in this area."

Phase One of Reimagine Red Bird will take about two and a half years to complete. For now, Brodsky us urging community members to continue supporting the more than 100 retailers whose businesses will remain open during construction and renovations.

For more information about Reimagine Red Bird, visit its website.