INDIANAPOLIS – Efforts to redevelop the Lafayette Square Mall area are finally underway.

Sojos Capital, the company behind the renovations, broke ground Tuesday on a new cinema nearby. The announcement comes as plans to revitalize the neighborhood are growing more ambitious.

“It’s great to see the development that is, in fact, going on here and particularly in one of our most culturally diverse areas of the city,” Mayor Joe Hogsett said Tuesday.

Construction has already begun on the vacant Georgetown 14 Cinema. Replacing it is a bigger, dine-in theater. The International Marketplace neighborhood will soon be home to the first Alamo Drafthouse Indiana location – a theater with 14 screens, nearly a thousand seats and a full food and drink menu.

“I was far in the negotiations with one of the biggest, if not the biggest, franchise cinema in the world,” developer Fabio de la Cruz said. “I feel right because we like to have something unique, something colorful, something fun.”

Developer Fabio de la Cruz said it’s the first of many commercial projects in the area for his company, Sojos Capital. But to pull it off, a grocery store next door will need to close.

“I’m sorry to see the Save A Lot is going to be going away, but the theater is going to more than make up for that,” Clint Fultz said.

Clint Fultz built Georgetown 14 Cinema in 2004. Now as vice president of the Pike Township Residents’ Association, he’s optimistic about the area’s future.

“It’s always been a regional retail destination,” Fultz said. “It can’t be that anymore, but it can be a neighborhood.”

Directly across the road is Lafayette Square Mall, where Sojos Capital is building a mixed-use destination first valued around $200 million – until de la Cruz said the vision started expanding.

“It can be a billion, it can be more,” De la Cruz explained. “I didn’t say that it would be a billion, but it’s really likely it’s going to be like that because now what we’re doing is – creating these kind of partnerships, we can make something a lot better, a lot bigger.”

The identities of tenants expected to populate the reimagined mall are being kept tightly under wraps, for now. De la Cruz said an updated master plan will be released by the end of the year. Until then, the neighborhood is wondering what will come of the original “Window to the World” concept.

“People like me who aren’t fully informed are waiting on pins and needles to see what they’re going to do,” Fultz said.

Alamo Drafthouse is expected to open by spring 2024.