rtkenmore

Alabama Retail Development Atmosphere

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With all the new retail developments going on around the states and recently opened, has anyone heard any rumors on developments in the pipeline.

We've just started hearing about tenants at Bridge Street in Huntsville. I would suspect we'll hear more about prospective tenants for The Falls at Grants Mill (Irondale/Birmingham) once they actually move forward and break ground. Back in Huntsville, I've heard from a couple of people that Colonial & CBL built the new Parkway Place with the idea of expansion (look at the back of the mall if you doubt this; why wouldn't they have put the parking deck there if they didn't plan on expanding towards L&N Drive at some point). Has anyone heard any rumors here? I would suspect possibly Belk, JCPenny, or even Parisian/Dillards to be involved in the third anchor. It's common in some areas for both Dillards & Parisian to have multiple stores (womens store and seperate mens/childrens/home store). The area to the back of the mall lends itself perfect for two wings off the existing mall with an anchor to connect them.

What will happen to Madison Square once Bridge Street opens. My last visit to Madison Square was quite disturbing to see how far downhill the mall had gone. I knew Parkway Place would hurt with so many new to the market stores going there, but it's sad to see what used to be a great shopping destination to go so far down. I would fully expect some of the stores from Madison Square to jump ship to Bridge Street. I saw a post about possible anchors at Bridge Street and I would not be surprised to see Dillards leave Madison Square. I don't know of another national anchor that would venture into the area. I don't view Huntsville as a strong enough demo for the likes of Macy's, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales or Saks. There isn't much more choice than that. Unless Belk jumps in there. It seems Belk is on a major expansion spree right now especially with the purchase of McRae's & Profitt's. The national department store scope has just gotten smaller and smaller over the last couple of years. We're down to Belk, Macy's/Bloomingdale's, Dillards, JCPenny, Sears/KMart, Saks/Parisians, Nordstrom, BonTon Group and I believe that's about it with exception to smaller regional players (which are few and far between now).

What about the Pinnicle at Tutwiler Farm? Any news on tenants there besides Belk, Parisians & JCPenny. What about just up the road from there and the ever rumored Deerfoot Parkway / Bayer Properties project (Bayer developed The Summit)? That project has been very quiet for most of 2005.

And on the heels of the successful opening of Colonial Promenade Alabaster, rumors have started that another huge development is going in across Highway 31 from there. I've heard Target mentioned along with Best Buy. Anyone know details here.

And the one place that just keeps me guessing is Calera, AL - just south of Alabaster. There have been huge tracts of land cleared just of I-65 at the Highway 31 interchange. I've speculated that Home Depot is headed there as their nearest store is 15-20 minutes north of there in Pelham. Lowe's and Home Depot seem to be playing hop scotch along that stretch of interstate with Lowe's going to north Pelham, Home Depot in south Pelham, the new Lowe's at Colonial Promenade in Alabaster and logic would seem to say Home Depot would grab up Calera (especially with Calera being one of the biggest markets for new construction in the area).

Over in east Alabama there is a huge project under way just off of I-20 in Oxford at the future Bypass exit. Anyone know any news there? I've been hard pressed to find anything what-so-ever about the project.

Wow, did I ramble on or what... sorry for the long post.

Robert

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Back in Huntsville, I've heard from a couple of people that Colonial & CBL built the new Parkway Place with the idea of expansion (look at the back of the mall if you doubt this; why wouldn't they have put the parking deck there if they didn't plan on expanding towards L&N Drive at some point). Has anyone heard any rumors here? I would suspect possibly Belk, JCPenny, or even Parisian/Dillards to be involved in the third anchor.
Since Parkway Place was opened just 3 years ago, I doubt that there will be any expansion or renovation there for at least another five years. If a third anchor were to locate there, I would predict either JC Penney or Sears, possibly Belk/McRaes.

I don't view Huntsville as a strong enough demo for the likes of Macy's, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales or Saks. There isn't much more choice than that. Unless Belk jumps in there.

Back in the 90s, Nieman Marcus thought about putting a location in the Fountain, where Costco is now. However, I do not think that they will locate in Bridge Street. To get a good idea about what might go into Bridge Street, go to the Summit in Birmingham. Almost all of the tenants announced so far have locations there.

Many of the tenants will be unique to most cities Huntsville's size. One of the restaurants locating at Bridge Street (Sullivan's Steakhouse) only has locations in cities w/ metros over 1 million. PF Changs is also an exclusive restaurant, only locating in cities with more than 700,000. Huntsville's metro just hit 500,000. Another restaurant I see going there: Cheesecake Factory.

There is definitely going to be a drain in shoppers at Madison Square once Bridge Street opens. Regal Cinemas is the only tenant at Madison Square that has announced it is locating at Bridge Street. But Bridge St will cater to a more upscale demographic than Mad Square.

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Gadsden recently opened Coosa Towne Center with Wal-Mart Supercenter, Old Navy, TJMaxx, some pet store, forgot its name, EBGames, and a few more smaller stores. The Macraes store we had in the mall here closed to make way for Parisian.

Lafferty's Landing begins construction this year with Books A Million, Outback Steakhouse, Pier One Imports, and a few smaller stores.

Another yet un-named retail center near Towne Center should begin ground clearing this summer or fall. They have not officially announced the tennants yet, but have committments from 3 big boxes. The rumble around the Etowah Chamber of Commerce is that those stores are Target, Home Depot and Best Buy, along with I believe it calls for 8 smaller well known national retailers.

There is a lot going on over in Anniston also. They are getting a Best Buy that I believe already has the walls up, and like you mentioned, something near the freeway in Oxford. I've heard it was going to be a mega-antiques mall, but haven't been able to confirm it.

We have been starving to death up here for some big box electronics stores. I was getting a little sick and tired of having to drive into Birmingham just to shop for some gadgets. :D

Edited by EvanK

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According to The Anniston Star, Oxford will be getting a new outdoor mall just off of I-20. Construction is well underway and will include the following stores:

Target, Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx, Best Buy, PetSmart, Old Navy, Ross Dress for Less, Shoe Carnival, Rack Room, Dress Barn, Hibbett Sports, LifeWay Christian Bookstore, Home Depot, Linens 'n Things, David's Bridal, Ashley Furniture, GameStop and Pier 1 Imports.

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Lafferty's Landing begins construction this year with Books A Million, Outback Steakhouse, Pier One Imports, and a few smaller stores.

Another yet un-named retail center near Towne Center should begin ground clearing this summer or fall. They have not officially announced the tennants yet, but have committments from 3 big boxes. The rumble around the Etowah Chamber of Commerce is that those stores are Target, Home Depot and Best Buy, along with I believe it calls for 8 smaller well known national retailers.

I lived on the mountain there for a brief time in 2004. I know what you mean about the lack of stores there. Where is Lafferty's Landing supposed to be? I haven't heard anything about that development yet. I have heard rumors of further development at the Highway 77 exit off I-59 where Wal-Mart and several strip developments have sprung up.

About the other center near Towne Center, where abouts is it rumored? I can't think of a large enough plat of land unless a developer is buying up an entire neighborhood the way the developer did for Wal-Mart. I've wondered how long it would take for Gadsden to pick up a Home Depot. I would imagine Target is looking at building a regular Target store and not a supercenter there. I've heard from several people in the retail environment that the Target Supercenters in Huntsville and Birmingham haven't performed as well as they originally hoped. I've heard a few rumblings of Targets in Birmingham in west Hoover just off Highway 150 at I-459 and also in Alabaster (as previously mentioned). I would doubt either of locations would be Target Supercenters unless they have seen a great turn around from their existing stores. I don't think Target can saturate a market the way Wal-Mart does because they definitely target different demographics.

According to The Anniston Star, Oxford will be getting a new outdoor mall just off of I-20. Construction is well underway and will include the following stores:

Target, Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx, Best Buy, PetSmart, Old Navy, Ross Dress for Less, Shoe Carnival, Rack Room, Dress Barn, Hibbett Sports, LifeWay Christian Bookstore, Home Depot, Linens 'n Things, David's Bridal, Ashley Furniture, GameStop and Pier 1 Imports.

That is about what I was expecting to hear for that area. Anniston/Oxford has definitely been lacking in the big box category and with the by-pass coming down from McClellen right there at that development, I think it's a great location and was just a matter of time to develop.

It sounds about like the same mix of tenants as Colonial Tutwiler Farm & Colonial Promenade Alabaster.

Edited by rtkenmore

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I lived on the mountain there for a brief time in 2004. I know what you mean about the lack of stores there. Where is Lafferty's Landing supposed to be? I haven't heard anything about that development yet. I have heard rumors of further development at the Highway 77 exit off I-59 where Wal-Mart and several strip developments have sprung up.

About the other center near Towne Center, where abouts is it rumored? I can't think of a large enough plat of land unless a developer is buying up an entire neighborhood the way the developer did for Wal-Mart. I've wondered how long it would take for Gadsden to pick up a Home Depot. I would imagine Target is looking at building a regular Target store and not a supercenter there. I've heard from several people in the retail environment that the Target Supercenters in Huntsville and Birmingham haven't performed as well as they originally hoped. I've heard a few rumblings of Targets in Birmingham in west Hoover just off Highway 150 at I-459 and also in Alabaster (as previously mentioned). I would doubt either of locations would be Target Supercenters unless they have seen a great turn around from their existing stores. I don't think Target can saturate a market the way Wal-Mart does because they definitely target different demographics.

That is about what I was expecting to hear for that area. Anniston/Oxford has definitely been lacking in the big box category and with the by-pass coming down from McClellen right there at that development, I think it's a great location and was just a matter of time to develop.

It sounds about like the same mix of tenants as Colonial Tutwiler Farm & Colonial Promenade Alabaster.

Lafferty's is going to be where the old Rainbow Cinemas were, behind Ryans and Arbys on Rainbow Drive. The other center is going to be located where the Goodyear (River Trace) golf course is now. The land has already been sold and the center is being designed. They are supposed to announce the tenants any time now. The center will go all the way from 431 to the river, and supposedly will be larger than Coosa, although I can't see how. I never thought there was that much land there, but then again, I don't design shopping centers, heh.

My honest opinion is, once these 2 centers get up and running, that is going to pretty much fill up our retail needs for now. This is still a very small town and it would be much worse for us to be over saturated with retail than under served because if a large retailer moves into a new area and isn't successful, it is generally a very long time before they would consider that area again.

What I would really like to see now, is for them to finish the riverfront according to the plans, then start geting us some entertainment type things going. A retail boom is wonderful, and we definately have needed it, but there is still not much to do here. You can shop, go out to eat, or get drunk, and that's about it. :D

Gadsden is in a clumsy location anyway traffic wise. I-59 is not one of the more heavily traveled interstates, unlike I-20, which goes right through Oxford. Were I-20 not to be there, you wouldn't see the development going on over there you are seeing now because Anniston/Oxford is also a very small town. It's their location along I-20 that makes it a golden location, not its population.

Edited by EvanK

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"With all the new retail developments going on around the states and recently opened, has anyone heard any rumors on developments in the pipeline."

The Target at the big Colonial Properties development in Gulf Shores will open mid-summer. The center already has a theater multiplex open. After this sizable shopping center is built out, Colonial supposedly has an even larger development in mind for the Gulf Shores area on the order of 100 acres.

In Tuscaloosa, there's surprisingly little in the way of retail development. There's an Academy Sports under construction near the interstate. Across from University Mall at a 35-acre site, Dallas-based Cypress Equities' new urbanist project "Midtown Village" could begin construction sometime this spring (as soon as March), for a mid-2007 opening. The only announced retailer is Barnes & Noble, but I expect the tenant mix will also include Petco, Ross Dress For Less, and Publix, possibly Best Buy. For restaurants, the developers are trying to recruit local places moreso than chains, and rumor is that a dinner theater might be considering a site.

There will be only 200,000 sq ft of retail, to go with 35,000sqft of office space, mixed with as many as 500 apartments or condos in buildings to 4 stories.

Other rumored projects that will include a bit of walkable retail into largely residential projects are Waterworks Landing near the southeast corner by the US 82 bridge, and The Townes of NorthRiver near Sokol Park. The area has a serious shortage of big-box stores, compared to even smaller markets in AL-MS, but I'm not sure where a big-box center will fit.

In Bessemer, the outlet mall looks like it isn't doing too well. It's down to maybe 30 stores.

There's no activity at the land they had cleared a couple years ago for a planned expansion.

Stores like Harry & David are in the process of closing.

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Lafferty's is going to be where the old Rainbow Cinemas were, behind Ryans and Arbys on Rainbow Drive. The other center is going to be located where the Goodyear (River Trace) golf course is now. The land has already been sold and the center is being designed. They are supposed to announce the tenants any time now. The center will go all the way from 431 to the river, and supposedly will be larger than Coosa, although I can't see how. I never thought there was that much land there, but then again, I don't design shopping centers, heh.

Gadsden is in a clumsy location anyway traffic wise. I-59 is not one of the more heavily traveled interstates, unlike I-20, which goes right through Oxford. Were I-20 not to be there, you wouldn't see the development going on over there you are seeing now because Anniston/Oxford is also a very small town. It's their location along I-20 that makes it a golden location, not its population.

I think one of Gadsden's big mistakes was screwing up the I-59/Highway 77 exit the way they did. There was originally to be Wal-Mart Supercenter across the highway in the area of the hotels and behind Ruby Tuesday's with Lowe's relocating behind the BP across the Interstate. I even saw layout plans for the entire development of that intersection (the southwest corner with Lowe's and the northeast corner with Wal-Mart) prior to anything being done. I was working with Waffle House on securing a site at the area for a new store and had direct contact with an insider at Pate on the project. There was some disagreements with Pate & the city over things and ultimately, Lowe's built behind their existing store (which I thought was absolutely insane; they could not have picked a worse location to me). Wal-Mart, as you know, waited out a no-compete clause of some sorts in order to acquire the land they currently sit on. There was some agreement with Pate and the land owner that Wal-Mart ultimately went to they that land owner would not sell his land to any corporation which was planning a competing development to department/grocery or home improvement. Pate was covering their bases in attempting to prevent Home Depot or Target from coming to the interchange. They ultimately screwed theirselves over through the disagreement and Wal-Mart waited out long enough to get the land they have.

I think Gadsden and I-59 could be much better if they tried a little harder. I think the Black Creek Parkway exit off of I-759 would have been a better location to build out a huge development for Wal-Mart such as the Coosa and then have Wal-Mart slide the Highway 77 store back north towards Attalla. In my opinion, that would have opened up Glencoe and east Gadsden for another Wal-Mart in 2-4 years near the original Gadsden Wal-Mart at College Parkway & Highway 431. My opinion is Wal-Mart boxed theirselves in now around Gadsden; Glencoe is too close to the east Gadsden store as is Rainbow City and anything is too close to the Attalla store (including the new Springville store in my opinion). But then again, Wal-Mart doesn't care to canabalize their own same-store sales in order to make a buck with a new store. Sales at the Guntersville store dropped off dramatically when the new Arab & Boaz stores opened less than 15-20 minutes away. And they are literally saturating the Huntsville market with plans for another 3 in various stages.

Birmingham is the same way when it comes to Wal-Mart as I know of at least 5 either in development or strongly rumored (Pinson, Eastwood Mall, Irondale/I-459, south Pelham, Western Hills Mall). I would not be at all surprised to see Wal-Mart in Chelsea soon with a "regular" store only to turn around a couple years later with a Supercenter once the growth supports it. Chelsea right now only has a Winn-Dixie I believe.

In Bessemer, the outlet mall looks like it isn't doing too well. It's down to maybe 30 stores.

There's no activity at the land they had cleared a couple years ago for a planned expansion.

Stores like Harry & David are in the process of closing.

I took a ride out to the outlets a while back and was very disappointed. I had heard things about the center and I was thinking it was a huge center along the lines of what is seen in Boaz, AL (I'm from Guntersville, so I saw the outlet boom begin and end and begin again there). I think the fact that they have a direct exit off the interstate now may help but they need to do something quick. They're going to lose out to the redeveloped Western Hills Mall and Academy Drive if they don't get something going.

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I agree.

The only two "big" outlet malls I've been to in AL are Boaz and Foley.

Since I have a place in Gulf Shores, I go to the one in Foley more than once a year & it's doing really well.

I haven't been up to Boaz in a couple years. It's still doing okay ?

I'll also add that the Eastern Shore Centre in Spanish Fort was really doing a lot of business when I went there in the summer.

The Envision/Beach Place development in downtown Gulf Shores, which will include a retail component, hasn't gotten off the ground yet - no word on that timetable.

"disagreements with Pate & the city"

That's Pate, all right :rofl:

I went to Century Plaza in Birmingham a couple weeks ago, and that section of town doesn't

seem to have much going on anymore. Eastwood Mall is supposed to be replaced at some point, but there's

no sign of progress. It's sad for those of us who can remember when Century-Eastwood was a thriving area.

I'll also add that, as part of its riverfront plans, Northport wants to relocate Bridge Avenue (a block east of downtown Northport) and add about 35,000 sqft of retail plus a grocery store, a couple more restaurants, and east of those, a new city hall.

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The Eastern Shore Center isn't making a lot of money for a lot of the stores. Hollister probably wont reopen when their lease is up and a lot of the stores were dropping like flies. But some stores were doing great. But yea the one in Gulf Shores they are building now is amazing!!! I can't wait until its done!!! oh and in the Springhill area of Mobile a shopping district is being built in an old creole french style. Its no where as large as the other two but its going to have luxury apartments mixed with it. so that should be neat. I think the retail space is 100,000 Sq feet, so not that big.

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"In the Springhill area of Mobile a shopping district is being built in an old creole french style."

Where along Spring Hill ? That sounds neat.

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I agree.

The only two "big" outlet malls I've been to in AL are Boaz and Foley.

Since I have a place in Gulf Shores, I go to the one in Foley more than once a year & it's doing really well.

I haven't been up to Boaz in a couple years. It's still doing okay ?

I'll also add that the Eastern Shore Centre in Spanish Fort was really doing a lot of business when I went there in the summer.

The Envision/Beach Place development in downtown Gulf Shores, which will include a retail component, hasn't gotten off the ground yet - no word on that timetable.

"disagreements with Pate & the city"

That's Pate, all right :rofl:

I went to Century Plaza in Birmingham a couple weeks ago, and that section of town doesn't

seem to have much going on anymore. Eastwood Mall is supposed to be replaced at some point, but there's

no sign of progress. It's sad for those of us who can remember when Century-Eastwood was a thriving area.

I'll also add that, as part of its riverfront plans, Northport wants to relocate Bridge Avenue (a block east of downtown Northport) and add about 35,000 sqft of retail plus a grocery store, a couple more restaurants, and east of those, a new city hall.

Didn't Wal-Mart buy the Eastwood Mall property? Seems like I saw that on television not too long ago. We stopped into Century Plaza this past Christmas, and it was shocking to see that it was almost empty. When we were little kids growing up in Gadsden, our parents would load up the car and we would drive into Birmingham just to go to Century Plaza. Back then in the 1970's it was THE place to be in Birmingham.

It was kinda sad to see it virually empty at such a vital time of year. Times change though I guess.

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Its next to springhill college on dauphin street and I-65 behind the atlanta bread company. Some of the stores will be 3 stories tall. They are trying to attract upscale clothing and stores. Probably way out of my price range!

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Okay, I know where that is. My grandmother lived in the nursing home near that huge Baptist church at that intersection.

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I haven't been up to Boaz in a couple years. It's still doing okay?

All of the centers seem to be doing good except for the "original" center. They have converted one building of it into a 9-screen movie theater and another building into a bowling alley (the only one in Marshall County now that Guntersville's burned and Albertville's was converted to mini-storage). The rest of the buildings are pretty much vacant except for a store here or there (with the exception of the West Point Pepperell building).

Didn't Wal-Mart buy the Eastwood Mall property? Seems like I saw that on television not too long ago. We stopped into Century Plaza this past Christmas, and it was shocking to see that it was almost empty. When we were little kids growing up in Gadsden, our parents would load up the car and we would drive into Birmingham just to go to Century Plaza. Back then in the 1970's it was THE place to be in Birmingham.

Wal-Mart is excercising their due diligence period with an option to buy. I haven't heard any news lately on the status but I would expect an announcment sometime this year (by summer I would presume).

After doing some research for work, I found that AIG Baker has updated their website to include Hayes Marketplace (again) after hearing that the project was cancelled a while back. They still list a department store and a discounter as anchors for the 500,000 sq. ft. development. They are listing it as a power center with an addtional strip center across the road. Is Wal-Mart still in this project or has anyone heard anymore? I know it was first mentioned way back in 2003 I believe with a big write-up in the Birmingham News and even a map showing the road alterations which would be done to accomodate it.

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And just in case you haven't heard today, Saks Inc. announced they are looking for strategic options for their Parisian's chain of stores (looking to sell the chain you have to imagine). This after several months of speculation and Saks saying they would keep the Parisian's chain with the Saks chain.

Knowing the Parisian's are concentrated in the southeast mainly, who's a potential buyer that isn't already represented in the area and who has the cash laying around to pick up another beleagured department store chain.

With the changing of Profitt's & McRae's to Belk later this year, you have to imagine Belk isn't going to be in the market as most of the Parisian stores were already in centers with a McRae's or Profitt's.

My best guess is most likely Dillard's as they are dying to get into several markets in the southeast that they have essentially been locked out of by JC Penny, Sears, Saks/Parisians. I think Dillards was going crazy for the old Macy's space at the Galleria when Saks picked it up for the Profitt's chain. Now you have Saks holding the empty McRae's space there as well as Parisian's, Dillard's seems the likely choice (and then they can seel off stores in overlapping markets).

Any thoughts?

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"My best guess is most likely Dillard's..."

I really hope that doesn't happen !

Dillard's has the largest department store in Tuscaloosa, and Parisian now has two stores in our largest mall, since Saks converted that McRae's into a Parisian instead of selling off to Belk.

A Dillard's-Parisian merger would be the worst possible scenario locally.

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I really hope that doesn't happen !

Dillard's has the largest department store in Tuscaloosa, and Parisian now has two stores in our largest mall, since Saks converted that McRae's into a Parisian instead of selling off to Belk.

A Dillard's-Parisian merger would be the worst possible scenario locally.

For the microcosm of Tuscaloosa, that may be bad but you have to consider the big picture. As far as I remember, there are a lot of locations with Saks stores that don't have a Dillard's (Saks has tried long and hard to keep them out of their market). With Dillard's purchase of Caster Knot several years ago, that was their easy way into the south but they still had several markets that purchase didn't get them into.

Since Saks chose to keep the McRae's in T-town and convert to another Parisian, did Belk pick up anything there? Do have have a presense at all? If not, you might could expect that with a Dillard's - Parisian merger, Dillard's would sell off strategic stores to the likes of Belk. They are very much in expansion mode as I just read an article this morning confirming that Belk is looking for a fifth location for the Birmingham market (recently opened Alabaster, Profitt's conversion at the Galleria, McRae's conversion at Century Plaza and the new store to open in Trussville). They already have stores in Jasper, Gadsden, Cullman (I think) & Guntersville (all within just over an hours drive of B-ham). They did announce however they were closing the Roebuck Plaza McRae's at the end of March (presumably because of the new Trussville location). I would have expected them to leave Roebuck open as a McRae's store until the new Belk was open and then close out the store. With Belk's major expansion, I have to wonder if they are ultimately over saturating their markets now. Store's like Wal-Mart can afford to cut into their own stores sales for the sake of expansion, I would think department stores a little less stable cutting into their own market share by expansion.

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"Since Saks chose to keep the McRae's in T-town and convert to another Parisian, did Belk pick up anything there? Do have have a presense at all?"

No. There was a downtown Belk-Hudson like 40-50 years, though. The building is now a Mellow Mushroom pizza and 4 or 5 smaller local restaurants and bars.

The local Parisian store has been an excellent performer, expanding a couple of times over the years.

"If not, you might could expect that with a Dillard's - Parisian merger, Dillard's would sell off strategic stores to the likes of Belk."

True. It is rumored that both Belk and Kohl's, neither of which has a store here, would be good fits for the local market, so if Dillard's did gobble up Parisian's, they might enter the market that way.

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True. It is rumored that both Belk and Kohl's, neither of which has a store here, would be good fits for the local market, so if Dillard's did gobble up Parisian's, they might enter the market that way.

That's another store I've completely forgotten about, Kohl's. They've just recently come to the Birmingham market with the new store in Trussville & off 280. From what I've seen, I don't know that I would put Kohl's on the same plane as Dillard's, Parisians or even Belk. Walking through a Kohl's store reminds me much more of Sears and the lower end of the department store spectrum.

But picking up vacated stores from a Parisians buyout by Dillard's would be a good way to jump into several markets with most in direct competition with Sears/Kmart I'm sure.

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Agree re: Kohl's.

One other factor I wonder about is that most Dillard's stores I've seen have significantly more square footage than Parisian stores ? Would Dillard's want to adapt to the smaller store format ?

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Agree re: Kohl's.

One other factor I wonder about is that most Dillard's stores I've seen have significantly more square footage than Parisian stores ? Would Dillard's want to adapt to the smaller store format ?

At a couple of locations, I've seen Dillard's do something similar to both Profitt's and Parisians in that they would do multiple stores. A Womens store with a seperate Mens, Childrens & Home store.

If they were lucky enough to pick up stores in locations with Dillard's already in place, they may seperate out existing business into the smaller Parisians areas. I think everyone is working with different prototypes so to speak to see what is going to work in the present marketplace.

Look at Birmingham, JC Penney is doing a new open-air center store at Pinnacle Tutwiler Farms. I think if I recall that store is going to be larger than a standard mall format and is also planned as a one-level location. That's something different that I don't recall ever seeing in JC Penney (except for their Gadsden location which ultimately closed due to poor sales). I think possibly JC Penney sees what Kohl's and the new Sears Grand format is doing at off mall sites and is using the format to move into areas that they previously wouldn't or couldn't. I remember reading a while back that JC Penney was looking at multiple locations in Atlanta for a stand-alone or open-air power center locations.

In a sense, I think as most people do, the traditional mall is a dying format. In our world today, I think retail must come to the people rather than the people going to the retail. I remember in my younger days the opening of Madison Square Mall in Huntsville. I don't recall The Mall before Madison Square opened and lost most of their anchors to the new Madison Square. But you look now with Kohl's out in Madison and Wal-Mart building at every other red light, Madison Square is going downhill. The death nail will be Bridge Street (an open air lifestyle center). I think at that point, you'll see CBL do a major re-evaluation of what to do. I would not be surprised to see Sears leave Madison Square for a stand-alone store to more fully compete with Kohl's and Wal-Mart. Parisians is up in the air there as Dillard's & Belk will both be represented. You already have an "upscale anchor" committed to Bridge Street so what happens with the Parisians space??? I can see Madison Square remodeled and move more upscale along the lines of Brookwood Village if Bridge Street goes over well and another round of new stores starts looking at the Huntsville market. It really is a great location with frontage on 72 as well as Research Park Boulevard (the future Huntsville Bypass Loop).

Enough meandering of conversation...

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I don't know how recently you've been up here to Huntsville, but everyday I pass by to go to work I see a good amount of traffic at Madison Square. I think it is true Madison Square will lose some traffic due to the opening of Bridge Street, but I don't think it will be as serious as some people think. That is until stores start moving from Madison Square to Bridge Street.

You gotta remember that Bridge Street will probably cater more to the upscale type crowd(except for the whole cinema complex thing). There will be enough people to support the three (big) shopping destinations in Huntsville. With Huntsville growing the way it is I don't see where there will be that big of a dropoff in traffic to the malls.

You gotta also think that the opening of

Bridge Street will bring in some people who might not come to the Huntsville area that often to shop. I'm sure they'll want to check it out.

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Here's an article mentioning the Dillard's-Parisian's possibility:

http://www.al.com/business/birminghamnews/...5640.xml&coll=2

"I would not be surprised to see Sears leave Madison Square for a stand-alone store..."

I guess everything comes full circle. I remember Sears' stand-alone stores in Tuscaloosa and Birmignham when I was young. The big one in B'ham included features like a candy counter and a huge toy selection, and was more "department store-like," and the one on 15th Street in Tuscaloosa (where a bowling alley, a Vietnamese restaurant, and an Indian restaurant are now) was rather "Wal-Mart-like," even including a garden center.

I haven't seen JC Penney's new stand-alone sites yet.

I do vaguely remember JC Penney's downtown store (which dated to the 1920s), before the mall was built in the early 1980s.

"With Huntsville growing the way it is..."

Especially if Huntsville-Decatur lands another "big fish" like the Kia plant, that would go a long way toward maintaining the viability of the major retail centers up there.

"You gotta also think that the opening of

Bridge Street will bring in some people who might not come to the Huntsville area that often to shop. I'm sure they'll want to check it out."

One key will be how much "different" Bridge Street brings to the table on a regional scale.

If they bring in new stores, restaurants, and entertainment not already available in Birmingham, then a lot of us from all over the state will check it out.

Edited by DruidCity

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I don't know how recently you've been up here to Huntsville, but everyday I pass by to go to work I see a good amount of traffic at Madison Square. I think it is true Madison Square will lose some traffic due to the opening of Bridge Street, but I don't think it will be as serious as some people think. That is until stores start moving from Madison Square to Bridge Street.

You gotta remember that Bridge Street will probably cater more to the upscale type crowd(except for the whole cinema complex thing). There will be enough people to support the three (big) shopping destinations in Huntsville. With Huntsville growing the way it is I don't see where there will be that big of a dropoff in traffic to the malls.

You gotta also think that the opening of Bridge Street will bring in some people who might not come to the Huntsville area that often to shop. I'm sure they'll want to check it out.

A more upscale crowd, yes, but keep in mind that Parkway Place is going for the more upscale crowd as well. Gap has already talked about leaving Madison Square once they opened at Parkway Place (I had a close friend who was a manager and he even told me that corporate told them to expect that store to close within a year after Parkway Place). With Bridge Street now, I would fully expect to see Gap jump ship to Bridge Street along with Eddie Bauer and any of those other borderline upscale stores. Retailers have their preferences and like being with certain other retailers. There are a lot of retailers that will sign a tenative lease agreement with a developer only to put a stipulation that the developer MUST get a signed lease agreement from retailer A, B & C; otherwise, the original is null and void. (Sidenote to that, I think that's why news is so slow about Deerfoot Parkway and Bayer's Development there. Barnes & Noble I'm sure is signed on along with Gap, Bath & Body Works, Bed Bath & Beyond but they're waiting until they get the conditional tenants to join this and of course a major department anchor before anouncing anything). Imagine anything you see at the Summit in Birmingham, if they are at Madison Square now, they won't be long. So far, everything I've heard about tenants at Bridge Street is right along the lines of the tenant mix at the Summit. I can't imagine that the higher end Madison Square stores will stay unless CBL is already planning something major for the center.

And the last time I was at Madison Square, it was a weekend evening. All I'll say is that I felt very uncomfortable being there and leave it at that.

Here's an article mentioning the Dillard's-Parisian's possibility:

http://www.al.com/business/birminghamnews/...5640.xml&coll=2

I guess everything comes full circle. I remember Sears' stand-alone stores in Tuscaloosa and Birmignham when I was young. The big one in B'ham included features like a candy counter and a huge toy selection, and was more "department store-like," and the one on 15th Street in Tuscaloosa (where a bowling alley, a Vietnamese restaurant, and an Indian restaurant are now) was rather "Wal-Mart-like," even including a garden center.

I haven't seen JC Penney's new stand-alone sites yet.

I do vaguely remember JC Penney's downtown store (which was Alabama's first Penney's location), before the mall was built in the early 1980s.

You beat me to the article. I was about to post it when I logged in and saw you already had. Kind of odd but it's the truth. And I would hardly agree with the closing lines... Dillard's is moving upscale?? Not any of the ones I've seen. From the stores I've been in, I'd say Dillard's and Parisians are right in line with each other product wise.

Everyone has to remember, Sears isn't Sears any longer, it's Kmart (although the Sears name will survive unlike many of the names in the recent Federated-May & Belk-McRae-Proffitt's mergers). Sears/Kmart is going to start going head to head with Wal-Mart, Khol's, Target (although Target is more upscale than any of the three) and other discount retailer's. I've seen many articles about Sears new Grand concept that is primarily an off-mall product. They're looking to get into the neighborhoods and areas that don't neccesarily have a regional mall and go head to head with Wal-Mart primarily. Wal-Mart is doing the same and I think they feel the growing pressure as they have started selling appliances at some stores; they've increased the size of garden centers to better carry lawn equipment (which puts them in competition with Lowe's & Home Depot as well); and overall, they're making their stores more neighborhood friendly so that it isn't a big gray and blue box in the middle of an asphalt parking lot. If anyone has seen the new Alabaster store, it's unlike any I've ever seen Wal-Mart do and to me, it's one of the most pleasing stores (with exception of some of the ones required to be full brick exteriors by code) that I've ever been in. Wal-Mart is growing up and realizing they have to change as well and do more to keep the community and people happy.

One key will be how much "different" Bridge Street brings to the table on a regional scale.

If they bring in new stores, restaurants, and entertainment not already available in Birmingham, then a lot of us from all over the state will check it out.

I don't think you'll ever see a major retailer build their first location outside of the Birmingham Metro. The Birmingham-Hoover Metro is what puts Alabama on the map to most retailers because of it's size. If you go back and look, a lot of the newest retailers in Birmingham didn't arrive until after the Metro area added additional counties and the population increased to over a million (and also to the 48th largest). You're population cutoffs are usually pretty obvious for retailers minds: 25,000+, 50,000+, 100,000+, 250,000+, 500,000+ and 1,000,000+. The other benchmark is being in the Top 50 Metros in the country.

I think part of the reason you're seeing some of the chains going to Bridge Street is because they've done so well in Birmingham. Notice the next time you go shopping, they ask for your zip code almost 100% of the time. They say it's for their mailing list (and it usually is) but it's also for something more. They're tracking sales by zip code. Where are people coming from and how much are they spending? That's why you saw the recent addition of Old Navy in Gadsden (Trussville's location was constantly full of people from Gadsden). Coldwater Creek, White House Black Market and other's that are debuting at Bridge Street have tracked their Birmingham stores and realized, we can move there and pick up all this business plus probably expand to a new clientale that doesn't even know we exist in Birmingham. PF Chang's is another example. I remember contacting PF Chang's several years ago (not long after Macaroni Grill opened) with an e-mail that I would love to see a location in Huntsville. Huntsville was already on their radar as I received an e-mail back that "We are currently scouting the Huntsville/Decatur region for a potential site. We look forward to expanding into this new and exciting market" (you get the point).

As we tell people in our business every day, "Retail follows the rooftops." Retail comes to Alabama by way of Birmingham and I think it will always be that way. With the addition of the norther bypass (by 2020 supposedly), I would expect the Birmingham-Hoover Metro to include Cullman & Talledega County and quite possibly by then, also include (or on the verge of including) the seperate Tuscaloosa, Anniston-Oxford, and Gadsden Metros to become the Birmingham-Tuscaloosa-Anniston Metropolitan Area (with several smaller Micropolitan areas with its bounds). At that point (when it happens because I think it's inevitable), you have a Metro behemoth in Alabama of potentially 14 counties covering quite possibly 40-60% of the state population (Birmingham-Hoover MSA already covers approximately 25% of the state population).

Again, I've rambled on too long...

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