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Alabama Retail Development Atmosphere

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Huntsville is going to grow by at least 60,000 people within the next five years (30000 BRAC prediction, 30000 normal growth). There will be enough people to sustain 3 major shopping areas.

I don't think you'll ever see a major retailer build their first location outside of the Birmingham Metro.
Uhh, Kohl's and JC Penney put their first Alabama locations in Huntsville.

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Huntsville is going to grow by at least 60,000 people within the next five years (30000 BRAC prediction, 30000 normal growth). There will be enough people to sustain 3 major shopping areas.

Where did the statistics for normal growth come from? Considering that both the Hunstville MSA & Decatur MSA have only added just under 16,000 people in 3 years time (July 1, 2000 to July 1, 2003 according to the Census Bureau; comparatively, the Birmingham-Hoover MSA grew by just under 20,000 in the same time frame and is already 3 times larger than the Huntsville MSA), I don't see how anyone can say the normal growth would be 30,000 more in 5 years. Not saying your wrong or that I'm right, but looking at the trends, 30,000 in regular growth (not counting anyone associated with BRAC) would be stretching it for the Huntsville MSA in my opinion.

And you're not really talking about three major shopping areas... You're talking about South Parkway and the Research Park Boulevard cooridor. Bridge Street is less than 5 minutes from Madison Square; you can't classify that as a different area. They will affect each other tremendously in the shopping patterns of that section of Huntsville.

Also, do you really suspect that all 30,000 thousand of the BRAC will move into Madison County proper however? I would suspect hardly half of the 30,000 from BRAC will actually move into Madison County with the majority choosing to go to Limestone, Morgan, Marshall & Jackson Counties. The last BRAC saw a decent influx into the Arab & Guntersville areas of Marshall County. Granted, depending on the environment the BRAC transfer come from, homes in Huntsville may be "dirt cheap" or "sky high". That's ultimately what is going to determine who falls out where. The people from more affluent areas are going to settle into the affluent areas of Huntsville which they will feel are "cheap" comparatively. Others will filter out to Morgan & Marshall County where they feel they're getting their money's worth but may be spending more than they would like to.

Uhh, Kohl's and JC Penney put their first Alabama locations in Huntsville.

And how far back in history are you going to pull that JC Penney's first store was Huntsville? I'm talking about the current retail environment. You can hardly compare 10, 15 or 20 years ago to what's going on in the marketplace today.

Kohl's, on the other hand, entered the Huntsville & Birmingham markets almost simultaneously (I believe there was about a years difference from the Huntsville store opening and the first one in Birmingham). Key here though is Kohl's had already entered the Nashville/Franklin market in Tennessee and chose to enter Huntsville first based off demographics from that store.

Anyway...

Edited by rtkenmore

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Where did the statistics for normal growth come from? Considering that both the Hunstville MSA & Decatur MSA have only added just under 16,000 people in 3 years time (July 1, 2000 to July 1, 2003 according to the Census Bureau; comparatively, the Birmingham-Hoover MSA grew by just under 20,000 in the same time frame and is already 3 times larger than the Huntsville MSA), I don't see how anyone can say the normal growth would be 30,000 more in 5 years. Not saying your wrong or that I'm right, but looking at the trends, 30,000 in regular growth (not counting anyone associated with BRAC) would be stretching it for the Huntsville MSA in my opinion.

16000 people have moved to Madison County alone in the past 4 years. This doesn't count the other counties that should be considered the Huntsville/Decatur metro (commuting % at or over 20%):Limestone, Morgan, Lincoln (TN), Jackson, and Marshall. This is where most, if not all, of the BRAC/other growth will be centered. If my addition is correct, these counties along w/ Madison have grown by nearly 32,000 in the past 5 years.Then consider the amount of service job growth that will follow the BRAC move. That will make the "normal" growth rate for the next 5 years well over 30,000.

Also, retailers don't look at just the "metro area" of a city, they look at the region. Retailers know that Huntsville's business does not come from only Madison and Limestone counties.

Also, do you really suspect that all 30,000 thousand of the BRAC will move into Madison County proper however? I would suspect hardly half of the 30,000 from BRAC will actually move into Madison County with the majority choosing to go to Limestone, Morgan, Marshall & Jackson Counties. The last BRAC saw a decent influx into the Arab & Guntersville areas of Marshall County. Granted, depending on the environment the BRAC transfer come from, homes in Huntsville may be "dirt cheap" or "sky high". That's ultimately what is going to determine who falls out where. The people from more affluent areas are going to settle into the affluent areas of Huntsville which they will feel are "cheap" comparatively. Others will filter out to Morgan & Marshall County where they feel they're getting their money's worth but may be spending more than they would like to.
No, I do not believe that all of the growth will stay in MadCo (see above). I believe that over half will go to Madison, but areas like Athens, Priceville, Arab, Ardmore, North Marshall and South Lincoln will be the major growth areas in the next 5 years.

And how far back in history are you going to pull that JC Penney's first store was Huntsville? I'm talking about the current retail environment. You can hardly compare 10, 15 or 20 years ago to what's going on in the marketplace today.

JCPenney came to Huntsville in 1927. But it is more significant b/c Huntsville had only 10,000 people then, while Birmingham had a population well into the 100,000s.

Other Huntsville stores that were first in Alabama: Costco (around 2000), Kroger (1955), and Publix (late '90s).

Edited by jmanhsv

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16000 people have moved to Madison County alone in the past 4 years. This doesn't count the other counties that should be considered the Huntsville/Decatur metro (commuting % at or over 20%):Limestone, Morgan, Lincoln (TN), Jackson, and Marshall. This is where most, if not all, of the BRAC/other growth will be centered. If my addition is correct, these counties along w/ Madison have grown by nearly 32,000 in the past 5 years.Then consider the amount of service job growth that will follow the BRAC move. That will make the "normal" growth rate for the next 5 years well over 30,000.

According to the Census Bureau, there is no other county considered part of the Huntsville MSA. Madison comprises the entire Huntsville MSA. Morgan is the only county of the Decatur MSA. Marshall, Jackson & Lincoln (TN) are not included in any of those metros. Even with the revised definitions as of 2003, the Huntsville-Decatur CSA does not include either Jackson or Marshall.

07/2004 07/2003 07/2002 07/2001 07/2000 Net 2000-2004

.Jackson County 53,821 53,929 53,931 54,070 54,025 -204

.Madison County 293,072 289,343 285,375 280,991 277,837 15,235

.Marshall County 84,781 84,110 83,318 82,364 82,320 2,461

.Morgan County 113,211 112,856 111,756 111,654 111,214 1,997

These are the official Census estimates for off census years. Madison County as a whole is just over 15,000 in four years. Total growth for the four counties is a under 20,000 (not 32,000; although I realize the Census numbers are not counting 2005 estimates, there's no way 12,000 people moved to the area from July of 2004 to present). Jackson County has actually experienced a net loss in that time.

Also, retailers don't look at just the "metro area" of a city, they look at the region. Retailers know that Huntsville's business does not come from only Madison and Limestone counties.

No, I do not believe that all of the growth will stay in MadCo (see above). I believe that over half will go to Madison, but areas like Athens, Priceville, Arab, Ardmore, North Marshall and South Lincoln will be the major growth areas in the next 5 years.

I realize that don't specifically look at the core metro area entirely but it plays a mjore role in their decisions. 20 years ago, people would drive 30 minutes or an hour to shop. They didn't expect the convenience of a store around the corner from their house. I remember being yound and it was a big deal for us to drive to Huntsville on a Saturday to go shopping at the mall. The core MSA is the biggest predictor for a retail chain because that will be their core customer base. But they spread out from there in the obligatory 5, 10, 15, 20, etc mile radius' to also figure populations, incomes, trends, etc. to measure projections for their business.

JCPenney came to Huntsville in 1927. But it is more significant b/c Huntsville had only 10,000 people then, while Birmingham had a population well into the 100,000s.

Other Huntsville stores that were first in Alabama: Costco (around 2000), Kroger (1955), and Publix (late '90s).

10,000??? Where are you getting your numbers? The Census Bureau puts the Huntsville/Madison area with a population of 82,000+ in the 1920's (according to historical Census data from Census.gov).

But again, I'm talking about the current retail environment and the previous few years. You can't really consider JC Penney opening in Huntsville in 1927 before Birmingham as too much of a big deal. Back then, you found a space downtown and set up a 5,000 sq. ft. shop. It's a little different these days.

And also, I'm talking about retail primarily, not grocers. Kroger, Publix, Food World, etc. are a completely different business from the retail of Kohl's, Sears, Dillards, Macy's, etc. Publix isn't going to look at an overall MSA to determine whether they enter a market; they're going to look at a 1 mile, 5 mile, 10 mile radius (I know, I worked briefly with a Publix land scout and found out their criteria). At the time, they required a population within the 10 mile radius of around 50,000 with a median income of some $50,000-60,000. Publix, unless they've changed, is a very high end grocer when it comes to their criteria for a plot of land. But like I said, I'm talking about true retail sector businesses not grocers. Retail business is very much driven my MSA statistics and median incomes.

And I notice your signature, it's quite misleading. The Census Bureau doesn't recognize two of the three you list.

The Huntsville-Decatur CSA (Combined Statistical Area) is legitimate (Huntsville MSA & Decatur MSA).

Guntersville is not a primary city in any MSA or mSA definition. Marshall County is defined as the Albertville mSA (Micropolitan Statistical Area) which includes the populations of Guntersville, Arab & Boaz as well as Marshall County as a whole. Nor by any definition is the Albertville mSA currently included into any larger MSA or CSA.

Scottsboro is considered the Scottsboro mSA and incompasses Jackson County. And same thing, the Scottsboro mSA is currently not included in any larger MSA or CSA.

I can't find any reference to any mSA or MSA that includes Fayetteville, TN.

Edited by rtkenmore

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Isn't Madison Square schedule for a complete makeover soon? Lifestyle center maybe

CBL won't let this moneymaker slip much.

Gap is closing it's store at MadSQ

One major shopping area overlooked is Valley Bend. At one time

Belks and Kohl's were planning stores there. Hampton Cove , McMullen Cove

will be too many rooftops to ignore in the near future. Chase/Gurley WalMart

can't be far behind. Please no blue/grey box. Huntsville impose some backbone against this

horrid design. FYI Kohls and Home Depot on University are in The Huntsville City limits. Lowes is in Madison's

A few thoughts, a major shopping center is screaming to be built at the future Parkway/Bob Wade interchange, SuperTarget maybe?

Meridianville/Hazel Green will be/is the next Madison in regard to growth.

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Isn't Madison Square schedule for a complete makeover soon? Lifestyle center maybe

CBL won't let this moneymaker slip much.

Gap is closing it's store at MadSQ

One major shopping area overlooked is Valley Bend. At one time

Belks and Kohl's were planning stores there. Hampton Cove , McMullen Cove

will be too many rooftops to ignore in the near future. Chase/Gurley WalMart

can't be far behind. Please no blue/grey box. Huntsville impose some backbone against this

horrid design. FYI Kohls and Home Depot on University are in The Huntsville City limits. Lowes is in Madison's

A few thoughts, a major shopping center is screaming to be built at the future Parkway/Bob Wade interchange, SuperTarget maybe?

Meridianville/Hazel Green will be/is the next Madison in regard to growth.

1. CBL did an exterior "freshening" a while back but I don't recall how long it's been. Are you saying that the Madison Square Gap is definitely closing? Have they announced any other stores or are they just reducing to Parkway Place for now?

2. Yeah, Valley Bend did get skipped on my radar. I've been expecting an anouncement for some time in regards to Valley Bend and across the street from the present center. With Lowe's going to Hampton Cove, Home Depot can't be far behind at either Hampton Cove as well or Valley Bend. And with Belk picking up the Madison Square location (McRae's; do they have another Huntsville store?), they will probably be looking for further expansion as well. Valley Bend would be a nice fit for them I would imagine.

3. Over the Mountain/Gurley Wal-Mart is already in the planning stages. Look for a future Wal-Mart on 72 east of Chapman Mountain to open in 2007 (if it's on schedule).

4. Interesting, I didn't realize Home Depot/Kohl's were still in Huntsville. I just assumed all of that growth was in the city of Madison.

5. A friend of mine with Wal-Mart (he can name off every storein development in North Alabama and most of them in the Birmingham area as well) has said it's rumored within Wal-Mart that Target is looking over the mountain on 72 for a location rather than up 431/231. I think they're thinking with that is that they would be more likley to pull from Jackson County at that point and they are a little further away from their University Drive store.

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According to the Census Bureau, there is no other county considered part of the Huntsville MSA. Madison comprises the entire Huntsville MSA. Morgan is the only county of the Decatur MSA.

Huntsville MSA includes Madison and Limestone Counties. Decatur Msa includes Morgan and Limestone.

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And about that Target over here.... Are you kidding me? I would love to see one out here, but I thought Target only looked at areas with over 50,000 people. This area has 30,000 at most. Anyhow, it would be great for this area.

According to my friend, Wal-Mart already has the land and is moving forward quickly. I think once they complete land prep, Wal-Mart takes something like 10-12 months to build out (Wal-Mart in Alabaster starting vertical work fall/winter of 2004 and opened last October I believe it was.

I don't know Target's demos that they normally run off of but that seems to be the rumor floating around in the retail circles according to him. I really think it will come down to a race to see who can build out and open first. I would not be surprised to see something along the lines of the Target center on University or Valley Bend ultimately end up over there. May see Wal-Mart/Target come first followed a couple years later by the additional space.

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According to my friend, Wal-Mart already has the land and is moving forward quickly. I think once they complete land prep, Wal-Mart takes something like 10-12 months to build out (Wal-Mart in Alabaster starting vertical work fall/winter of 2004 and opened last October I believe it was.

I don't know Target's demos that they normally run off of but that seems to be the rumor floating around in the retail circles according to him. I really think it will come down to a race to see who can build out and open first. I would not be surprised to see something along the lines of the Target center on University or Valley Bend ultimately end up over there. May see Wal-Mart/Target come first followed a couple years later by the additional space.

Good info rtkenmore, thanks! Interesting in the annexing wars between Madison and Huntsville. Huntsville has been VERY aggressive in annexing and basically has a choke hold on Madison which is basically an

overpriced bedroom suburb. Huntsville was very wise and controls most of the prime real estate around

the high income burb. HSV has surrounded Madison which probably will never become much more of a retail center than it already is other than smaller type of stores and restaurants. For some reason retail never

completely latched on to Madison, probably too high prices and questionable city government. The area

along Madison Blvd from I-565 past the airport to County Line is still ripe for development especially if the long sought after I-565/County Line Rd interchange is built, as well as the Memphis Atlanta expressway.

The new interchange at I-65 and Huntsville/Browns Ferry? Rd will also spur development in that area.

Do you know exactly where this Wal Mart land is? New overpasses/intercahnges are scheduled to begin construction this year I think at MooresMill and Shields Rd so probably just beyond Shields(eastbound)

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Madison Square renovation plan will be revealed this Thursday. Will include new entrances, signs logo, escalators, elevators, carpeting, bathrooms etc. Hopefully the outside will be freshened up as well.

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- $50M development "Caufield Square" is set to begin construction in Gardendale soon. The 300,000+sqft mixed-use development will have residential and retail components including a movie theatre, bowling alley, and several other retailers and restaurants. Coldstone Creamery is rumored to be one of the future tenants of Caufield Square. Work should begin some time this Spring.

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- $50M development "Caufield Square" is set to begin construction in Gardendale soon. The 300,000+sqft mixed-use development will have residential and retail components including a movie theatre, bowling alley, and several other retailers and restaurants. Coldstone Creamery is rumored to be one of the future tenants of Caufield Square. Work should begin some time this Spring.

Coldstone Creamery is confirmed as the developer, Palladium Properties, is acting as the franchisee of Coldstone. There was an article in todays Business Journal regarding this development.

Two other articles of interest also were in today's weekly update:

The Falls at Grant's Mill - talking about how the project seems to be stalled and the developers are re-evaluating the retail environment; also talking with a large scale company to assume a section of development that would be synergistic to what he developers are planning (I can only guess Wal-Mart).

Lakeshore Parkway Retail & Commercial Boom Ahead - Talking about the impending growth explosion along the Lakeshore coridor from 65 to 150 (and although it doesn't mention it, ultimately to 459 when the extension is complete). I had not even though about this area when I originally posted this topic but after reading this, it makes sense that the Lakeshore area would boom considering Ross Bridge and several other developments in the works now.

BTW, When someone hear's the latest on Madison Square after the announcment, be sure to post an update. Would love to hear what CBL has planned for the center.

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Birmingham-Hoover: 1,082,193

Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman: 1,161,382

Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman-Tusc.: 1,328,486

I just have to comment real quick on your signature...

I think the current 7-County Birmingham-Hoover MSA will very soon (2-5 years) be modified to include Cullman as well as Talledega Counties. With Honda expanding so rapidly in Lincoln, I think it's only inevitable to see major growth continue in that direction. There are at least 5-8 large scale subdivisions either in development or under construction from Moody/Leeds through Pell City and into Lincoln.

As for Tuscaloosa, I would imagine (and I will not even guess a timeframe on it) that ultimately either Hale or Greene (or both) will be dropped from the Tuscaloosa MSA and that Tuscaloosa County will be included in the Birmingham-Hoover MSA. Same deal applies, with Mercedes expanding so much and the area from Bessemer to the outskirts of Tuscaloosa slowly growing together, it's another inevitable thing for the amount of commuters to grow to the point that it would have to for inclusion. There are several developments under construction off Eastern Valley Road from McCalla towards Tuscaloosa County with several others in the Vance area. I've seen more and more people from the Birmingham area move out there because of the housing costs being so much cheaper comparatively. And when you think about it, it's not that bad of a drive from Vance to downtown Birmingham when you compare it to the parking lot that is I-65 & US 31 in the mornings and afternoons.

Anyway, my two cents worth on that topic.

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"As for Tuscaloosa, I would imagine (and I will not even guess a timeframe on it) that ultimately either Hale or Greene (or both) will be dropped from the Tuscaloosa MSA and that Tuscaloosa County will be included in the Birmingham-Hoover MSA"

I agree. I can see that happening eventually, but no time soon.

The area between Mercedes and Bessemer, though beginning to grow, is still pretty sparsely developed.

The population base of metro B'ham as a whole is still shifting east. The eventual I-459 extension in western Jefferson County could change some of metro B'ham's development patterns in the west, though.

It won't surprise me if Pickens is added to Tuscaloosa-Hale-Greene fairly soon, as it narrowly missed the cut in the last census.

One interesting county is Bibb. Though technically part of metro B'ham, Bibb also has a fairly sizable % of residents who commute to Tuscaloosa County, and the Bibb County town of Woodstock has begun annexing into eastern Tusc. County.

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"As for Tuscaloosa, I would imagine (and I will not even guess a timeframe on it) that ultimately either Hale or Greene (or both) will be dropped from the Tuscaloosa MSA and that Tuscaloosa County will be included in the Birmingham-Hoover MSA"

I agree. I can see that happening eventually, but no time soon.

The area between Mercedes and Bessemer, though beginning to grow, is still pretty sparsely developed.

The population base of metro B'ham as a whole is still shifting east. The eventual I-459 extension in western Jefferson County could change some of metro B'ham's development patterns in the west, though.

The northern half of 459 is going to alter the Birmingham-Hoover MSA beyond everyones expections I believe. I don't think anyone can predict what's going to happen; especially considering that the likes of Lowe's, Home Depot, Wal-Mart and such are ALREADY buying up real estate in the proposed coridor not to mention along the final stretch of I-22 as well. There are some big land owners that had political interest in the routing of both of those rodes that will come out very wealthy because of it.

As for the shift to the east, I don't know if that can really be substantiated. Being in the real estate business, I see too many new developments and proposed developments in the western areas of Birmingham (especially the McCalla area down Eastern Valley Road). I know one builder in particular that has something in the neighborhood of 1000 lots in process (just started construction on first phase of a 200 lot S/D) with around a 900 unit development planned at 459/150. Adam's Homes is off to a grand start in the area as well with I believe two developments and possibly a third in the McCalla area. If you're familiar with Letson Farms and it's tremendous size, there's another development soon to start across the interstate from there that tenatively is even larger.

I can't name anything out I-20 that is comparable in size to some of these developments with the exception of Fox Hollow. Avalon in Moody is close at around 300-400 lots in all I believe.

There are currently just over 1850 properties in the Moody/Leeds/Pell City/Lincoln area that are either Under Construction or Complete and are actively available, pending or sold.

Comparatively, there are just over 2330 properties in the Bessemer/Hueytown/McCalla/Adger/Oxmoor Valley area that are either Under Construction or Complete and are actively available, pending or sold.

The 2300+ does not include the 200 lots of Rosser Cove that are just about to come online anything in the planned Rosser Farms. I know HPH Properties has a new development coming up in Moody that looks to be huge compared to Avalon (directly across the street) but it's probably a good 6-12 months out before they're ready.

Arguably, still the best coridors of residential growth remain to be 31/119/280. Nothing can even compare to what's going on in the southern areas from Helena down to Montevallo and over to Chelsea.

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Coldstone Creamery is rumored to be one of the future tenants of Caufield Square. Work should begin some time this Spring.

With Blazer85 mentioning Coldstone for Caufield Square, has anyone else noticed the surprising rate at which these type stores are closing? Coldstone in Vestavia City Center has closed along with with Marble Slab at Brookwood Village (and I don't recall seeing the one at Hoover being open last time I was there).

Is the one in Trussville still open (I haven't been over there in months)? Do these type stores just not do that well or were the ones that have closed being mismanaged??

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"Nothing can even compare to what's going on in the southern areas from Helena down to Montevallo and over to Chelsea."

True. I visit my cousin in Childersberg every few months, and it looks like Chelsea is in for a suburban-style residential boom.

"2330 properties in the Bessemer/Hueytown/McCalla/Adger/Oxmoor Valley area..."

Wow, I didn't realize there was quite that much. I had noticed some homes near McAdory High.

BTW, my great-grandmother's sister lived in one of the main "historic homes" in the McCalla area: http://www.sharehistory.com/westjefferson/owen.htm

On the eastern Tuscaloosa County end, there are plans to finally add an elementary school at the town of Lakeview. I went to Tannehill park a couple weeks ago, and noticed some pretty big new houses in that area.

Tannehill did finally open the new restaurant and improved iron & steel museum.

"Coldstone for Caufield Square..."

FWIW, I noticed that some Tuscaloosans are developing Caufield.

Although the article doesn't mention names, the timing is interesting, given that

Tuscaloosa-based Chatham Oil Co. sold off its 13 gas stations to Kangaroo in October, and Chatham

is the owner of both local Coldstone locations.

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With Blazer85 mentioning Coldstone for Caufield Square, has anyone else noticed the surprising rate at which these type stores are closing? Coldstone in Vestavia City Center has closed along with with Marble Slab at Brookwood Village (and I don't recall seeing the one at Hoover being open last time I was there).

Is the one in Trussville still open (I haven't been over there in months)? Do these type stores just not do that well or were the ones that have closed being mismanaged??

two have opened in Huntsville over the last few months, so we shall see. It would seem difficult to maintain a steady customer base unless it's the summertime.

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As Jmanhsv mentioned in the Huntsville Development chain, CBL announced their plans for Madison Square. AL.com is carrying an article that I believe was published in the Huntsville Times.

It mentions all the expected upgrades: new flooring, new lighting, new seating, upgraded restrooms, reconfiguring escalator locations & the main court elevator, etc. The one thing I was expecting to hear I didn't though. I was expecting some type of Lifestyle upgrade to go along with the renovation. Something along the lines of what Brookwood Village did with the front of that mall. Take the main entrance of Madison Square and create a streetscape lifestyle portion with some new names & new restaurants.

I don't know that just a renovation with a new logo is really enough to compete with Bridge Street IMHO. I still expect to see several stores jump ship in the coming months and announce plans for Bridge Street.

Really & truly, Bridge Street is the first real test of a "Lifestyle Center" in the Huntsville market (I'm not considering either of the Target centers Lifestyle obviously - they're Power Centers). I believe people will realize how much better the Lifestyle concept is and Madison Square will be hurting without something to set it apart.

I talked with a friend of mine in Huntsville the other day (not the Wal-Mart one) who was hearing that the tenant mix at Bridge Street (besides the already announced) was going to fall along the lines of Parkway Place with the possibility of another Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, etc. I would not be surprised to see Abercrombie show up at Bridge Street either with at least 2 of their 4 concepts even though they have 3 of the 4 represented at Parkway Place.

Anyway... This is a lot of "IMHO" talk for the most part. I just think CBL should be thinking ahead of the curve and go ahead for a streetscape/lifestyle area in the front of the mall. It would make the front much more appealing from University Drive as well rather than the acres and acres of asphalt that exist now.

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"2330 properties in the Bessemer/Hueytown/McCalla/Adger/Oxmoor Valley area..."

Wow, I didn't realize there was quite that much. I had noticed some homes near McAdory High.

BTW, my great-grandmother's sister lived in one of the main "historic homes" in the McCalla area: http://www.sharehistory.com/westjefferson/owen.htm

On the eastern Tuscaloosa County end, there are plans to finally add an elementary school at the town of Lakeview. I went to Tannehill park a couple weeks ago, and noticed some pretty big new houses in that area.

Tannehill did finally open the new restaurant and improved iron & steel museum.

Yeah, I don't think a lot of people realize the tremendous amount of development going on in the McCalla area. Everyone sees the massive growth south of town and overlooks east, west and north.

Just for example, HPH is about to start another project up at the Shelby Airport exit (Savannah Pointe) that I hear is around 900 lots (it's an existing s/d they are expanding further). And not to forget about the ever expanding Old Cahaba in Helena that is something in the neighborhood of 2,000+ lots and the soon to be US Steel s/d in Helena that is around 2,300+ I think.

You can see why people don't really pay attention to the numbers outside of the Hoover to Calera cooridor.

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As Jmanhsv mentioned in the Huntsville Development chain, CBL announced their plans for Madison Square. AL.com is carrying an article that I believe was published in the Huntsville Times.

It mentions all the expected upgrades: new flooring, new lighting, new seating, upgraded restrooms, reconfiguring escalator locations & the main court elevator, etc. The one thing I was expecting to hear I didn't though. I was expecting some type of Lifestyle upgrade to go along with the renovation. Something along the lines of what Brookwood Village did with the front of that mall. Take the main entrance of Madison Square and create a streetscape lifestyle portion with some new names & new restaurants.

I don't know that just a renovation with a new logo is really enough to compete with Bridge Street IMHO. I still expect to see several stores jump ship in the coming months and announce plans for Bridge Street.

Really & truly, Bridge Street is the first real test of a "Lifestyle Center" in the Huntsville market (I'm not considering either of the Target centers Lifestyle obviously - they're Power Centers). I believe people will realize how much better the Lifestyle concept is and Madison Square will be hurting without something to set it apart.

I talked with a friend of mine in Huntsville the other day (not the Wal-Mart one) who was hearing that the tenant mix at Bridge Street (besides the already announced) was going to fall along the lines of Parkway Place with the possibility of another Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, etc. I would not be surprised to see Abercrombie show up at Bridge Street either with at least 2 of their 4 concepts even though they have 3 of the 4 represented at Parkway Place.

Anyway... This is a lot of "IMHO" talk for the most part. I just think CBL should be thinking ahead of the curve and go ahead for a streetscape/lifestyle area in the front of the mall. It would make the front much more appealing from University Drive as well rather than the acres and acres of asphalt that exist now.

I think your dead on with that evaluation. CBL has a chance to make big gains with MadSq. This mall is

not reaching its full potential. I was at Brookwood Village the other day and they have really improved that property for the better, very nice. Seems CBL wants to wait and see what they are up against with Bridge St.

Hard to get too excited about stucco, steel studs and new escalators. The upgrades will be a big improvement

however

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The one thing I was expecting to hear I didn't though. I was expecting some type of Lifestyle upgrade to go along with the renovation. Something along the lines of what Brookwood Village did with the front of that mall. Take the main entrance of Madison Square and create a streetscape lifestyle portion with some new names & new restaurants.

I don't know that just a renovation with a new logo is really enough to compete with Bridge Street IMHO. I still expect to see several stores jump ship in the coming months and announce plans for Bridge Street.

Really & truly, Bridge Street is the first real test of a "Lifestyle Center" in the Huntsville market (I'm not considering either of the Target centers Lifestyle obviously - they're Power Centers). I believe people will realize how much better the Lifestyle concept is and Madison Square will be hurting without something to set it apart.

I talked with a friend of mine in Huntsville the other day (not the Wal-Mart one) who was hearing that the tenant mix at Bridge Street (besides the already announced) was going to fall along the lines of Parkway Place with the possibility of another Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, etc. I would not be surprised to see Abercrombie show up at Bridge Street either with at least 2 of their 4 concepts even though they have 3 of the 4 represented at Parkway Place.

I agree, Mad Square should become more of a lifestyle center. By 2015-2016, the next time the mall is renovated, the effects of Bridge Street will be in full force and some serious changes will have to be done with the mall, do I dare say demolition? Right now, I'm happy with the steps they are taking. The mall just looks ugly from the outside.

I also agree w/ the fact that the Bridge Street tenants will be similar to Parkway Place. The shopping centers will serve the same demo.But the centers will be on opposite sides of town, and Huntsville is big enough to have 2 abercrombie's and two Pottery Barns. The restaurants will be unique however. I have a feeling Cheesecake Factory will locate there.

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I also agree w/ the fact that the Bridge Street tenants will be similar to Parkway Place. The shopping centers will serve the same demo.But the centers will be on opposite sides of town, and Huntsville is big enough to have 2 abercrombie's and two Pottery Barns. The restaurants will be unique however. I have a feeling Cheesecake Factory will locate there.

I hear your grumblings about Cheesecake Factory (and that would be an awesome addition for sure) but I'm not sure they've changed their general demographics enough to search out Huntsville yet. I know for the longest time they strictly went after the Top 50 Metros and searched out the Upscale of Upscale locations, i.e. Buckhead in Atlanta, Beverly Hills, etc. They still have yet to enter some of the largest metro areas including New York City (which I can hardly fathom why they haven't entered Manhatten yet).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Huntsville isn't large enough for Cheesecake Factory so much as I'm saying I don't know that they've satisfied theirselves with expansion into the Top 50 enough yet to move past that. Consider how long Macaroni Grill and PF Changs were around the Summit before Cheesecake Factory FINALLY arrived (and it was still after Birmingham entered the Top 50 Metros at #49 I believe).

You might be more likely to see CF after Bridge Street has been open for 2-5 years while they evaluate the market and viability of the center. I don't know that you'd see them jump on board to anchor a restaurant spot from the beginning whereas PF Changs has no problem anchoring and being there to open a brand new development.

IHMO, if the Westin Hotel does well there and the other restaurants see above average waits for the industry as a whole, then Cheesecake Factory would almost definitely put Huntsville on it's development map. The Westin clientele would be the ideal demo for the Factory (business travelers, higher end clients, etc.).

And one last comment on Madison Square... If the population of Huntsville really takes off with this latest BRAC alignment and Bridge Street really does well, I would not be surprised to see another developer move into Huntsville with a true Lifestyle center before long. That could be very disasterous to CBL and Madison Square

Edited by rtkenmore

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Wal-Mart going to Chelsea

Did anyone catch that about two months ago aparently?? I haven't heard the first thing about Wal-Mart confirming a Supercenter for Chelsea (although I figured it was all but a given).

Also, a friend of mine mentioned that he saw on NBC 13 at 6 about Eastwood Mall officially being announced as the next Wal-Mart Supercenter for Birmingham. Did anyone catch the story? Was it just another rumor or actually announced as a done deal??

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Wal-Mart going to Chelsea

Did anyone catch that about two months ago aparently?? I haven't heard the first thing about Wal-Mart confirming a Supercenter for Chelsea (although I figured it was all but a given).

Also, a friend of mine mentioned that he saw on NBC 13 at 6 about Eastwood Mall officially being announced as the next Wal-Mart Supercenter for Birmingham. Did anyone catch the story? Was it just another rumor or actually announced as a done deal??

Can't answer the one about Chelsea, but I did see the story about Eastwood. 13 ran the story during Today in Alabama. They have indeed officially announced the Supercenter for the old mall property, but I don't think that comes as a surprise to anyone. Most people knew the second Wal-Mart announced its intentions of buying the property what was coming.

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