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Alabama Retail Development Atmosphere

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"Target says it's happening, period. Colonial Properties Trust won't go that far just yet, but a senior executive there concedes an announcement of a second phase for Colonial Promenade in south Shelby County could be forthcoming soon."

Birmingham Business Journal is reporting this morning that Target is all but assured in the next phase of Colonial Promenade Alabaster. Commercial real estate records show three parcels of land being sold to Target Corp. with an anticipated opening in 2007. JC Penney is also rumored although they will not confirm.

Colonial on the other hand simply says "stay tuned" for a forthcoming announcement.

I can't help but wonder what JC Penney is ultimately planning with a new store already in Trussville and a rumored store now in Alabaster. Will the Galleria & Century Plaza stores survive or will JC Penney continue to build off mall stores in open air centers with the ultimate fate of mall locations closing up shop? If this is their future goal, I wouldn't be surprised to see a store alon 280 at some point and possibly even Gardendale in the new Colonial project there.

View the full article.

Edited by rtkenmore

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And in other news, more details of the revitalization effort in the Crestwood Boulevard/Oporto Madrid cooridor are beginning to leak out ahead of the big reveal on the 9th at Century Plaza.

"The area around Eastwood Mall should have less retail, a new hotel and a surge of condominium development in the next five to 20 years, according to a new master plan commissioned by the City of Birmingham.

The Crestwood/Oporto Redevelopment Plan created by KPS Group Inc. calls for new roads, landscaping and even a bridge over Oporto-Madrid Boulevard to create a pedestrian-friendly district with shops, civic buildings and housing."

Everyone should have a look at the article as it talks about (what I think) are some far fetched ideas for the area. I can see some of this coming to fruition but I don't know about the idea of condos & mass townhomes in that area of town. And apparently the planning & revitalization committee has taken it upon theirselves to move stores from their current locations with the plan showing Kmart & possible Home Depot in new locations (Home Depot taking over the Kmart location).

It's quite interesting and I can certainly say I'll be at the meeting on the 9th to take a look. I'll be there with my camara to take photos of anything I can as well to post back here.

View the full article.

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[Huntsville is big enough to have 2 abercrombie's ]

I work for Abercrombie and I would highly doubt it that Huntsville is big enough for two A&F. It may be large enough for a canoe room store (2 rooms in the front a middle room and two rooms in the back). The company just closed the Abercrombie in Montgomery and Biloxi. The company is keeping the stores in B-ham and Mobile. They are kind of centers for their regions. I'm sure A&F is looking at Huntsville for the smaller size store, if they are looking. If they are going to open up another in the state it will be in Huntsville for sure. Huntsville is going to grow a lot in the next few years. But if I hear anything about them opening up one.....I'll sure let ya'll know. :D

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^They've had a location here for 3 years at Parkway Place. Both the abercrombie and A&F stores are fairly large. I was using the store as an example of the types of stores that are going into Bridge Street.

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Yea...I talked to my boss about it today. I thought ya'll had one....but it seemed the way you were talking about it that ya'll didn't. Ya'll would have a canoe room store. But that AL stores are mostly in different districts. Mobile is in the FL district for example.

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Oh....by the way my sister is moving there. Do ya'll have any good suggestions about areas. She wants to live in a historic area. shes coming up there the weekend after next to look.

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Just a couple of thoughts on Mobile's Retail Market

The majority of stores underperforming at Eastern Shore Centre seem to be the smaller, locally based boutiques, such as Sam & Me, Bark Avenue Pets, Centanni and Bello Bakery. The larger retailers, such as William Sonoma, Chico's, Sharper Image and Pottery Barn, have been reporting "excellent sales". The expanses of vacant storefronts in Eastern Shore Centre are slowly being tenanted with conventional mall retailers, such as Journey, PacSun and Aeropostale. Also, mall management announced the opening of five additional stores. The purpoted closing of Hollister comes as a mild suprise to me, seeing as that store is moderately crowded with people. Perhaps South Alabama can't support multiple Abercrombie stores? The biggest dissapointment of Eastern Shore Centre's tenant roster is the noticeable abscence of any of the Gap store formats, save for Old Navy over in the Eastern Shore Plaza power center component. After opening a store in Montgomery's mediocre Shoppes at EastChase, it was almost expected that Banana Republic would locate a store in Eastern Shore Centre. Perhaps the lack of a Spanish Fort store is tied into Gap Inc's moribund holiday sales in all formats.

The name of the "lifestyle center" under construction in Mobile's affluent Spring Hill community is Legacy Village (91,000 square feet), which ties into the Legacy Oaks luxury community. It's being developed by the Mitchell Company, somewhat notorious for its community supermarket-anchored strip malls and a passel of regional malls. I'm curious to see which nationally known upscale tenants it will attract. As it stands most retailers are enamoured by the excellerated growth of the eastern shore suburbs and not with the city of Mobile.

Aronov Properties of Montgomery is, suprisingly, still developing a large (320,000 square feet) regional shopping center located diametrically opposite Eastern Shore Centre at the I-10/SR 181 interchange. More than likely, this will be developed into another power center-- possibly anchored by Lowes Home Improvement. Originally, this development was going to be Eastern Shore Town Center, achored by either Parisian or McRae's and a multiplex theater. Elevation drawings were spotted on the website of the architectural firm HKW of Birmingham.

Spanish Fort Town Center, a 1 million square foot value-oriented open-air regional mall is being constructed at the I-10/US 90/98 interchange. The anchors for this development are Bass Pro Shops and JC Penney. I wonder what's going to happen to the Bel Air Mall JCPenney store? Expect a motley assortment of typical power center filler stores to serve as inline tenants.

Speaking of JCPenney, rumor has it that a national department store chain is looking to build a store out on Schillengers Road in the burgeoning sprawl of West Mobile county. Do you think JCPenney will close the behemoth Bel Air store and replace it with two smaller stores (West Mobile and Spanish Fort)?

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Wow, I didn't know the East Shore was getting so much development.

That reminds me.... Sharper Image is another store I'd like to see locate at Bridge Street.

Oh....by the way my sister is moving there. Do ya'll have any good suggestions about areas. She wants to live in a historic area. shes coming up there the weekend after next to look.

Hey elb, you talking about Huntsville? If you are, I'd recommend Five Points, Twickenham and Old Towne, all just east of downtown. Old Towne and Twickenham are a bit pricey, though. Five Points is a pretty cool historic neighborhood that's undergoing a renovation right now.

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Aronov Properties of Montgomery is, surprisingly, still developing a large (320,000 square feet) regional shopping center located diametrically opposite Eastern Shore Centre
That's the first I've read of that. Interesting...

Yeah, the eastern shore alone will add about 2 million square feet of retail space before the next decade.

Wow ! Add in the significant retail projects near the coast (Colonial in Gulf Shores, Riverwalk and The Wharf in Orange Beach, etc) , and Baldwin County really does have a huge amount of retail in the works.

Update on Tuscaloosa retail :

http://www.al.com/business/businessink/ind...2760.xml&coll=6

"According to Ellen Grisette, development coordinator at Cypress Equities, construction at Midtown Village should begin in late spring or summer."

Midtown is the main "new urbanist" project planned for Tuscaloosa, and the pre-sale event for the condominium portion of the project is tentatively slated for April 2nd, with the whole center opening some time in summer 2007. There will be some surface parking, but the current design calls for three parking decks.

The article also mentions Waterworks Landing, another "mixed-use" project, but it is apparently still in just the rough planning stage.

The third of the so-called "mixed-use" projects is the 162-acre "Townes of North River," which will include mostly single-family homes, but also a small "Town Center" retail portion.

http://www.tuscohomes.com/images/townes.jpg

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wooo! They've announced an Outback Steakhouse, Chilis and Moe's Southwestern Grill in Gadsden. FINALLY! I've been waiting on Outback here for ever. I'm tired of driving to Oxford. :D

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yea, the Mobile bay area is starting to have a good retail seen. There is just so much potential growth in mobile and baldwin county. its sad that some of the stores in the eastern shore center are going under. It will be okay soon as the population picks up over there.

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yea, the Mobile bay area is starting to have a good retail seen. There is just so much potential growth in mobile and baldwin county. its sad that some of the stores in the eastern shore center are going under. It will be okay soon as the population picks up over there.

I think the store closings at Eastern Shore Centre are just a phase. The Shoppes at EastChase in Montgomery, for example, originally opened with Orvis and Vessie B. Orvis was operating for roughly a year before it closed, and Vessie B. shuttered several stores throughout the southeast. What happened to those vacated spaces? Coldwater Creek opened its first Alabama store in the Orvis spot, and Vessie B. is slated to become Priesters Pecans.

Hopefully, Sears gets a handle on its Essential and Grand formats and begins a quick exit from regional malls. If this happens, perhaps the two-level space at Bel Air Mall can be renovated into an "entetainment anchor", that is the re-introduction of the food court and a multiplex stadium seat theater. That vestigial auto center could be converted into outparcel retail space. There is a serious dearth of high quality casual dining restaurants on Airport Boulevard.

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Another big Wal-Mart announcement...

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, plans to build a new supercenter store on Alabama 79 in Pinson, a spokesman said Friday.

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart has signed a letter of intent to buy land along the highway in unincorporated Jefferson County and is conducting "due diligence" studies on the targeted area, said company spokesman Eric Brewer. The move will likely uproot some businesses already there.

Full Birmingham News Article

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nitek_of_mobile I think you are right. As the population grows things are going to change. I think Bel air is an ugly space anyways. I wouldn't be surprised if a nice looking mall pops up in the western side of the city. Most of those people are having to drive 30 minutes to Bel air. Bel air is doing really nice in business right now. I don't know how much longer this will last (huricane Katrina). All things change.

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nitek_of_mobile I think you are right. As the population grows things are going to change. I think Bel air is an ugly space anyways. I wouldn't be surprised if a nice looking mall pops up in the western side of the city. Most of those people are having to drive 30 minutes to Bel air. Bel air is doing really nice in business right now. I don't know how much longer this will last (huricane Katrina). All things change.

Although it isn't the most aesthetically pleasing enclosed mall in Alabama, it is one of the stronger examples of a well-located regional shopping center. In fact, the critical mass of regional retail at Bel Air and Springdale has served as a catalyst for retail development along the Airport Boulevard corridor for decades (Festival Centre opened in 1986). I think the problem is that Colonial isn't giving Bel Air Mall the attention that it deserves, and it is starting to show its age.

In my opinion, Bel Air needs a "lifestyle" frontage, in which the entire front of the mall, from Sears to Dillards, is redesigned in a pedestrian-oriented manner. Brick paving, fountains and ample landscaping would complement the lifestyle treatment of architecturally superior storefronts. Books-A-Million could serve as an entertainment anchor. Currently, the mall's front resembles a 1980s power center. Picadilly's could be replaced with a casual dining restaurant-- Bonefish Grille or Chilli's. Colonial University Village in Auburn or Brookwood Village are excellent examples of partially converting the mall into a lifestyle center.

Bel Air has also been very good at attracting high quality stores. In the last two years or so, its landed Hollister, Hot Topic and Alabama's second Charlotte Ruse store. It would be fantastic if it attracted Banana Republic. I can't believe we're the only major metro in the state without Banana Republic!

Edited by nitek_of_mobile

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When ALDOT was considering building the West Mobile Bypass (horrible idea), I recall rumors of Jim Wilson and Associates, developers of Riverchase Galleria and EastChase, buying hundreds of acres of land in the vicinity of the proposed routing and its possible intersection with Airport Blvd. More than likely, this would have been some type of regional shopping center, definitely surpassing Bel Air in terms of overall quality. Obviously, it never came to fruition as the bypass was never built. As the rumor goes, this entire project was shifted to Louisiana to become, yes, the Mall of Louisiana.

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As far as I know the western bypass is still being worked on. Its being held up because of environmental concerns about Big Creek Lake (The cities drinking water). It would give better Interstate access to the Airport. ANyways, It would have been neat ( the mall). OH bel air is finally getting a Buckle.

oh yea.....I found out that Hollister is probably not going to end the eastern shore center. Their sales are steady....increasing a little bit every other month. The summer months are better for them. They are the weakest store in their district, but they are going to stick it! :yahoo: The Mobile store is doing business like crazy! beating a lot of the stores in the district in sales.

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As far as I know the western bypass is still being worked on. Its being held up because of environmental concerns about Big Creek Lake (The cities drinking water).

The routing of a four-lane US 98 is what caused the concerns about Big Creek Lake.

I believe the bypass has been put on an indefinite hold since no routing could be determined. It may or may not have had anything to do with Big Creek Lake.

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OH bel air is finally getting a Buckle.

About time! I bet they're going into the space formerly occupied by Petite Sophisticate and Casual Corner. I'm also going to speculate that a they will plan a second location in Eastern Shore Centre near Belk or near Barnes & Noble.

Kohl's is going to begin construction of an 80,000 + square foot store in front of Wynnsong Cinemas on Schilligners Road.

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its funny that you (Nitek of mobile) were just saying that bel air needs to be renovated. I walked in bel air today and there is a sign in the entrance saying that the mall is going to open later due to the renovations that are suppose to start soon. I wonder what they are actually going to do. Maybe something what you were talking about?

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Regarding renovations at Bel Air Mall:

"Colonial Mall Bel Air in Mobile will get a $2.5 million facelift starting Monday, according to manager Tim Nolan . The interior and exterior of the 40-year-old enclosed mall will be painted with new colors, the floors and ceilings will be replaced with Italian ceramic tile, and a new entrance will be installed. E.M. Dunaway Construction of Spanish Fort will do most of the work during night hours, and should be finished by June, Nolan said. The mall has 1.3 million square feet of retail space and was last renovated in 1990."

http://www.al.com/business/mobileregister/...4580.xml&coll=3

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Belk name returns to Huntsville, McRae's changing to Belks today at Madison Square

This transaction took place last year.

The stores to be acquired by Belk include 25 McRae

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Belk name returns to Huntsville, McRae's changing to Belks today at Madison Square

This transaction took place last year.

The stores to be acquired by Belk include 25 McRae

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