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Southron

Montgomery Mall - Revitalization?

19 posts in this topic

(This discussion began in the Montgomery development thread, and I've tried to recreate it here in this first post.)

Montgomery Mall sold to Dothan firm

Dothan Acquisition LLC bought Montgomery Mall for $4.4 million from Glimcher Realty, which paid $70 million for the mall in 1998. Ouch. Venture 1 of Dothan will manage the mall.

The 726,883 sq ft mall, opened in 1968, was 95 percent occupied when Glimcher Realty Trust bought it in 1998, but lost tenants steadily over the last few years. Significantly, several anchor stores left recently: Dillard's in 2003, JC Penney in 2005 and Parisian in 2006.

Other than increased security on the premises, no word yet on whether any changes or improvements are in store for the property.

Montgomery Advertiser: Montgomery Mall cost $70M in 1998; just $4.4M in 2007

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It is ridiculous how Glimcher Realty Trust let that mall go down the toilet literally. I visited the mall back in 1999 and thought it was a decent complimentary alternative to Eastdale. Now look at Montgomery Mall, a mess. IMO, some companies should be heavily fined for letting major centers such as this one fall destitute as Glimcher.

It's pretty obvious that those d*** yankees, having no personal investment in the area were willing to use the failure of MGM Mall for their own tax writeoff plans. Logically, this location is the perfect junction for MGMs SE edge of heavy development. While there are several wealthy areas nearby, there is obviously no draw to that mall after Parisian left. In other posts on this issue some have suggested conversion of the mall into an open air center. While not disagreeing in principal, I believe that there needs to be an established upscale and younger population adjancent to support the renewal of the area. There needs to be a sort of rebuilding as their own "village" in that area. MGM may not be strong enough yet to do that as well as renew downtown, which despartly needs additional retail to keep its repopulation going.

Additionally, I bet those Dothan folks are looking to make a quick buck in roll the Mall property over as fast a possible to some larger entity if they are not known as large scale planners and redevelopers themselves.

Chad Emerson has a great suggestion on his blog. He notes that per capita income within 5 miles of Montgomery Mall is higher than Eastdale Mall, and suggests that the mall be redeveloped into an urban village like this one. I think that's the best use of the property by far.

The new owners successfully revitalized Porter Square Mall in Dothan (the first mall built there), so they do have at least some experience in the business.

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I believe what he says about the income levels except that they are overlapping each other. How much actual distance is there between the three major shopping centers - may 10 miles. Where I live there is about one mall every ten miles with a much denser population. Montgomery Mall's owners were caught flatfooted and some foxes got in the hen house when they failed to keep the mall up and plan for security at the same time both inside and outside of the mall. The stores themselves were not at fault and if their per square foot sales were keeping up with Eastdale, I believe that it would have stayed a viable location. Folks got to watch out for what they got or neglect or punks will ruin it for them. They tried up here and security was increased at all malls. Unfortunately, if parents won't watch their kids they will get out hand.

Yeah, it takes real talent to turn a $70 million mall that's 95% leased into a nearly empty $4.4 million wasteland in less than 10 years. Apparently the new owners get it , because the first thing they did was add more security guards.

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The new owner of Montgomery Mall specializes in building and operating shopping centers, and has limited experience with malls. The firm revitalized Dothan's Porter Square Mall, about a third the size of Montgomery Mall, turning the vacant mall into a mixed office-retail center. Bryan Lee, who represents Dothan Acquisitions LLC and Venture 1, said increased mixed-use -- retail, residential and office -- could be the future of Montgomery Mall.

Montgomery Advertiser: Montgomery Mall was just a 'good deal,' buyer says

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The new owner of Montgomery Mall specializes in building and operating shopping centers, and has limited experience with malls. The firm revitalized Dothan's Porter Square Mall, about a third the size of Montgomery Mall, turning the vacant mall into a mixed office-retail center. Bryan Lee, who represents Dothan Acquisitions LLC and Venture 1, said increased mixed-use -- retail, residential and office -- could be the future of Montgomery Mall.

Montgomery Advertiser: Montgomery Mall was just a 'good deal,' buyer says

I believe that Montgomery Mall may have seens its last days, probably killed as a tax write off by the former owner. As to whether the new owners can do anything with it is another story. The best thing for a mall or suburban festival center these days is income, which the area has but not in much density on that side of town, and high density apartment living. The southeast side of MGM IMO may be growing somewhat on down Troy Hiway but until they put in more subdivisions it will languish. I remember when it first opened, it was the only game in town (Normandale was all but dead and Eastbrook was the Eastsides best believe it or not). For whatever reason, the nicer suburbs just never went south of S. Blvd. The other major condition for shopping malls like that would be to have some high concentration work areas, of which, that area has none beyond Baptist Hospital. I hope they have some ideas. I have fond memories of the place with Gayfers, Parisian JC Pennys etc.

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According to some store owners, security at Montgomery Mall is worse now than it was before the new owner took over two months ago. The new owner is still trying to figure out what to do with the mall.

Montgomery Advertiser: Store owners say mall has security lapse

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Bryan Lee, owner of Montgomery Mall, filed an application to divide the Montgomery Mall into four separate lots.

www.montgomeryadvertiser.com

The Montgomery Planning Commission approved subdividing the Montgomery Mall property, as requested by Bryan Lee of Dothan-based Venture 1. Lee said his company redeveloped Porter Square Mall in Dothan by setting aside part of the mall for retail space and selling other parts.

Maybe this will work in Montgomery as it did in Dothan. If not, Montgomery Mall may go the way of Eastwood Mall in Birmingham.

Montgomery Advertiser: Montgomery Mall owner gets approval to divide property

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Stores continue to close at Montgomery Mall, and the owner hasn't announced any plans to revitalize the mall. Tenants and the city say that the new owner isn't returning phone calls.

This guy may have bitten off more than he can chew, but he bought it so cheaply that he may be willing to sit on it for a long time.

More Montgomery Mall stores closing

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A Montgomery businessman paid more than $20,000 in back taxes for a partial claim to the Montgomery Mall property, and says he wants to gain a clear title and develop it into an office complex. He has to pay the taxes for two more years before the property is his, but the mall's current owners can repay the taxes plus a 12% penalty to reclaim it.

The mall's real owner is now known to be Haywood Whichard of North Carolina. Apparently some of Whichard's other properties have run into financial and legal problems as well. Looks like the future of Montgomery Mall may be up in the air for another couple of years.

Montgomery Mall's future gets muddier

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The Advertiser ran a couple of more in-depth stories about Montgomery Mall and its deadbeat owner. Haywood Whichard said he bought the mall for the land value and has no plans to renovate the property. He said he'll sit on it for a decade to make a profit off property sales, and doesn't care if the remaining tenants move out. He has a history of buying malls around the country and letting them fall into disrepair.

Land speculator has no plan to develop Montgomery Mall site

Montgomery Mall owner has other properties

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A representative of Montgomery Mall's owner is floating a plan to bring the mall property back to life. Owner Haywood Whichard wants to measure public, corporate and private support for an an office-dining-education-retail plan. If there is enough support, the owners will likely make cosmetic changes to the exterior, rename and reopen the property.

Full story here: Plan could save Montgomery Mall

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The city's new Strategic Development Concept document contains (on page 40) an interesting mixed-use redevelopment concept for Montgomery Mall. It's just a concept at this point and may never happen, but it definitely represents some thinking in the right direction. This kind of makeover for that gateway area would be an almost unbelievable improvement for that part of the city.

MontMall_redev.gif

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Blue Ridge Capital, an Atlanta-based company, bought Montgomery Mall and expects mixed-use development for the space, although the mix may not include retail. The sale did not include the Steve & Barry's store or the Parisian store. Mayor Todd Strange said the purchase represents the beginning of the revitalization of the area.

Montgomery Mall may get new life

Atlanta company to buy Montgomery Mall

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Montgomery Mall is changing hands again. The Keith Corp. of Charlotte is buying the property, and there's no word yet on the purchase price or plans for use.

Montgomery Mall sale agreement signed

Update: The Advertiser is now reporting that the new owners will convert the mall into a multi-tenant medical facility. The new owners are currently doing their due diligence and could still back out of the deal.

Sale would turn Montgomery Mall into medical mall

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Since the VA didn't choose this site, does anyone know where the VA chose to build or are they still looking for a site?

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Lawler said that the company has never taken a former retail property and turned it into a medical mall, but he has seen it done well in other cities. He cited the Jackson Medical Mall in Jackson, Miss., and One Hundred Oaks in Nashville, Tenn., as examples.

In Jackson, City Councilman Kenneth Stokes said the once-empty mall in his district was an eyesore that some wanted to turn into a detention facility.

Created in 1995, the Jackson Medical Mall now provides medical care and human services. The Jackson mall has about 40 tenants that include medical care providers, retailers and education services. Its largest tenant is the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

The city will add a fire and police station. The mall will have to remodeled.

http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20110513/NEWS01/110513001/A-healthy-mall-City-hopes-concept-s-worked-elsewhere-will-work-here?odyssey=mod{sodEmoji.|}newswell{sodEmoji.|}text{sodEmoji.|}Frontpage{sodEmoji.|}p

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Retail may not work initially on the site but surrounding it could take off. I researched One Hundred Oaks which is 2 miles south of downtown Nashville. A new "market place" urban WalMart has opened up next to the site and an HHGregg has opened recently. A Regal theater is located on site. Not to say our medical mall will bring the neighborhood back to life but it could.

http://www.insidevandy.com/drupal/node/7576

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I'd like to see it demolished and redeveloped along the lines of the concept drawing in post #11 in this thread. In today's economy that's just not going to happen though. Hopefully this medical concept will work and provide an anchor in that area.

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What exactly is a medical mall?

Good question. The linked new articles suggest the mall would be anchored with healthcare providers and other medical businesses, bringing these services closer to residents of south Montgomery.

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