Driving alongside Skyland Boulevard in Tuscaloosa, you’ll see what seems like an historic spoil. A skeletal structure standing on rows of beams hovering above piles of metal particles, or what is still left of McFarland Shopping mall.
Demolition of the shopping mall resumed this spring following crews originally commenced razing the property in early 2021 when quite a few excavators lined the front of the shopping mall — which once housed suppliers like Dillard’s (formerly Gayfers), Goody’s, TJ Maxx, Picadilly Restaurant and the Fox 12 film theater — as the diggers then tore into the previous Shoe Station and Sticks N Things storefronts.
Now, there continue to be a number of diggers and other design gear visible from the shopping mall parking great deal, with piles of rubble sealed off with chain hyperlink fencing and indicators saying “Construction Region Keep Out.” The only point left standing will be the Greenback Tree, nonetheless operational — and quite fast paced — in spite of the ongoing demolition.
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Assets operator and community businessman Stan Pate instructed The Tuscaloosa News the completion of the 38.6-acre site’s demolition is “overdue” and said he hopes it gets to be a “legacy project.”
Pate mentioned very last 12 months the program was to redevelop the assets into “a regional athletics-plex” beginning with the 2021 demolition. Pate and Amason Associates introduced through push launch that they engaged Sports activities Amenities Advisory (SFA), LLC, to start off a market analyze to identify the precise features of the upcoming mixed-use, multi-activity and gatherings facility.
District 7 Tuscaloosa Council Member Cassius Lanier shared in April 2022 some thoughts for long term options with WVUA 7.
“I have dreams for Top rated Golfing, Buc-ee’s…Bass Pro Retailers,” Lanier reported. “It’s huge open for tips. I think we have acquired a ton of possibilities. We’ve been chatting to a lot of unique builders. The moment we get it down and cleared up, I think the choices are limitless.”
One particular cafe developing on the property was currently razed prior to the February 2021 demolition, which marked the destruction of the initial setting up, the 100,000-square-foot assets at 900 Skyland Blvd East that opened in February 1969. Development personnel took down about 2.5 acres below roof and, in the coming months, will transfer forward on a different phase wherever they’ll demolish another a few acres.
The mall was designed in 1968 and opened in 1969. During the years, it was household to Gayfers office shop (later Dillard’s), additionally the Fox 12 movie theater (afterwards a Regal franchise), a food stuff court docket and other businesses like Woolco, TJ Maxx, Mall Shoe Restore, Orange Julius, Zayre, Drug Mart, Lee’s Massive and Tall, Aladdin’s Castle arcade, Diamond Jim’s arcade, Goody’s, Piccadilly Restaurant, Bookland, The Athlete’s Foot, Vieux Carre Sports activities Bar and lots of other folks.
Businessmen Ward Wharton McFarland and James Hinton at first developed the mall for its to start with stage, with Woolco and Gayfers serving as anchor stores with 30 whole suppliers at the opening.
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