Riverchase Galleria

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Riverchase Galleria
Center Court of the Riverchase Galleria.jpg
Location Hoover, Alabama (Birmingham)
Opening date February 19, 1986
Developer Jim Wilson & Associates
Management General Growth Properties
Owner General Growth Properties/Jim Wilson & Associates
No. of stores and services 200+[1]
No. of anchor tenants 5
Total retail floor area 1,570,000 square feet (146,000 m2)[2]
No. of floors 2
Website riverchasegalleria.com

Riverchase Galleria, locally known as The Galleria, is a large upscale, super–regional shopping mall in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover, Alabama. It is the 43rd largest shopping mall in the United States. It is managed and partially owned by General Growth Properties and is Alabama's largest enclosed shopping center with 1,570,000 square feet (146,000 m2) of total retail floor area.[2]

Located at the intersection of US 31 (Montgomery Highway) and Interstate 459, the Riverchase Galleria complex includes the two-level, 1,570,000-square-foot (146,000 m2) mall, the 15-story, 1,700,000-square-foot (160,000 m2) Hyatt Regency, and the 17-story, 285,000-square-foot (26,500 m2) Galleria Tower office building.[2] In addition to other clients, the tower serves as the headquarters for Surgical Care Affiliates and Walter Energy, Inc.[3]

The Riverchase Galleria is named for, and is part of, the Riverchase planned community development within the city of Hoover.

History[edit]

The Galleria was opened on February 19, 1986 by developer Jim Wilson & Associates. Initially 1,200,000 square feet (110,000 m2) with four anchor stores — two Birmingham-based chains, Parisian and Pizitz — along with Atlanta-based Rich's and national retailer J. C. Penney. In March 1987, the mall added its first Macy's store at center court, marking the company's first store in Alabama. Within the same year, the Pizitz chain was acquired by McRae's of Jackson, Mississippi, and subsequently renamed. In 1995 Parisian expanded their store by almost two-thirds, while in 1996 Sears and a new wing were added, making Riverchase Galleria a total 2.4 million square feet (222,967 m²) size. The expansion made it the largest mixed-use project in the Southeast, and one of the top 10 largest mixed-use projects in the United States.

In 2003, the mall began to feel the effects of department store consolidation when the Macy's anchor store closed, while the Rich's location was renamed Rich's-Macy's. The consolidation came some nine years after Federated Department Stores (the parent of Rich's since 1976) had acquired R. H. Macy & Company. Following the closure of the original Macy's location, the property was sold to Saks Incorporated, by then the parent of both McRae's and Parisian. Saks kept the north wing anchor space vacant for more than a year before reopening the refurbished store in October 2004 under its Proffitt's division, giving the company three different anchors at Riverchase. On March 6, 2005, the Rich's-Macy's store (as Rich's; along with the location at Colonial Brookwood Village) was officially rechristened as Macy's. Later in 2005, Saks sold its Proffitt's division — including most of the McRae's chain — to Belk. As a result, Saks closed the 131,000 sq ft (12,200 m2) McRae's store. Belk dissolved the separate Proffitt's organization, and on March 8, 2006 (almost exactly one year following the Rich's conversion) the Proffitt's store at Riverchase became the mall's first Belk store.

In late 2003, Jim Wilson & Associates (JW&A) sold 50% of the Galleria to General Growth Properties (GGP), which assumed management control.

In 2006, Belk acquired the Parisian store chain from Saks Incorporated. Additionally, the former Pizitz/McRae's location simultaneously became available for occupancy. The store had remained vacant since the 2005 closure of McRae's as a result of a lawsuit between the Pizitz family (which had retained ownership of the store real estate after its sale in 1987) and Saks Incorporated (which inherited the lease obligations of its defunct McRae's operation).[4] As part of its merger of the Parisian stores into its operations, Belk closed its location in the original Macy's space and the Parisian store was renamed to Belk. The upper level of the former Pizitz/McRae's has since been converted to a Belk Home & Children's Store.[5]

Currently, the Galleria has 218 stores and restaurants and is anchored by 5 department stores: J.C. Penney, Belk, Macy's, Sears, and Von Maur.[6] The Galleria has two large parking decks, with a variety of entrances, attached to the mall.[7]

Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Alabama.

Located on the Galleria property on out-parcels are several restaurants including Johnny Rockets, California Pizza Kitchen, Bonefish Grill, J. Alexander's, Stix, and Olive Garden. The Home Depot, FedEx Office, and Costco are located on other out-parcels on the property. The first Just For Feet superstore opened at the Galleria in 1987 but closed with the rest of the chain in 2004. There was also a 10-screen Regal Cinemas movie theater on an out-parcel of the property but it was closed in 2006 after the construction of a Rave Motion Pictures (now Carmike Cinemas) at neighboring Patton Creek Shopping Center. The old movie theater has since been repurposed into an Aveda Salon and Cosmetology school.

In the center of the Grand Atrium/food court, sits a full-size, authentic 19th Century Dentzel Carousel. In the past, the carousel was dismantled for part of the year, with foliage and a fountain in its place, and reassembled for the holiday season. Currently, the carousel has remained in place for several years. Occasionally, the traditional carousel animals are replaced with reindeer for the holiday season as well.

On May 5, 2006, the Galleria opened the state's first Sephora store. This was followed in 2007 by the announcement that one would open in at The Summit, also in Birmingham.

On November 1, 2007 the Galleria also opened the state's first Helzberg Diamonds store, a high quality jewelry store.

On November 30, 2007 the Galleria announced that Nordstrom plans to open the state's first store in the mall in 2012, assuming the anchor space first occupied by Macy's in 1987, Proffitt's in 2004, and Belk in 2006.[8] That plan was canceled in 2009 as General Growth Properties reorganized under bankruptcy.[9]

On July 14, 2009 the Galleria announced that LEGO would open the state's first LEGO Brand Retail store in the mall on July 30, 2009. The store occupies 2,061 square feet (191.5 m2) and became one of the 32 LEGO Brand Retail stores nationwide upon its opening.[10]

As part of the $60 million redevelopment plan for the mall, the owners plan to open the state's first Von Maur, a Midwestern based department store, in the space vacated by Macy's/Proffitt's/Belk.[11] Also, the Wynfrey Hotel will also be renovated and will be rebranded as a Hyatt hotel,[12] which officially occurred on June 14, 2013. The hotel is now known as The Hyatt Regency Birmingham—The Wynfrey Hotel.[13] The plan was approved by the Hoover City Council on October 17, 2011. In March 2012, General Growth Properties and Jim Wilson and Associates approved of the plan for Von Maur as they released in a news conference.[14] Belk announced plans to renovate its store at the Galleria, raising it to the level of a flagship location for the Charlotte, N.C.-based company.[15]

Former Anchors[edit]

  • Macy's (opened in the expansion of 1987, and closed in 2007 because of Rich's conversion. Location remodeled and reopened as Von Maur in 2013.)
  • Proffitt's (opened in the former Macy's in late 2004, Proffitt's chain was sold to Belk in 2010 so it closed. Location remodeled and reopened as Von Maur in 2013.)
  • Belk (opened in the former Macy's, which was latest Proffitt's in 2006. Closed in 2011 due to Parisian conversion. Location remodeled and reopened as Von Maur in 2013.)
  • Pizitz (opened with the mall in 1986. The Pizitz chain was bought out by McRae's, thus closing in 1991, and opening later that year as McRae's
  • McRae's (opened in 1987 in the former Pizitz. The McRae's chain was bought by Belk in 2009. Belk closed the store and after extensive remodel the upper level opened as Belk Home and Children's Store in 2011).
  • Parisian (opened with the mall. In 1995 almost tripled their size. The chain was bought out by Belk so it became Belk.)
  • Rich's (opened with the mall. Dubbed as Rich's-Macy's from 2003-2004, Became Macy's in 2009.)

Anchor stores[edit]

  • Belk[2] (opened 1986 as Parisian, became Belk in 2007 as the Men and Women's Store) (188,108 sq ft (17,480 m2))
  • Belk (opened in former McRae's in 2007. This is the home and children's store)
  • JCPenney[2] (opened 1986) (135,213 sq ft (12,562 m2))
  • Macy's[2] (opened 1986 as Rich's, became Macy's 2005) (216,038 sq ft (20,000 m2))
  • Sears[2] (opened 1996) (146,667 sq ft (14,000 m2))
  • Von Maur[2][11] (opened 2013 in former Macy's/Proffitt's/Belk)[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Directory". Riverchase Galleria. General Growth Properties. Retrieved August 20, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Riverchase Galleria: Hoover, Alabama". GGP. Retrieved August 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ "RSS Feeds | PE.com - Press-Enterprise". PE.com. Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Business News from The Birmingham News". al.com. Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
  5. ^ Carol Robinson (May 22, 2007). "Belk to move, open 2nd Galleria store". The Birmingham News. 
  6. ^ Brendan Griffith (November 2, 2013). "Von Maur Department Store Opens First Location in Alabama". PR Newswire. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Site plan". GGP. Retrieved August 20, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Nordstrom to Open First Alabama Store at Riverchase Galleria in Birmingham". Nordstrom, Inc. November 30, 2007. Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
  9. ^ Kent, Dawn (May 1, 2009) "Plans canceled for Nordstrom store at Galleria." Birmingham News
  10. ^ Ellaby,Liz (July 14, 2009) "Lego to open first Alabama store at Hoover's Galleria." Birmingham News
  11. ^ a b Dawn Kent (August 19, 2012). "Birmingham's Hoar Construction reveals new details of Riverchase Galleria makeover". The Birmingham News. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Von Maur department store proposed for Riverchase Galleria | al.com". Blog.al.com. Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b http://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2013/06/riverchase_galleria_constructi.html
  14. ^ "Hoover City Council approves up to $25 million sales tax rebate for Riverchase Galleria | al.com". Blog.al.com. Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
  15. ^ "http://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2013/11/cost_of_the_riverchase_galleri.html"

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°22′45″N 86°48′32″W / 33.379243°N 86.808987°W / 33.379243; -86.808987