Madison Square Mall

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Madison Square Mall
Madison Square Mall logo
Madison Square Mall Food Court Entrance.jpg
Location Huntsville, Alabama
Coordinates 34°44′15″N 86°39′58″W / 34.7376°N 86.6662°W / 34.7376; -86.6662Coordinates: 34°44′15″N 86°39′58″W / 34.7376°N 86.6662°W / 34.7376; -86.6662
Address 5901 University Drive
Opening date October 16, 1984
Closing date January 29, 2017[1]
Owner The Grove Huntsville LLC
No. of stores and services 120 (at its peak)[2]
No. of anchor tenants 5 (at its peak)
Total retail floor area 929,993 sq ft (86,399.2 m2)[2]
No. of floors 2
Parking 4,767[2]
Website madisonsquaremall.com (now links to MidCity Huntsville website)

Madison Square Mall was the largest enclosed shopping center in Huntsville, Alabama encompassing over 929,993 sq ft (86,399.2 m2). It was also the oldest extant enclosed shopping mall (after The Heart of Huntsville Mall closed) in the city until its closure in 2017. The mall was located on the corner of University Drive (US 72) and Research Park Boulevard (SR-255).

In late January 2017, the mall permanently closed after 32 years of operation. Demolition of the former mall began on February 6, 2017. The property will be redeveloped into MidCity Huntsville beginning in 2017.

History[edit]

Madison Square Mall opened on August 1, 1984, with anchors JCPenney, Parisian,[3] Castner Knott, Pizitz, and a Sears which relocated from Heart of Huntsville Mall. Junior anchors included Yielding and Blach's. Over time, some of the anchors moved or were bought out by bigger companies. Blach's was closed by 1987 and replaced by The Limited and Victoria's Secret. Pizitz was acquired by Jackson, Mississippi-based McRae's in 1988 and renamed as such until McRae's was acquired by Charlotte, North Carolina-based Belk. Castner Knott was acquired in 1998 by Dillard's. Yielding closed their Madison Square Mall location around 1993.

For the next 10 years the space was used by Castner Knott/Dillard's for their menswear. Until 2008, Steve & Barry's used the space. In 2007, Belk, after purchasing Parisian, moved its store from the former McRae's space to the much larger former Parisian space and renovated it to fit the Belk model. The former McRae's building remained vacant from then until the mall closed. Belk departed for Bridge Street Town Center in late 2014.

In addition to the in-line mall stores, several other businesses are located in the Madison Square complex, including a Holiday Inn hotel, a Steak 'n Shake restaurant, and a TouchStar Cinemas movie theater. Former businesses in the complex include Romano's Macaroni Grill and Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon.

Madison Square Mall had been renovated twice since its opening, first in 1994 and again in 2006. In the years following the renovation of 2006, a decrease in foot traffic and an increased crime threat lead to many tenants of the mall relocating to other locations.[4][5] A riot erupted in December 2012 over the new Nike Air Jordan; police had to use pepper spray to calm the situation. No arrests were made.[6] In July 2014, a video surfaced online of a Belk employee attempting to fight off a shoplifter in the parking lot.[7] In September 2015, a woman was robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot of the mall.[8]

Madison Square Mall's food court empty in 2016

The pilot episode of the Food Network show, Food Court Wars was filmed at this mall. Kettle N' Spouts, the winner of the episode, received a year's worth of free rent in the mall that was valued at $100,000. Kettle N' Spouts closed only 6 months after the episode aired.[9]

Madison Square Mall was owned by CBL & Associates Properties, Inc.,[10] until it was sold to The Grove Huntsville LLC for $5 million in late April 2015. The property will be redeveloped, despite struggles with the city of Huntsville against property owners Sears, JCPenney, and most notably TouchStar Cinemas, who started a petition on 7 June 2016 to prevent their property from being demolished. Not even 24 hours later, the petition achieved over 1,000 signatures. Huntsville's Director of Urban Development, Shane Davis, made a statement regarding this move, and confirmed that the theater will not be demolished, and instead the plans would be reworked around the property.[11][12]

Madison Square Mall began liquidation in summer 2016.[13] The last liquidation sale ended on January 8, 2017.[14]

On November 28, 2016, Sears announced it would be closing on January 29, 2017, making it the last tenant or anchor to close in the mall. Sears also announced it would return to the MidCity Huntsville development that will replace Madison Square Mall in a smaller store.[15] In December 2016, JCPenney announced it would close on January 28, 2017. It is unknown if JCPenney will remain in the Huntsville area.[16]

With the closure of Sears and JCPenney, Madison Square Mall permanently closed on January 29, 2017. Demolition of the former mall began on February 6, 2017.[17] The property will be redeveloped into MidCity Huntsville with Phase 1 slated to open in late 2017.[18]

Madison Square Mall, February 2017
Madison Square Mall, February 2017

As of May 2017, the mall has been completely demolished, save for one remaining wall on the back side of the JCPenney. There are still large amounts of debris and rubble being sorted on the property.

In April 2017, construction on Topgolf began.

Anchors[edit]

Former[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "JCPenney, Sears closing soon at Madison Square Mall in Huntsville". al.com. Retrieved 26 January 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c "Madison Square". CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. Archived from the original on 2011-08-07. Retrieved January 19, 2011. 
  3. ^ Blueweiss, Herbert (August 9, 1984). "Class act retailing at new Parisian". Daily News Record. Fairchild Fashion Media. 
  4. ^ "Madison Square tenant will abandon struggling mall for new location in Huntsville". Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  5. ^ "Future of Madison Square Mall in Huntsville is hazy as more businesses close, officials talk redevelopment options". Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  6. ^ Staff, WAFF 48 Digital. "Police use pepper spray on crowd waiting for new Air Jordans". Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  7. ^ "Video appears to capture weekend shoplifting assault outside Madison Square Mall". Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  8. ^ "Huntsville Police investigate armed robbery outside Madison Square Mall". 28 November 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  9. ^ "A year after 'Restaurant Impossible,' Main Dish owners discuss Food Network, reality TV and why they closed (photos, video)". Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  10. ^ "Dillard's and Parisian Announced as Anchor Stores for Parkway Place Redevelopment". Business Wire. April 12, 2000. 
  11. ^ Berry, Lucy (April 29, 2015). "Madison Square Mall in Huntsville sold for $5 million". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved April 29, 2015. 
  12. ^ Berry, Lucy (June 7, 2016). "City of Huntsville calls off plans to acquire Madison Square movie theater". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved June 8, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Huge liquidation sale going on now at Madison Square Mall in Huntsville". Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  14. ^ Olivia Steen. "Madison Square Mall has its last liquidation sale.". Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  15. ^ "Sears' Madison Square Mall store to close in January of 2017, will relocate within Huntsville". 18 November 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  16. ^ "JCPenney closing store at Huntsville's Madison Square Mall". Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  17. ^ Matt Chandler. "Final days of Madison Square Mall". waff.com. Retrieved January 30, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Project at Madison Square Mall site could mean $250 million to Huntsville". al.com. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  19. ^ Berry, Lucy (October 3, 2014). "After Belk closes Saturday, will struggling Madison Square Mall in Huntsville hang on?". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved April 29, 2015. 
  20. ^ http://www.fox10tv.com/story/30377107/dillards-clearance-store-at-madison-square-mall-to-close
  21. ^ "JCPenney closing store at Huntsville's Madison Square Mall". Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  22. ^ "JCPenney, Sears closing soon at Madison Square Mall in Huntsville". al.com. Retrieved 26 January 2017. 

External links[edit]