Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

New mall site to open in October

Pet lovers, sports enthusiasts and shoe fanatics in Tuscaloosa will soon have another shopping center to explore.

Scheduled to open in October 2015, the site will be located on 15th Street near McFarland and be named “The Shoppes at Legacy Park.”

Matt Calderone, former University of Alabama SGA president and current Tuscaloosa City councilman, assisted with the proposal for the new development. In an email, Calderone said the revenue the project could bring to the city was important.

“Property taxes for city schools will not be affected by the incentive package, but we estimate them to reach $430,000 a year,” Calderone wrote in the email. “That’s $430,000 in new dollars for the city schools generated from a piece of property that currently is generating essentially no revenue for the city.” “I assure you that the City has done its due diligence in researching and analyzing a variety of successful and unsuccessful projects such as this, both in state and out of state.”

Alumni Development of Clanton, Alabama, is constructing the development, which will include locations for sporting goods, pet supplies and other stores.

“We broke ground on the project back in October,” Calderone said. “The project is planned to be complete October 2015 with the potential of some shops opening sooner. Stores include Fresh Market, World Market, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Dicks Sporting Goods, PetSmart and Designer Show Warehouse. Smaller stores will be announced in the coming months.”

In his statement, Calderone emphasized the possibilities the development could have for the local economy.

“Clearly, this development will provide a tremendous boost to our local economy,” he said. “Additionally, this property could have been developed as another student apartment complex, it could have been a large retailer like a Walmart, but it is not.”

Calderone said he projects the development to bring in over $1.4 million in revenue for the city during its first year.

“It is being developed in a way that brings new dollars to our town and activates an area that is blank and currently not significantly contributing to our local economy,” he said. “I say in my opinion, this is one of the best options for development of that area in terms of bringing in revenue to our City.”

He said the $55 million, 250,000 square foot shopping center could bring in an additional 400 jobs to the community.

Wren Smith, a graduate student in accounting, said he thinks the development will aid in business competition.

“As a business major myself, I think that anytime there is a new business, that is an economic stimulus,” Smith said. “You’ll have more jobs, and more places where people can work. I also believe in competition, so I think its good for stores like Academy and the customers to have a different store like Dick’s Sporting Goods in place. I can’t see it as a detriment in what’s already a heavily trafficked and commercial part of town.”

Shujun Tian, a freshman majoring in finance, said she thinks the shopping center is beneficial for residents looking for employment.

“I think this is good because it is helpful for the Tuscaloosa people,” Tian said. “It’s good that many people can get a job so they can earn money and take care of their family.”

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