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  #21  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 8:23 AM
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BTW, here are some pictures of construction around Tuscaloosa.

Along the strip




Ridgecrest South (dorm on campus)







Shelby Hall

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  #22  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 2:06 PM
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Just read that Dillards is closing their McFarland Mall location in Tuscaloosa. This is pretty bad for McFarland Mall, it was in bad shape before, I wonder if they'll be able to find an anchor that would be willing to take a chance on that building that's in such disrepair.
Yeah, that old mall has gotten in pitiful shape.
The rumor is Burlington Coat Factory plans to move into the bottom floor, but what that mall really needs is an implosion...
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  #23  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2008, 7:29 PM
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Originally Posted by DruidCity View Post
Yeah, that old mall has gotten in pitiful shape.
The rumor is Burlington Coat Factory plans to move into the bottom floor, but what that mall really needs is an implosion...
It will never survive and it's situation is awfully similar to Springdale in Mobile. I could be wrong but I think it was Gayfer's/Dillards that left that one too.

Not only is University Mall ugly but the area it too saturated to make a comeback. Basically every type of business is now covered across the street. I guess they could try to make it more of a lower end shoe and clothing place but the amount of people it would bring in won't be enough. Tear that baby down and build something nice...the rest of the area is really nice now -- from target to Barnes and Nobles.
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  #24  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2008, 7:39 PM
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According to an article in the Tuscaloosa News a couple days ago, it sounds like the plan in the first post in this thread is far from firm :
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl...NEWS/657606288

Similarly, the proposed Riverwalk Place development is still on hold :
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl...NEWS/120690497

Northport has been dragging its ass for years on a proposed downtown/riverfront plan, but it looks like they've finally got a plan they're happy with, so there might be some actual development forthcoming:
http://www.cityofnorthport.org/Defau...ity+Department
http://www.cityofnorthport.org/Sites...nt%20pages.pdf

Of some interest is the inclusion long-term of a pedestrian bridge to downtown Tuscaloosa.
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  #25  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2008, 9:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DruidCity View Post
According to an article in the Tuscaloosa News a couple days ago, it sounds like the plan in the first post in this thread is far from firm :
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl...NEWS/657606288

Similarly, the proposed Riverwalk Place development is still on hold :
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl...NEWS/120690497

Northport has been dragging its ass for years on a proposed downtown/riverfront plan, but it looks like they've finally got a plan they're happy with, so there might be some actual development forthcoming:
http://www.cityofnorthport.org/Defau...ity+Department
http://www.cityofnorthport.org/Sites...nt%20pages.pdf

Of some interest is the inclusion long-term of a pedestrian bridge to downtown Tuscaloosa.
Sounds great, I don't like driving over the the bridges into Northport and seeing JUST trees. I'd like to see some parkspace.
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  #26  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2008, 9:42 PM
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I agree. Northport's proposed "park/plaza" area where the pedestrian bridge would come in would be very convenient to the big restaurants (Steamers, Dreamland), also. I hope Steamers will add some live music on the patio area during the warm weather months.

Anyway, here are the links to Tuscaloosa's assorted "master plan" efforts:
http://tuscaloosa.com/index.asp?nid=742
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  #27  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2008, 12:58 AM
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When Dillards leaves McFarland Mall, will it be relocating to another regional shopping center in the metro?
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  #28  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2008, 2:26 AM
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Quote:
When Dillards leaves McFarland Mall, will it be relocating to another regional shopping center in the metro?
They haven't announced any plans to do so, and there really aren't any existing places they could move.

I guess it's possible that they could decide to build a store in some as-yet-announced retail center in the future, but it seemed like Dillard's was looking for a way out of this market as soon as they got in (when Dillard's absorbed the Gayfers chain). Gayfers was very popular here, but people never seemed to take to Dillard's (which never appeared to be "clean, new, and nice" like Dillard's stores I've been to in other cities).

This leaves McFarland Mall's anchors as discount stores Goody's and TJMaxx.
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  #29  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2008, 6:15 AM
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I really think that Dillards should just relocate to a different location. I know the whole reason they left was because business was bad. I'm sorry but, if you're gonna put a store in McFarland Mall, you're almost asking to be ignored!
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  #30  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2008, 1:49 PM
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I really think that Dillards should just relocate to a different location. I know the whole reason they left was because business was bad. I'm sorry but, if you're gonna put a store in McFarland Mall, you're almost asking to be ignored!
Yes, and I'd really like to see a store like Dillard's at the "cityfest block" downtown. I think the city is trying to sell a total of about 5 acres there, and it's convenient to everywhere.

I know I sound like a senior citizen when I say I can barely remember department stores downtown, but even at 36, I remember as a kid going to Pizitz, JCPenney, and Brown's department stores in downtown Tuscaloosa, not even counting discount stores like Woolworth's.
Now that we have a small, but growing restaurant/bar area around the University Blvd/Greensboro Ave intersection, I'd love to see some significant retail come back to the central city.
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  #31  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2008, 4:40 PM
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Originally Posted by DruidCity View Post
Yes, and I'd really like to see a store like Dillard's at the "cityfest block" downtown. I think the city is trying to sell a total of about 5 acres there, and it's convenient to everywhere.

I know I sound like a senior citizen when I say I can barely remember department stores downtown, but even at 36, I remember as a kid going to Pizitz, JCPenney, and Brown's department stores in downtown Tuscaloosa, not even counting discount stores like Woolworth's.
Now that we have a small, but growing restaurant/bar area around the University Blvd/Greensboro Ave intersection, I'd love to see some significant retail come back to the central city.
Yea, that part of downtown is REALLY jumpin! Haha, one of my friend's brothers is looking at living in a loft above Mugshots next year when he attends law school at Bama.

BTW, I LOVE Mugshots!
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  #32  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2008, 5:40 PM
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The only problem I have with Mugshots is the occasional "sewer smell."
I don't know if they have a leak in the plumbing or what exactly the deal is, but they really need to do something about it.

Any idea what is going in between Mugshots and Epiphany ?

Speaking of lofts, here's an article on a loft conversion next door to DePalma's:
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl...NEWS/978898906

I don't know what the developer paid for that little building, but I know a couple years ago the sellers were asking $270,000.
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  #33  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2008, 5:45 PM
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Originally Posted by DruidCity View Post
The only problem I have with Mugshots is the occasional "sewer smell."
I don't know if they have a leak in the plumbing or what exactly the deal is, but they really need to do something about it.

Any idea what is going in between Mugshots and Epiphany ?

Speaking of lofts, here's an article on a loft conversion next door to DePalma's:
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl...NEWS/978898906

I don't know what the developer paid for that little building, but I know a couple years ago the sellers were asking $270,000.
No clue what's goin on. When my friends and I drove by to see the loft, that's all we were concentrating on, so I didn't really look at anything else. Yea, I noticed something was goin on there, I might drive out the in a bit to check it out.
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  #34  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2008, 6:07 PM
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Those lofts are incredible. I went to look at them with a friend the other day but the 1200 a month was a litttttle out of my price range.

However, they were done properly and a lot of people are interested in them.
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  #35  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2008, 9:30 PM
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UA gets closer to buying Bryce
Quote:

Committees to study future of hospital
By Adam Jones Staff Writer
Published: Monday, June 30, 2008 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, June 29, 2008 at 11:14 p.m.

TUSCALOOSA | Although there is no timetable and officials are reticent to give specific details, a consensus seems to be emerging that the University of Alabama will ultimately buy its next-door neighbor, Bryce Hospital.

UA President Robert Witt told trustees earlier this month that the university needs to maintain its financial strength in the face of state budget cuts because it has the opportunity to buy the Bryce property in the coming year.

His comments marked the first time he has mentioned publicly to trustees the possibility of buying Bryce. However, in December, trustees approved buying nearly 21 acres of Bryce’s campus for about $1.6 million to turn into a parking lot, and two trustees said it was too early to discuss buying the entire campus, though they said it was a possibility.

Witt’s comment to trustees come after three committees were formed to look at the needs of a new Bryce Hospital, including where to put a new hospital and what to do with the historical sites on the hospital grounds, said John Ziegler, spokesman for the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation.

Two of the committees are part of the mental health department, and the third is a joint committee between the department and UA working with a UA-hired consultant to study the future of Bryce.

Still, Ziegler said the completion of an internal long-range strategic plan must be in place before any substantive discussions can take place about selling the 209-acre property.

“[Commissioner John Houston] has always said whatever happens to Bryce will only happen in the context of the system’s transformation plan,” he said.

The planning process has been going on nearly two years, and Houston is close to finishing it, Ziegler said. He expects that before the end of the year, Houston, Witt and Gov. Bob Riley will discuss when the property could be sold.

“No one is stalling, but it’s very complex,” he said. “No one is being driven by pressure to sell to the university.”

Cathy Andreen, UA spokeswoman, said Witt’s comments to the board of trustees are not new information in the ongoing story of UA’s possible purchase of Bryce Hospital, a process that surfaced publicly in January 2006.

His comments about Bryce came amid a host of other longer-term needs, such as replacing old dorms, that Witt said the university has to keep in mind when drafting a budget to meet a short-term dropoff in state money.

“Nothing new has happened,” Andreen said in an e-mail.

Still, the prospect of UA buying the Bryce campus, about one-third the size of the current university campus, becomes more of a certainty with every public statement by state and university leaders.

Ziegler said members of the department and the university are on a joint committee to make recommendations on what should be included in a new hospital. The committee is working with Clark Nexen, a consultant UA hired for $100,000 earlier this year to draft a proposal for the future of Bryce’s patients and staff. The company’s report is not ready, Andreen said.

Another mental health department committee is studying land in Tuscaloosa County owned by the department that could possibly house a new mental hospital, Zielger said. The department owns 75 parcels totaling about 6,000 acres in the county.

“We’re looking at if we do this or do that, where would be the place for Bryce,” Ziegler said.

The department cannot simply relocate a hospital on the biggest available tract of land, since many patients use the city’s public transportation system to get to Bryce facilities or travel from the hospital to work, he said. Plus, the department must consider the impact of a new facility on employees’ commutes, he said.

The third mental health department committee will make recommendations for Bryce’s historical sites once UA takes ownership of the land, such as Peter Bryce’s grave, a patient cemetery and the white main building most visibly associated with the hospital.

Although the building now houses only a few administrative offices, the decaying structure was once considered cutting edge in the nation for mental health facilities when it was built in 1861. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and Witt has said the building would be preserved if UA buys the campus.

Once the committees complete their work, the department and UA can look at financial issues, Ziegler said. An appraisal UA helped pay for two years ago placed the value of the Bryce campus and facilities at $43 million.
Tuscaloosa News
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  #36  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2008, 12:44 AM
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Article & rendering of planned $20-million UA nursing school building :
http://media.www.cw.ua.edu/media/sto...-3385600.shtml

Also, according to the Tuscaloosa News, Innisfree Irish Pub plans to move from its current small location downtown to the much larger Norris Radiator building, possibly adding a full restaurant. To my knowledge, this is the first private investment within the "downtown revitalization district." The city's parking deck is well under construction, as well, and the block where the Federal building will go has a sign "coming in 2010."

Surin of Thailand has opened on the university strip, which fills
an empty building there. The Strip is arguably a more pedestrian-oriented area than downtown itself.

According to this old article, the Federal building will be built to LEED environmental standards : http://www.constructionequipmentguid...ine=Demolition

The office building under construction by the river is LEED certified, as well:
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl...NEWS/804270320

New design for "Riverwalk Place" development will no longer include
mid-rise condos: http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl...NEWS/406990380
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  #37  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2008, 3:42 AM
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Tuscaloosa, the thread that won't die

The official census estimates for July, 2007 reflect a very interesting trend in Tuscaloosa: http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/SUB-EST2007-4.html
From the 2000 census to the 2007 estimate, the city gained nearly 11,000 residents, even though the whole county netted just 13,000 :
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl...to_be_off_base

Other neat bits from the data :

* Some predicted that Hoover would "easily" be the 5th largest municipality in the state by the 2010 census. Surprisingly, though, if the data is accurate, Hoover has been growing at a slower rate this decade than Tuscaloosa, Dothan, or Auburn.

* From the 2004 census estimate to the 2007 census estimate, the city of Tuscaloosa added just under 8,000 residents, the largest numerical gain of any municipality in Alabama during that time span.
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  #38  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2008, 1:09 AM
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Proposed 14-story, mixed-use "Dynasty Park" just west of Bryant-Denny:
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl..._set_in_motion

This is the latest version of the project in the initial post that created the Tuscaloosa thread.

Also, for whatever it's worth, university enrollment appears to be up some more: http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/articl...820/NEWS/49280

Proposed city amphitheater, new farmer's market, and visitor's bureau could open in the second half of 2010, at a cost of $14.8 million : http://www.tuscaloosa.com/DocumentView.asp?DID=1238
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  #39  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2008, 1:55 AM
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Thanks for the links, DC. The increased enrollment is great especially since it includes a large number of great out of state students. The University recently moved up again in the US N&WP rankings.

The UA development off of Jack Warner is starting to come along nicely.
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  #40  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2008, 2:03 AM
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So instead of two buildings (a 13 story hotel and an 8-10 story condo), this will be one 14 story mixed use, right?
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