Posted May 10, 2006, 4:07 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Hangin' in the Alley
There's a lot of development news coming out of downtown and midtown, but the bread-and-butter eastside continues to hum along too.
This article confirms some future projects I've wondered about for over a year...like the new shopping center coming to EastChase. Looks like the size has been increased from 300,000 sq ft. (according to website) to 500,000 sq ft. Ahhh, sprawl...
Business is booming in East Montgomery
By David Zaslawsky
Central Alabama Business Journal
MONTGOMERY - Although people debate the location of East Montgomery, there is no argument that the region is upscale from its subdivisions and retailers.
Where else do you find gourmet meals-ready-to-go along with a wine list that what make the finest restaurant envious?
The region is a retailer's dream. Alfa Realty Commercial Division bills the location of its Sturbridge Village shopping center in "the fastest growing, most affluent area of Montgomery."
The shopping center, which already features Winn-Dixie, Rite Aid and Applebee's, will soon be announcing expansion plans. The company's Web site talks about "continuing growth," room for "substantial enlargement as the market matures" and its location at the corner of Vaughn and Taylor roads - "the dominant intersection in this trade area."
What's behind Alfa's grandiose description? Try these projected 2009 numbers within a 5-mile radius of the shopping center from an Alfa Web site:
Population - 100,000
Households - 42,565
Average income -- $72,799
Retail sales -- $1.6 billion.
Alfa Realty Commercial Division calls its four-story, 100,000-square-foot Lakeview Center at The Office Park at EastChase "Montgomery's most fashionable office location." It is just the first phase of the office campus.
And the East Montgomery site has lured such heavy hitters as Jim Wilson & Associates, Merchant Capital, Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood and Morgan Stanley.
Office space is being added to Festival Plaza, which featured the country's first 16-screen Rave Motion Pictures theater. A 50,000-square-foot office tower will be added to Festival Plaza in spring of 2007, according to Southeast Real Estate Business.
David McClinton, senior vice president of development and brokerage for McClinton & Co. Inc. which developed Festival Plaza, told the Montgomery Advertiser, "We look for growth in East Montgomery to continue and are excited to have a top-notch location in such a great area of the city."
The Shoppes at Cornerstone, which features Stein Mart, Publix and another 20-plus stores, is located on the exclusive corner of Vaughn and Taylor roads. One of those stores will be Starbucks.
"Our line-up of stores will create over 119,000 square feet of great retailing in one of Montgomery's best locations, with everything from necessity items to the latest specialty stores," John Argo, vice president of retail development for Aronov, said in a statement.
On its Web site, Aronov states the location is "the busiest intersection in fast-growing East Montgomery with a combined traffic count of over 50,000 vehicles a day."
Pike Road is a small community in East Montgomery, but the town draws plenty of attention from retailers as earlier demographics showed 52 of the 74 owner-occupied homes are valued at $250,000 and up. Nineteen of the owner-occupied houses are valued at $400,000-$499,000. Twenty-one of the town's households have annual incomes of $200,000-plus.
The town's population has surged to 1,600-plus residents today and officials annexed land to create a business district.
"People are deciding to move up to something that is bigger, better and further east," said Don Bogie, director of the Center for Demographic Research at Auburn University Montgomery.
"As people become better off economically they keep moving further out. It's a pattern you see across the United States."
That's why East Montgomery is dotted with upscale jewelers and restaurants. But big-box retailers are also planning to cash in on the residents with plenty of disposable income. Home Depot has opened a store and Wal-Mart is building its fourth Montgomery store and first in East Montgomery.
Wal-Mart will help anchor the 350,000-square-foot Chantilly Station along with Lowe's, according to Southeast Real Estate Business.
Meanwhile, Jim Wilson & Associates are developing a 500,000-square-foot, $30 million shopping center called EastChase Market Center, which will feature two anchors and eight mid-box retailers, ranging from 25,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet.
The Shoppes at EastChase and The Plaza at EastChase drew retailers from other sections of Montgomery, including Dillard's. Other retailers were new to Montgomery: Target, Kohl's, Chico's, Abercrombie & Fitch, Williams-Sonoma, Banana Republic, Cost Plus World Market, PetsMart, Coldwater Creek and Ross Dress for Less.
Many of the upscale retailers followed the upscale subdivisions nearby. Rockbridge Place at Sturbridge offers new homes from the $400,000's. One of the featured homes by Alfa Builders is price at $531,000.
The 246-acre Taylor Lakes community is offering new homes in the $300,000's for the first two neighborhoods. There are six more neighborhoods in planning stages.
Who are these people living in East Montgomery?
According to information compiled by the Center for Demographic Research at Auburn University Montgomery from the 2000 U.S. Census, nearly 60 percent of the residents in East Montgomery recently moved to the area.
The median household income for East Montgomery was $52,458 through 1999, the latest year figures were available. About 29 percent of the East Montgomery households had annual incomes of $75,000-plus compared with 17.6 percent of all Montgomery households.
The Census Bureau divides areas into tracts and within East Montgomery there is a Census tract, which includes the Wynlakes subdivision, where almost 55 percent of the households had annual incomes of $75,000-plus. The median household income for that same tract was $82,565 in 1999.
Here are some other demographics about the Census tract, which includes Wynlakes:
96.4 percent have a high school diploma or above
60.6 percent have a bachelor's degree or above
Median value of the homes is $196,400
Nearly 55 percent are employed in upper-level white-collar jobs.
How do those numbers compared with the city of Montgomery?
80.7 have a high school diploma or above
29.4 percent have a bachelor's degree or above
Median value of the homes is $86,800
37 percent are employed in upper-level white-collar jobs.
According to Aronov's Web site, "The Shoppes at Cornerstone customers are highly motivated, well-educated young professionals with growing families. Active, upwardly mobile customers with a high concentration of double income families live, work, relax, and shop within the prosperous trade area surrounding the site. With a median age of 33, the lifestyle-conscious population earns an average yearly income in excess of $72,000."
Parker Collins, a senior planner with the Montgomery Planning Organization, earlier told the Central Alabama Business Journal he expects the rapid growth to continue in East Montgomery.
The area is expected to add 17,000 people by 2030, according to Bogie. That would give East Montgomery a well-heeled population of 48,531 - a 71 percent increase from today's population of 31,182.
That's more rooftops and retail follows rooftops.