Brookwood Village

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Main entrance area in December 2009.

Colonial Brookwood Village is a 750,754 square foot shopping mall located on the border between Mountain Brook and Homewood in Shades Valley. The site stretches along Shades Creek Parkway between U.S. Highways 280 and 31.

History

Brookwood Village ad from 1977
photos from a 1975 Brookwood Village brochure

Brookwood Village, taking its name from Mountain Brook and Homewood, was developed in 1973-74 by Bob and Jim Shepherd of the Shepherd Realty Company on the former site of Shades Creek Park. The original building was designed by Crawford, Giattina and Mitchell and won a design award that year from Shopping Center World Magazine. The mall was constructed by Brice Building Company and opened in September 1974.

The two-story department store on the west end of the mall, originally Pizitz, was constructed beginning in August 1974. It was designed by Brandon Crawford and Associates and constructed by Brice. That store opened in the Summer of 1975.

Shades Creek was redirected through a drainage swale paralleling Lakeshore Drive while the mountainside was deeply excavated to prepare the site. Because the mall is located in a streambed with weak soil, the foundation for the mall is built in deep piles bearing on rock strata. By housing most of the mall's parking areas inside the building, the center presented a more imposing presence to passersby than typical malls. The blank facade was relieved by deep terraces planted with juniper shrubs. The interior featured a large skylit atrium in the center with a large fountain populated with tree-like sprayers that filled the area with white noise and mist around a pair of escalators. The floors were of glazed brick pavers. interrupted by smoothly-polished slope-sided planters. Triangular stairway platforms were accented with thick polished aluminum railings.

An interior remodeling in 1988 decked over the fountain to create a dining and special events platform. The cement and cobblestone-style floors were replaced by pastel carpeting and the round, cement, fluted columns around the supporting beams were replaced with square, white, plaster columns with some decoration. The wood and metal staircases that wrapped upwards with two triangular landings each were replaced by straight, carpeted stairs with small landings at the halfway point, slightly wider than the stairs. In addition, new lighting and escalators were installed and many shop fronts were upgraded.

Colonial Brookwood Village

Cooper Carry's rendering for renovations to Brookwood Village

In 1997, Brookwood Village was purchased for $35 million by Colonial Properties Trust and renamed "Colonial Brookwood Village." Colonial embarked almost immediately on an extensive $50 million overhaul which was completed in 2001.

Major additions included a new two-story food court with a "front entrance" for the mall, facing a new outdoor shopping street, modeled on "lifestyle centers" like the Summit. What had been a relatively anonymous interior-facing design was transformed into an outdoor "streetscape" with a pedestrian bridge over Shades Creek and a shared terrace for two anchor restaurants. This outdoor space also provided outside entrances for several mall tenants, allowed for limited parallel parking as well as a valet station. The street is also part of the Shades Creek Greenway, a six-mile long walking trail which follows Shades Creek from Green Springs Highway to Jemison Park in Mountain Brook.

The enclosed two-level parking decks at either side of the mall's central atrium were connected by ramps through the below-ground parking area. The redesign was conceptualized by Street-Works, an Arlington, Virginia-based urban design firm. Cooper Carry of Atlanta partnered with HKW Architects on the design development. Early renderings indicated a more unified approach to the design, with a wide arcade running along the creek's edge. As the design progressed, the developers brought in another firm, Streetworks of New York, New York, which recommended a more "broken up" aesthetic, drawing design cues from the nearby Mountain Brook and Lakeshore commercial to detail the individual shop fronts and to dress the outer walls of the parking decks. Brasfield & Gorrie were general contractors for the renovations.

Tenants

Original tenants

When it opened, Brookwood Village was anchored by Rich's department store. Original tenants on the upper floor included Roberta's, Regal Shoe, Lynn's Hallmark Shop, Foxmoor, Wagner's Air Step, Chess King, Stuart's, Kinney Shoe, Things Remembered, Alan Abis, Kitchen Shoppe, Bathtique, Merry-Go-Round, Sons & Harwell, Ltd, Gingiss, Casual Corner, J. Riggins, 5-7-9 Shop, Chandler Shoe, Jeans West, Spencer Gifts, Brooks Fashions, Stride Rite, Anderson-Little, Toy City, Jobe Rose, Lillie Rubin, Village Bootery, The Studio, Tinder Box, Blach's, Zale's, House of Clocks, Rosenberger's, Florsheim, Gus Mayer, Jones-Lawless, Body Shop, Wide World of Music, Oshman's Sporting Goods, W. Harris, Ltd and The Limited. On the lower level was Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour, Aladdin's Castle, Birmingham Federal, Bookland, Health & Nutrition Pantry, Swiss Colony, Port of Pets, First National Bank, Bresler's 33 Flavors Ice Cream Shop, E. E. Forbes & Sons Piano, Environs, The Magic Pan, Designhouse, T. Edwards, County Seat, Central Bank, Picture Pac, Chick Fil-A, Mitzi's 2nd Place, and El Chico.

Tenants at the Brookwood Village Convenience Center to the west edge of the site included Winn-Dixie, Eckerd's Drug, Blackburn's, Coggins Spinning Wheel, Brookwood Twin Theaters, Kopper Kettle, Wine Art, J. Rolf Continental Coiffeurs and Priscy's Nails, Dr John Christian, and One-Hour Martinizing.

Tenant changes

Within a year of opening, additional tenants filled the few vacant spaces. These included Budd's, Ellen's, Mam'selle, Shop of John Simmons, Optical Vision Center, Radio Shack, Roots, San Francisco, Tennis Luv, Ups 'N Downs and Webster's. Pizitz completed its anchor store on the west side of the mall. Star Hardware moved into the convenience center, and Ireland's, the Jolly Ox and Central Bank opened outparcel locations. W. Harris, Ltd. closed within its first year, but Gus Mayer expanded to add a men's department.

The Pizitz store was bought by JC Penney and then by McRae's. After McRae's parent, Proffitt's, bought Parisian, it upgraded the Brookwood Village store to that nameplate, but later Proffitt's successor, Saks Inc, sold the brand to Belk, which now operates the west anchor. Meanwhile Rich's was converted to Macy's.

Other later tenants include Betsy Prince, Ann Taylor Loft, Gordon's Jewelers, Z Gallerie, Lillie Rubin, Books-a-Million, K-B Toys, Books & Co, B. Dalton's Bookseller, Game Stop, Circus World, Just For Feet, Cache, Sbarro's, Golden Rule Bar-B-Q, Orange Julius, Victoria's Secret and Banana Republic. Full service restaurants include Brio Tuscan Grill, Cocina Superior and Hickory Tavern. Zea Rotisserie and Grill took the place of Plaza III Steakhouse, which in turn succeeded the Copper Grill in the redeveloped mall. A McCormick & Schmick's seafood restaurant on an eastern outparcel closed in early 2012, following the chain's sale to Landry's Inc. A second location of the Huntsville-based Grille 29 opened there in October 2015.

Later convenience center tenants included Jos. A. Banks clothier, Cameras Brookwood and professional offices. The former Jolly Ox was demolished and an Applebee's restaurant opened in a more accessible outparcel site in 1989. The Metro Grill was located next to Cameras Brookwood from 2001 to 2005. A Vincent's Market grocery store occupied the former Winn-Dixie until July 2006. The Cabana Cafe was also located at Brookwood Village.

Ireland's reopened as Jimmie's, then Micky's, and now sits vacant.

In 2011, it was announced that Target would build in the site of the original Winn-Dixie, with an anticipated March 2013 opening. A topping out ceremony was held during construction on June 26, 2012. The 140,000 square-foot store is elevated above ground-level parking. A two-story glass atrium connects the parking entrance to the store, complete with elevators and cart-carrying escalators.

Belk closed its Brookwood Village store in January 2018. Swedish retailer H & M opened as a new mall anchor that summer.

Colonial Center

Colonial Center in December 2009.
Main article: Colonial Center

Colonial Center is a 160,000 square foot, 9-story office tower located adjacent on the west side of the mall. It was completed in late 2007 and houses offices for Colonial Properties Trust, the law firm of Johnston Barton Proctor & Powell, and Sonat. O'Henry's Coffees opened in 2009.

Hotel

In November, 2006 Colonial announced that it was working on plans for a 6 story, 66-foot tall, 280-room luxury hotel for the area east of the mall, adjacent to McCormick & Schmick's restaurant. The Mountain Brook Planning Commission recommended a zoning change to allow for the proposal. In December, Colonial announced that Westin Hotels and Resorts would be the hotel operator, and that a parking garage would be built in place of the existing parking lot in front of Macy's.

References

  • "Brookwood Village Special Report: The Big '1'." (September 1975) Birmingham magazine. Vol. 15, No. 9, pp. 15-19
  • Morris, Philip (October 1975) "Here's Looking at YOU, Birmingham: Commentaries on Design and Land Use." Birmingham magazine. Vol. 15, No. 10, pp. 17-22
  • Johnson, Rob (October 1, 2000) "Turning Birmingham's Brookwood Village inside out." Retail Traffic [1] accessed March 26, 2006
  • Colonial Brookwood Village. Description of geotechnical engineering performed by BHATE Geosciences. [2] - accessed March 26, 2006
  • Goodman, Sherri C. (April 21, 2006) "New building's design lures downtown law firm: 9-story tower set for Homewood." The Birmingham News
  • Wilkinson, Kaija. (April 21, 2006) "$36M Colonial office tower at Brookwood." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Wolfson, Hannah (November 7, 2006) "New hotel proposed for Brookwood." The Birmingham News
  • Wolfson, Hannah (December 12, 2006) "Westin may build hotel at Brookwood." The Birmingham News
  • Goodman, Sherri C. (January 27, 2007) "Sonat leaving downtown base." The Birmingham News
  • Diel, Stan (March 3, 2011) "Target on target for Brookwood next year." The Birmingham News
  • Kent, Dawn (June 27, 2012) "A construction milestone for Brookwood's Target." The Birmingham News
  • Tomberlin, Michael (April 2, 2014) "Dallas-based Cypress Equities buys Brookwood Village." The Birmingham News
  • Poe, Kelly (September 22, 2017) "H&M to open new store in Brookwood Village." The Birmingham News

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