McFarland Mall was a regional 497,000-square-foot (46,200 m2) shopping mall on U. S. Highway 11 (Skyland Boulevard East) in Tuscaloosa. Located at the interchange of Interstate 20/59 with U. S. Highway 82 (McFarland Boulevard), it was in the southern section of the city. After opening in February 1969, the mall saw a steady decline since the opening of University Mall in 1980. In 2014 the mall was demolished to make way for new retail center called Encore Tuscaloosa.
Originally developed by Ward Wharton McFarland, when opened on February 19, 1969, McFarland Mall was the third fully enclosed mall constructed in the state of Alabama after Eastwood Mall in Birmingham and Bel Air Mall in Mobile. The mall was designed by the Birmingham architectural firm of Brandon Crawford & Associates, with the Tuscaloosa firms of N.C. Morgan Construction Company serving as contractor and McGiffert & Associates serving as project engineer. At its opening, the mall had two anchor stores (Gayfers and Woolco, along with an additional 30 tenants including:
An additional nine stores opened in the months following the grand opening. These stores included: Baskin-Robbins, LeRoy Jordan's Flaming Pit Restaurant, Tuscaloosa Photo Services Color Corner, Spiller Pet Center, Swiss Colony, Loft Candy, NGC Twin Theaters, Jacobs Drug Store & Cafeteria, and Chuck Collins Studio.
Constructed with only one-story, in 1975 Gayfers (subsequently Dillard's) added a second story and has since remained the only two story tenant. The mall's other anchor was originally Woolco, which closed in 1983. It later became Zayre and subsequently Drug Mart by 1990. The mall saw significant renovations in 1980 and again in 1993, with the addition of a 320-seat food court and atrium. The mall remained under the ownership of the McFarland family through 2009.
In May 2009 it was announced the Tuscaloosa developer Stan Pate had purchased the mall from Ward McFarland, Inc. ending the McFarland family association with the facility. The new owners have declared that they will be looking at many options to make the facility more profitable, from future renovations to completely demolishing the structure and building anew. With the demolition of Eastwood Mall in 2006, as of 2009, McFarland is the second oldest enclosed mall in the state of Alabama with only Bel Air Mall being constructed earlier.
Anchors & Major Stores
- T.J. Maxx
- Dillard's - Opened 1998, closed June 2008
- Goody's Family Clothing - Opened 1994, closed February 2009
- Gayfers - Opened 1969, transitioned to Dillard's in 1998
- Morton, Jason (March 19, 2014) "McFarland Mall demolition makes way for new shopping center." Tuscaloosa News
- Morton, Jason (March 27, 2008) "Dillard's to close McFarland Mall store." Tuscaloosa News
- Taylor, Stephanie (June 27, 2008) "Dillard's is gone with the wind." Tuscaloosa News
- Rupinski, Patrick (January 8, 2009) "Goody’s clothing store latest retail casualty." Tuscaloosa News
- "McFarland Mall sold." (May 20, 2009) Northport Gazette
- Rupinski, Patrick (May 21, 2009) "Developer Stan Pate to take over McFarland Mall." Tuscaloosa News
- (January 2, 1990) Harco deep-discount unit opens in its home market. Chain Drug Review
- (February 21, 1979) "Mall grand opening February 19, 1969." Tuscaloosa News