West Lake Mall
West Lake Mall is a 300,000 square foot former shopping mall located north of Bessemer Superhighway and south of I-20/59 in Bessemer, near the Cedar Hill Cemetery. The mall, managed by Mac Mitchell, is vacant.
The mall was constructed in 1969 by Indianapolis, Indiana developer Mel Simon. The mall was named for West Lake, the former centerpiece of West Lake Park, which was filled in to facilitate the mall's construction.
In the mid-1980s Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company made an effort to transform the mall into a factory outlet center.
The Bruno family made efforts toward revitalization of the shopping center in the early 1990s when it placed one of its flagship stores in the former Sears location in 1994. Bruno's had a Consumer Warehouse Foods store in the former Sokol's location from the early 1980s until it opened its 60,000-square-foot flagship store, which was originally intended to carry the FoodMax brand. The Bruno's Food & Pharmacy was converted to the Food World brand in 1998 when the company closed a nearby location on 9th Avenue.
The Magic City Railroad Club used a portion of the mall for a semi-permanent model train installation from 1993 to 2007.
Auto dealer Anthony Underwood purchased the remainder of the mall in 2007 and is pursuing plans to lease space to discount retailers which he hopes to attract by starting a flea market in the 91,000 square-foot northeastern anchor space. Other possibilities include converting part of the mall into a business operations center or call center, or for warehouse distribution. He currently operates a party room in the mall.
After the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak, Underwood allowed the mall and his nearby WaterMark Place outlet center to be used as staging areas for relief workers. Underwood also offered up spaces at both malls to businesses in the areas which were destroyed by the tornadoes for temporary locations to either reopen or store their inventories.
- New Ideal
- Radio Shack
- Lorch's Diamond Center
- Handy TV and Appliance
- Consumer Warehouse Foods
- FoodMax/Bruno's/Food World
- World Gym
- Seafeast Restaurant
- Meadows, Karin (August 31, 1993) "Bruno's makes way for FoodMax." Birmingham News
- Business Briefs (August 14, 1998) "Bruno's to switch store name." Birmingham News
- Tomberlin, Michael (March 19, 2009) "West Lake mall's owner dreams of revival in Bessemer, Alabama." Birmingham News
- Tomberlin, Michael (May 8, 2011) "Retail centers open to displaced businesses." Birmingham News