Brookwood Village

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Brookwood Village exterior in 1977
Overview map of Brookwood Village in 1974
Interior of Brookwood Village in the 1970s

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.


A 114-acre parcel on the site of Brookwood Village was rezoned in 1960 for construction of the Rosebrook Shopping Center, a $35 million regional shopping center proposed by the Rosebrook Corp. of Dallas, Texas. That project was not realized.

Brookwood Village, taking its name from Mountain Brook and Homewood, was developed between 1972 and 1974 by Bob and Jim Shepherd of the Shepherd Realty Company on the former site of Shades Creek Park.

The convenience center was developed first, with the Coggin Spinning Wheel restaurant opening in September 1972.

The mall building was designed by Crawford, Giattina & Mitchel and won a design award that year from Shopping Center World Magazine. The mall was constructed by Brice Building Company and opened in August 1974. L. C. Van Reenen was the mall's original manager and promotion director.

The two-story, 104,000 square-foot department store on the west end of the mall, originally Pizitz, was constructed beginning in August 1974. It was also designed by Crawford, Giattina & Mitchell 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

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.


Original tenants

When it opened, Brookwood Village was anchored by Rich's department store on the east. Other original tenants included:

Tenants at the Brookwood Village Convenience Center to the west edge of the site included:

Tenant changes

Within a year of opening, additional tenants filled the few vacant spaces. These included Budd's, Ellen'sRoots, Ups 'N Downs and Webster's. Pizitz completed its anchor store on the west side of the mall and Ireland's and the Jolly Ox restaurants opened outparcel locations.

In 1988 the Kao's in Homewood Chinese restaurant, managed by Stephen and Betty Kao, was renamed the Peking Palace.

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 took over the west anchor. Meanwhile Rich's was converted to Macy's.

Other later tenants included Betsy Prince (1981-2016), Ann Taylor Loft, Gordon's Jewelers, Z Gallerie, Books & Co/Books-a-Million, K-B Toys, B. Dalton 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 included 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. It closed after a few years. In October 2022, Grace Church began using the former restaurant as its church building.

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. White Flowers reopened their retail store at the mall late that year.

In 2019 the Homewood Theatre company leased space in the mall to stage its productions. Other new tenants announced in 2019 included Butterflies and Magnolia, Darnell’s Fun Stuff, Homewood Florist, Cannella Gelato, Edgewood Dance and The Cottage of Serendipity.

During the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic numerous tenants closed, including Books-A-Million and anchor restaurants Brio Tuscan Grille, Jason's Deli and Cocina Superior. The mall's Chick Fil-A, the oldest location in Alabama, survived the pandemic but closed in 2021 in anticipation of a new free-standing store opening in Cahaba Heights.

By the end of 2021, only Macy's, Five Guys and Hickory Tavern were still operating, through the mall interior remained open. Hickory Tavern closed in September 2023.

Brookwood Office Center

The Brookwood Office Center, formerly Colonial Center is a 169,489 square-foot, 9-story office tower located adjacent on the west side of the mall. It was completed in late 2007 and has housed offices for Colonial Properties Trust, the law firm of Johnston Barton Proctor & Powell, and Sonat. O'Henry's Coffees opened on the ground floor in 2009.

Expansion proposals

In November 2006 Colonial Properties 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. Those plans were never accomplished.

Cypress Equities of Dallas, Texas purchased the mall and adjoining developments in 2014 for $80 million. In 2017 it was announced that a two-story H&M store would be added to the mall, taking up the upper level of Books-A-Million. That project was later abandoned. In September 2018 EB Arrow, a spinoff of Cypress Equities, began marketing a proposed "entertainment wing" with additional office space on the west side, replacing the vacant Belk store. The concept also called for adding two hotels (one limited service, one extended stay) with a parking deck between them on the east side of the mall adjoining Macy's. In March 2019 the property was refinanced with a $25 million loan.

State and county-mandated social distancing during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic forced the mall itself to close for several weeks. The economic fallout from the pandemic hastened the demise of several businesses at Brookwood Village, including Brio Tuscan Grille, Cocina Superior, Jason's Deli and Books-A-Million.

2020 Redevelopment proposal

In October 2020 a purchase contract from Colliers International and Arlington Properties was accepted. Mark Stuermann and Joe Sandner IV, partners in Brookwood Office Partners LLC, announced a proposal to redevelop the mall with landscaped open spaces, office space, a hotel and conference center, and 350 apartments. The partners scheduled a series of community meetings through mid-November to discuss their plans, which would entail demolishing most of the mall's superstructure, with the public. Those meetings did not take place.

Fairway Investments, the real estate development arm of Thompson Tractor Co., put the lion's share of the mall (west of Macy's) and the adjoining Fresh Market under contract in early 2021. It completed the $21 million purchase in partnership with Pope & Land Real Estate of Atlanta, Georgia in August of that year. Fairway COO Sims Garrison said that the company planned to, "restore the vibrancy to Brookwood Mall again". They commissioned design studies from Goodwyn Mills Cawood and DAG Architects of Destin, Florida. In September the partnership acquired the 231,500 square-foot Macy's building from Macy’s Retail Holdings LLC for $10 million.



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