Grants Mill Station
The Station at Grants Mill (formerly known as Grants Mill Station) is a shopping center at the intersection of Beacon Drive and Kilgore Memorial Drive, just north of where Kilgore becomes Grants Mill Road in Irondale. The center was formerly occupied by a Wal-Mart supercenter, and for years was largely vacant with Southeastern Salvage and Garden Ridge as its anchors, and Gus's Hot Dogs as one of its only tenants.
Wal-Mart moved to the new Eastwood Village shopping center in neighboring Birmingham in 2007. Birmingham offered $11 million in development incentives for the retail center which replaced the aging Eastwood Mall.
Irondale Mayor Tommy Joe Alexander announced that a new buyer was planning to redevelop Grants Mill Station in early 2013. Plans included adding a park with miniature golf course in the existing parking lot.
In December, it was announced that Mark Gold and Skyline International Developments, owners of the nearby Crestwood Festival Center, had purchased the shopping center for $2.3 million. A dog park, which backed up to Irondale Municipal Park, was scheduled to be completed by July 1, 2013, with Irondale providing $150,000 towards its construction. The city's water department as well as a police substation were moved to the shopping center in 2013, with the city paying rent for the water department but not for the substation. Gold also announced that the complex would be lit in green spotlights and a large billboard erected to increase visibility from nearby I-20.
In February 2013, 5 vintage train cars were brought in and installed in the center of the parking lot. The train, which Gold purchased from cable television pioneer Don Earley, includes a 1952 General Electric E8 diesel locomotive, a baggage car, a dining car, a passenger coach that was built in 1922 and refurbished in 1947, and a 1957 caboose, with renovations completed that May. There were plans to remodel the shopping center's facade to resemble a train station.
The Adventure Park at Grants Mill opened shortly thereafter, with a 1,200 foot, two-level zip line and a miniature golf course as its first attractions. A large inflatable gorilla was temporarily installed at the top of the hill, visible from Kilgore Memorial Drive.
As of March 2013, the center was 94 percent leased. New tenants for 2013 included Snap Fitness and Hoover's Freek on a Leash. On September 28, the zip line, dog park, and a minature golf course opened. In October, Chat Over Coffee opened in the train's caboose, and Reyes Pizza opened in the strip mall area. In December, Trio's opened its second location in three of the five train cars.
In late 2018 Gold and his partners sold Grants Mill Station to a subsidiary of Toronto's Timbercreek Asset Management for $7 million.
- Cason, Mike (October 2, 2012) "Irondale mayor says buyer plans to revitalize Grants Mill Station shopping center." The Birmingham News
- Cason, Mike (December 5, 2012) "New owner of Irondale's Grants Mill Station says expect sweeping changes soon." The Birmingham News
- Diel, Stan (February 1, 2013) "Irondale's Grants Mill Station shopping center to get vintage train, zip line." The Birmingham News
- Diel, Stan (March 1, 2013) "Vintage train cars delivered to Station at Grants Mill, to be centerpiece of revitalization effort." The Birmingham News
- Gray, Jeremy (March 26, 2013) "Redevelopment of Irondale's Stations at Grants Mill expected to be complete in early May." The Birmingham News
- Gray, Jeremy (August 15, 2013) "'Walt Disney for adults and kids': Zipline, mini golf, dog park, remote control race course coming to Irondale Sept. 28." The Birmingham News
- Gray, Jeremy (November 6, 2013) "Trio's soon to open in renovated Irondale rail-cars; coffee shop open at Stations at Grants Mill." The Birmingham News
- Godwin, Brent (October 23, 2017) "New store takes huge retail space at Grants Mill Station." Birmingham Business Journal
- Godwin, Brent (October 24, 2018) "Canadian entity buys Irondale area retail properties." Birmingham Business Journal