Roebuck Marketplace

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Roebuck Shopping City logo.jpg

Roebuck Marketplace (originally Roebuck Plaza Shopping Center, later Roebuck Shopping City) is a 167,140-square-foot shopping center located at U.S. Highway 11 just northwest of the Roebuck Municipal Golf Course and near the Parkway East exit of I-59. The original strip was addressed at 9116-9176 4th Avenue South.

The center was first proposed in 1955. The Birmingham City Commission held a public rezoning hearing at which numerous residents of the area objecting to the plans. R. E. Lindbergh voted against re-zoning, but was over-ruled by Jimmy Morgan and Wade Bradley. State law required a 3/4ths majority to rezone land where more than 20 percent of owners of properties within 500 feet objected, but the matter was shown as approved in the minutes and, though Lindbergh refused to sign them, did not have the support to win a vote to change them. The result was approval of the rezoning without the required majority.

The original shopping center opened on March 14, 1957. It was developed by the National Plazas Company of New York at a cost of $2.5 million. The grand opening ceremony was presided over by Mayor Jimmy Morgan with music from the Woodlawn High School marching band conducted by Gerald Smith. It opened with 21 tenants and parking spaces for 1,200 cars.

Pizitz Roebuck Plaza opened at the southwest corner of the center in 1960, along with a second Roebuck Center further west, anchored by Liberty Super Market. Another new building on the east accommodated seven more retail tenants, including S. S. Kresge.

Architect's rendering for the 1961 addition

Nine more tenants were accommodated in a third phase of development in 1961. The new $250,000 building was developed by Barco, Inc., headed by Mervyn Barstein. It was designed by Harry Hester and built by the Brice Building Company. It featured air conditioning, fire sprinklers, and piped-in mood music. A Bowl-O-Bama 48-lane bowling center was added just west of the Roebuck Drive-In Theater the same year.

From March 15-19, 1967 the shopping center hosted a display of life-size replica dinosaurs from the 1964 World's Fair presented by Sinclair Oil.

The center was renovated in 1995 as the "Roebuck Marketplace" by Real Estate Southeast LLC of Prattville. A Super Wal-Mart opened near the shopping center in 2004. Cohen Commercial Properties purchased the center later that year and placed it under the management of American Commercial Realty. American Commercial Realty itself owns the 64,000-square-foot former Pizitz building.

In September 2010 Cohen announced a full redevelopment of the shopping center with new outparcel sites.



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