Colonial Promenade Alabaster is a major two-part retail center first opened in 2005 at the intersection of Highway 31 and I-65 (Exit 238) in Alabaster. The center is traversed by Colonial Promenade Parkway. The 1,000,000 square-foot shopping center, the largest in Shelby County, was developed by Colonial Properties Trust. It was at the center of a nationally-publicized controversy over the use of eminent domain to facilitate private commercial development.
In June 2007, Colonial Properties sold 85% of its shares in Colonial Promenade Alabaster I to join ventures, but continues to manage and lease the property. Likewise, in December 2007, the company sold 95% of its shares in Colonial Promenade Alabaster II, but will continue to manage and lease it.
The $70 million first phase, on the east side of I-65 encompasses 685,000 square feet on 111.2 acres with 18 tenants, including Wal-Mart Supercenter, Belk, Old Navy, Bed Bath and Beyond, Ross, Lowe's, Dress for Less, Pier 1 Imports, Books-A-Million and an AmStar 14-cinema multiplex. Smaller tenants include Moe's Southwest Grill, Supercuts, Lorch's Jewelers, Claire's, Rue 21, Hibbett Sporting Goods, Merle Norman Cosmetics, Trade Secrets, Sally Beauty Supply, EB Games, Bible Factory Outlet, Perry Allen Gifts, Thacker's, Extreme Wireless, Lee Nails, Cellular Sales, Habañero's, Chuckie's Grilled Subs, Home Theater Experience, and Cold Stone Creamery. Outparcel tenants include Taco Bell, Full Moon Bar-B-Q, Chick-Fil-A, Ruby Tuesday, R. J. Gator's and Buffalo Wild Wings. Wachovia and Aliant Banks have also built branches in the complex.
Of those tenants, Belk and AmStar made their initial forays into the Birmingham market at Colonial Promenade Alabaster. Stores in the first phase opened between May and November, 2005.
A 150-room Wingate Inn with a restaurant and conference facilities is located uphill from the Wal-Mart.
The smaller second phase, on 55 acres on the west side of I-65, is set to a include Arby's, Best Buy, Christopher & Banks, a dentist's office, Dress Barn, Firehouse Subs, GNC, Great Clips, Hobbytown USA, Honeybaked Ham, J. C. Penney, Kay Jewelers, Lane Bryant, Longhorn Steakhouse, Maurice's, McDonald's, Olive Garden, PetSmart, Princess Nails, Rack Room Shoes, Regions Bank, Salsarita's Fresh Cantina, Sports Mania, Starbucks, Target, Thompson's Frames and T. J. Maxx. It opened in July 2007.
The project was opposed by some of the property owners whose land was needed for the development. A group of ten owners sued the City of Alabaster and Colonial Properties to prevent the controversial use of eminent domain to force them to sell approximately 10 of the 400 acres needed. In June 2003, the Alabaster City Council voted 6-0 (with 1 abstention) to adopt the I-65, 238 Urban Renewal and Urban Redevelopment Plan which determined that the property in question was a "blighted area". The city subsequently entered into an agreement to condemn and seize the land, and then exchange it and certain infrastructure improvements for the construction of new city facilities to be provided by Shelby Land Partners, a limited-liability corporation established to negotiate with the city for the development. At the time Wal-Mart and Belk had already been announced as prospective tenants.
The story was picked up nationally by critics of what many consider to be abuse of eminent domain. Landowner Lily Spence appeared on CNN to voice her objections to having her property condemned. The case was cited by Montgomery legislators who passed legislation severely restricting the scope of public uses allowed in eminent domain cases. The July 2005 law followed a Supreme Court decision in a Massachusetts dispute that the matter was for states to decide.
- Boortz, Neal. (August 21, 2003) "Draw the line in Alabaster." Nealz Nuze.  - accessed June 17, 2006
- Daniels, Malcomb. (August 25, 2003) "Shelby court may hear land case." Birmingham News.
- Guarino, Fred (January 6, 2004) "Eminent domain settlement reached - eight of 10 landowners agree to sell."
- Wilkinson, Kaija (July 21, 2005) "Alabaster's Colonial Promenade filling up fast." Birmingham Business Journal.
- Guarino, Fred. (September 20, 2005) "Alabaster starts process for Colonial Promenade South". Shelby County Reporter.
- Daniels, Malcomb. (June 17, 2006) "Retail center lineup unveiled." Birmingham News.
- Cooper, Lauren B. (June 5, 2007). "Colonial Properties shareholders to get special cash payout after $1.7B sale." Birmingham Business Journal.
- "Colonial sells to joint venture." (December 27, 2007). The Birmingham News.
- Colonial Promenade Alabaster page at Colonial Properties Trust