Councilor wants to see a change at Century Plaza building

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - There could be new life for an old empty shopping mall.

A Birmingham city councilor wants the site of the old Century Plaza to be re-developed.

The property is in Councilor Kim Rafferty's district two.

She's ready to do something with the site to bring in revenue for that part of Birmingham, and also to give folks something to do.

The mall was open for four decades.

But since June, it remains closed after the owners struggled with increasing vacancies.

Rafferty is looking at either developing the site into a junior college or vocational training center for high school students.

Hotels, restaurants, and family entertainment, like a movie theatre, are also options.

Rafferty doesn't want to demolish the site, but rather utilize the existing property.

"It's a horrible sight to come through that area and not see anything but the back side of new Wal-mart shopping center," said Kim Rafferty.  "There needs to be new development so it will invite people to come off the interstate spend their money."

Rafferty doesn't think another mall would be successful. She says indoor shopping malls are not as popular now.

Rafferty plans to meet with the owners of the property to start moving forward.

This summer she wants to develop a real action plan, as she prepares to present ideas to city councilors and the mayor.