Convention center may be in works for Old Macy's space at the Riverchase Galleria

By Jonathan Hardison

HOOVER,AL (WBRC) - A big old building in Hoover could soon have new life. Hoover's mayor says his city is studying the idea of converting the former Macy's building on the Galleria property into a theater and convention center that could bring thousands of new visitors and millions of dollars to the city.

The former Macy's building occupies prime real estate next to the Galleria office tower and on the site of the state's busiest mall, but it's been empty for years. Grand plans to tear it down and build a Nordstrom's there fell through because of the recession, but now Mayor Tony Petelos is hoping to convert the building into a theater and convention center.

"It's a great venue for this type of operation," Petelos said Sunday.

The city is waiting for the results of a feasibility study underway right now to see if the building could be renovated into a multipurpose site with a 2000-seat theater, a big expo center on the 3rd floor, and meeting rooms spread throughout.

"If all goes as we hope it will with the plan, you could have a theater performance of 2,000 people in the theater, a dinner upstairs on the 3rd floor with 1200 people going on, and you could have meetings going on all at the same time with plenty of parking and plenty of space for people moving around," Petelos said.

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