With Sears closing, what’s next for the Galleria?

Published: Aug. 7, 2019 at 8:59 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 7, 2019 at 9:00 PM CDT
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HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - The Sears at the Riverchase Galleria is one of 26 stores (Sears and Kmarts) that its parent company Transformco is closing.

"Overall, it’s not a huge surprise. They’ve been closing stores around the nation and here in Alabama for several years,” said Ty West, editor of the Birmingham Business Journal.

Now the question is what will take the store’s place.

“You know, anytime you lose a bigger tenant, or an anchor tenant, that is something to be concerned about. Because there are only so many types of retailers that would take a space that large,” said West.

“We look at it as an opportunity,” said Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato.

That’s because Brocato says the city has been anticipating this move for a while. They have already been in discussions with mall management about uses for that property.

"You may see the building go completely away or maybe retrofitted. We just don’t know. We do know that we have a plan in our mind, and we’re really kind of excited about developing that,” said Brocato.

The Galleria was part of the new comprehensive plan the city just finalized.

It included possibly turning the shopping center into a downtown area.

“I think we are very open both in the comprehensive planning process and as elected officials, and as a government, to work with that private enterprise to come up with whatever the next big thing is. We’re ready as a city to support it,” said councilman Mike Shaw, who also sits on the planning and zoning commission.

WBRC also reached out to the Galleria owners for comment, but at the time of publication we had not heard back.

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