By Hanno van der Bijl and Ty West – BBJ
Two prominent names in Birmingham’s real estate world have the Brookwood Village Mall property on Lakeshore Drive under contract with plans for a major development at the site.
An entity affiliated with Colliers International Alabama plans to team with Arlington Properties on a mixed-use project for the property between Macy’s and the former Belk space. The area currently under contract is everything to the east of Target, excluding Target, the office building, and Macy’s. The deal includes Fresh Market and the former Belk.
The development team spoke at the Homewood City Council meeting on Monday with a goal of setting open forums to allow Homewood residents to ask questions and offer feedback about the project. Those meetings were scheduled for Oct. 29, Nov. 5, Nov. 10 and Nov. 12. All will be from 5:30-7 p.m. The first two will be held at Homewood City Hall, and locations are to be determined for the others.
The development team plans to transform the site with a mixed-use project that could include retail, restaurants, office buildings, hotels and a mix of residential options both for sale and rent, including 350 high-end apartments. The development would be anchored by an active public green space. One goal is creating a stronger connection between Lakeshore Trail and Jemison Trail.
Questions have been swirling about the future of Brookwood Village as indoor malls have struggled amid the Covid-19 pandemic and multiple retailers and restaurants have closed at the property since March. CRE experts previously told the BBJ that a redevelopment of a mixed-use project with a residential component was a logical use for the project in the future.
Mark Stuermann, executive vice president of development at Arlington Properties, and Joe Sandner IV, president and COO of Colliers International, are spearheading the project.
“We want to make Brookwood a great place. We’re hoping to provide a solution for redeeming and reclaiming the dead space of Brookwood Village to create a buzzing lifestyle district in Homewood,” Stuermann said. “We value the community’s input and look forward to hearing thoughts, ideas, and reactions while we are in these initial stages. We truly believe that offering beautiful green spaces, more housing options, and quality retail is vitally important for the future of Brookwood and our cities.”
Stuermann said the goal of the meetings is to hear from city leaders and citizens about what they’d like to see at the site, which he said is a critical component of Homewood.
“This is a starting point. We’re asking for your help,” he said. “Our goal is to create a place that reflects Homewood and becomes a destination not just for our generation, but for the next generation so in 50 years, you don’t have to redevelop it again.”
The team is working with Louis Nequette of Nequette Architecture & Design and Everett Hatcher of CMH Architects to begin to understand the physical constraints of the current structure, which will dictate what can be built at Brookwood Village.
As that process provides clarity on what is feasible at the site, the team said it plans to work proactively with Homewood and its constituents.
“Growing up in Birmingham, I’ve seen the community and its cities evolve over time, leaving the need for an inward-facing shopping mall like the one at Brookwood Village almost nonexistent,” Sandner said in a statement. “We want to generate opportunities for local business owners, provide attractions for out-of-town visitors, and develop a gathering place for the people who live here. With the help and input of the community, we want to create a regional destination that is as beloved as Brookwood Village was in its prime by developing an energetic district designed to be a legacy for generations to come.”
The construction process should take 18 months to two years once work begins.
The development team said providing support for existing anchor tenants, including Macy’s, Target, Fresh Market and DSW, will be a priority for the project.
Texas-based CAPREF Brookwood Village LLC, which is connected to EB Arrow, is currently the owner of the property. Financial terms of the potential sale have not been disclosed. Cypress Equities, which has ties to EB Arrow, acquired the property in 2014.