Central Alabama shoppers soon will have access to a wide variety of upscale shops and retail stores thanks to a new development by Alfa and Jim Wilson and Associates of Montgomery.Scheduled to open in November, The Shoppes at EastChase is the first phase of a 330-acre, master-planned retail, office and residential community located along I-85 on Montgomery’s east side.Kevin Ketzler, vice president of real estate for Alfa, said The Shoppes will include retail stores currently not available within 100 miles of Montgomery.”It’s going to be a huge boost for central Alabama,” Ketzler said. “Because we have shops not available unless you go to Atlanta or Birmingham, we can draw from as far south as Dothan and Greenville and from as far north as Clanton.”Billed as an “open-air lifestyle center,” The Shoppes at EastChase will include the same kind of stores as The Summit in Birmingham, but developers say the layout will have a more “mainstreet” feel.Alfa and Wilson recently announced 27 commitments from EastChase tenants, including 14 that are new to the Montgomery market. Among the first to sign on were Abercrombie & Fitch, abercrombie (for kids), Banana Republic, Buckle, Caché, Chico’s, Cold Stone Creamery, Crepes Egg Setra, Hollisters, Kinnucan’s Outdoors, Mrs. Fields Cookies, Strasburg Children, Williams-Sonoma and Willy T’s Restaurant.In addition, The Shoppes will feature about 20 stores already familiar to Montgomery area shoppers. Those include American Eagle, Bath & Body Works, Books-A-Million, Casual Corner, Champs Sporting Goods, Claire’s Boutique, Express, Gap, GapKids, Gymboree, Kirkland’s, LaJolla Gourmet Restaurant, The Children’s Place and Victoria’s Secret.Forty-five retail shops occupying 200,000 square feet of space are expected to begin the “chase” in November. Fifteen more tenants and 150,000 square feet of space will be added by the end of 2003. Developers predict the first phase of The Shoppes will employ 400 people and generate $60 million in annual sales.To ease traffic congestion in the area, Alfa and Wilson have constructed a five-lane parkway along the entire length of the development. The developers also donated four acres of land to Halcyon Elementary School for a ball field.”This is the first time Alfa’s been involved in a retail development of this size,” Ketzler said. “We are excited about the opportunity to partner with a company that has such a strong track record in mall development.” Wilson developed the Mall of Louisiana and Birmingham’s Galleria.In addition to The Shoppes, the EastChase master plan calls for 30 acres of apartment homes and up to 1.5 million square feet of office space. The entire development is slated for completion in 2012.
Alfa Development To Feature Upscale Stores