McFarland Mall demolition underway in Tuscaloosa - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

McFarland Mall demolition underway in Tuscaloosa

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TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, AL - What was once the place to be, then became an eye sore to some, is getting a facelift in Tuscaloosa.

Parts of the former McFarland Mall that sits on the corner of McFarland Boulevard and Skyland Boulevard is being demolished to make way for new businesses

With only a handful of stores still open at the McFarland Mall longtime Tuscaloosa residents said the deterioration of this shopping center is sad.

Faye Smart said, "It's very hard to watch. When Dilllard's, well I worked at Gayfers, and then Dillard's came in. When they left it was hard."

But owner Stan Pate said he has big plans for the area.

"I think tuscaloosa needs a large department store like Macy's. Something where we could go to one department store and do all our shopping, more than anything," longtime Tuscaloosa resident Jackie Fitts said,

Although Pate hasn't named any specific retailers yet, he did say there will be small and large retail space available.

In a news release from Pate's office it reads the demolition will make way for more outdoor walking paths and children's play areas among the additional retail space and restaurants.

Some shoppers said the old mall needs to be torn down in order to start over.

Latondria White comes to Tuscaloosa to shop from Greensboro. She said, "I think they do really need to. It seems to be getting a little crowded here on up towards the other mall so that would be great."

But will more retail be too much?

The City of Tuscaloosa's Director of Economic Development Brendan Moore said, "It
's going to be complimentary to be quite honest. The McFarland Mall site or as it's being referred to now, Encore, it's unique that it has interstate access and frontage so that will make it stand out a little bit differently than the other two sites."

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