Thanks to the Birmingham News for the article:
Development planned at vacant site on 280
By Dawn Kent — The Birmingham News
September 18, 2009, 5:30AM
Development plans are in the works for a high-profile slice of property along U.S. 280 between Homewood and Mountain Brook, the former site of three popular restaurants.
Shannon-Waltchack Investment Real Estate has a contract to purchase the empty retail strip at 400 Hollywood Blvd. that used to hold PT’s Sports Grill, Mexico Lindo and the Coffee Shoppe. The businesses vacated the area about three years ago to make way for a luxury condo project, Montelena, that never materialized.
Len Shannon, left, and Derek Waltchack of Shannon-Waltchack Investment Real Estate, plan to redevelop a vacant retail site on Hollywood Boulevard, near U.S. 280, Homewood and Mountain Brook. (The Birmingham News / Frank Couch)
Firm principals Derek Waltchack and Len Shannon are exploring interest among retailers to shape their plans for the property.The buildings on the site could be razed to make way for a stand-alone retail use, such as a drugstore a restaurant, or for a four- to five-story office building with retail on the ground level.
The firm also may opt to rehab the existing buildings and bring in new tenants. Either way, the site offers great potential for whoever ends up on it, Waltchack said.
The 1½ acres is in the Birmingham city limits but surrounded by the high-end enclaves of Homewood and Mountain Brook. At the same time, it’s visible from busy U.S. 280, which carries about 85,000 vehicles a day. “It’s the gateway to Mountain Brook and Homewood, smack dab in the middle of those two cities,” Waltchack said. “It’s a once-in-a-generation kind of opportunity.”
Development at the site also will remove an eyesore from the highly-traveled corridor. The buildings that housed the restaurants are still standing, but they have been vandalized and attacked by the elements. Despite the sluggish economy and a general reticence among retailers to expand, Shannon-Waltchack’s plans are generating a lot of interest.
The firm’s signs have been up on the property for about two weeks, prompting a flood of calls, including those from former tenants, Waltchack said. He also has traveled to Nashville to meet with retail prospects for the site. Shannon-Waltchack is buying the site from its owners, the Mazer family, and plans to close in three to four months, Waltchack said.
Inkana Development had planned a seven-story, $50 million condo development at the site but pulled the plug on the project in early 2007 amid a slump in the market. The firm, which was partnering with the Mazers to develop the condo building, marketed the units in part by using a 100-foot crane to raise a platform and give prospective owners a 360-degree look at their view if they bought a condo.
Inkana said it didn’t get enough pre-construction contracts to proceed.
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