Riverchase GalleriaEdit profile
Riverchase Galleria, locally known as The Galleria, is a large super”“regional shopping mall in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover, Alabama. It is the 25th largest shopping mall in the United States. It is managed and partially owned by General Growth Properties and is Alabama's and the Southeast's largest enclosed shopping center with 1.9 million square feet (222,967 m²) of total retail floor area. The Riverchase Galleria is one of the state's most popular tourist destinations attracting customers from the neighboring states of Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Located at the intersection of US 31 (Montgomery Highway) and Interstate 459, the Riverchase Galleria complex includes the two-level Galleria Mall, the 15-story, 330-room Wynfrey Hotel, and the 17-story, 285,000 square foot (26,000 m²) Galleria Tower office building located in the mall's Center Court; it is also the headquarters for Surgical Care Affiliates and Walter Energy, Inc. . The style of the Riverchase Galleria is modeled after the Houston Galleria. The Galleria is part of the Riverchase planned development, including a residential community and a business community located in the southern part of the city of Hoover. Riverchase was annexed in September 1980 into Hoover, which has since more than quadrupled in population and has become the second largest city in the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area.
"The Galleria", as it is locally known, was opened on February 19, 1986 by developer Jim Wilson & Associates. Initially 1,200,000 square feet (111,000 m 2) with four anchor stores " two Birmingham-based chains, Parisian and Pizitz " along with Atlanta-based Rich's and national retailer J. C. Penney . In March 1987, the mall added its first Macy's store at center court, marking the company's first store in Alabama. Within the same year, the Pizitz chain was acquired by McRae's of Jackson, Mississippi, and subsequently renamed. In 1995 Parisian expanded their store by almost two-thirds, while in 1996 Sears and a new wing were added, making Riverchase Galleria a total 1.9 million square feet (160,000 m²) in size. The expansion made it the largest mixed-use project in the Southeast, and one of the top 10 largest mixed-use projects in the United States. In 2003, the mall began to feel the effects of department store consolidation when the Macy's anchor store closed, while the Rich's location was renamed Rich's-Macy's. The consolidation came some nine years after Federated Department Stores (the parent of Rich's since 1976) had acquired R. H. Macy & Company. Following the closure of the original Macy's location, the property was sold to Saks Incorporated, by then the parent of both McRae's and Parisian. Saks kept the north wing anchor space vacant for more than a year before reopening the refurbished store in October 2004 under its Proffitt's division, giving the company three different anchors at Riverchase. On March 6, 2005, the Rich's-Macy's store (as Rich's; along with the location at Colonial Brookwood Village) was officially rechristened as Macy's. Later in 2005, Saks sold its Proffitt's division " including most of the McRae's chain " to Belk. As a result, Saks closed the 131,000 sq ft (12,200 m 2) McRae's store. Belk dissolved the separate Proffitt's organization, and on March 8, 2006 (almost exactly one year following the Rich's conversion) the Proffitt's store at Riverchase became the mall's first Belk store. In late 2003, Jim Wilson & Associates (JW&A) sold 50% of the Galleria to General Growth Properties (GGP), which assumed management control. In 2006, Belk acquired the Parisian store chain from Saks Incorporated. Additionally, the former Pizitz/McRae's location simultaneously became available for occupancy. The store had remained vacant since the 2005 closure of McRae's as a result of a lawsuit between the Pizitz family (which had retained ownership of the store real estate after its sale in 1987) and Saks Incorporated (which inherited the lease obligations of its defunct McRae's operation). As part of its merger of the Parisian stores into its operations, Belk closed its location in the original Macy's space in favor of the former Parisian. The upper level of the former Pizitz/McRae's has since been converted to a Belk Home & Children's Store , with its grand opening held on November 14, 2007.
The Galleria today
Currently, the Galleria has 218 stores and restaurants and is anchored by 5 department stores ( J.C. Penney, Belk (2 locations), Macy's, and Sears). There are two parking decks located on the property (attached to various mall entrances) of The Galleria providing approximately 5,000 total parking spaces. Located on the Galleria property on outparcels are several restaurants including Johnny Rockets, California Pizza Kitchen, Bonefish Grill, J. Alexander's, Stix, and Olive Garden. The Home Depot, FedEx Office, and Costco are located on other outparcels on the property. The first Just For Feet superstore opened at the Galleria in 1987 but closed with the rest of the chain in 2004. There was also a 10-screen Regal Cinemas movie theater on an outparcel of the property but it was closed in 2006 after the construction of a Rave Motion Pictures at neighboring Patton Creek Shopping Center. The old movie theater has since been repurposed into an Aveda Salon and Cosmetology school. In the center of the Grand Atrium/food court, sits a full-size, authentic 19th Century Dentzel Carousel. In the past, the carousel was dismantled for part of the year, with foliage and a fountain in its place, and reassembled for the holiday season. Currently, the carousel has remained in place for several years. Occasionally, the traditional carousel animals are replaced with reindeer for the holiday season as well. The cost of rides is currently $3 per person. On May 5, 2006, the Galleria opened the state's first Sephora store. This was followed in 2007 by the announcement that one would open in at The Summit, also in Birmingham. On November 1, 2007 the Galleria also opened the state's first Helzberg Diamonds store, a high quality jewelry store. On November 30, 2007 the Galleria announced that Nordstrom plans to open the state's first store in the mall in 2012, assuming the anchor space first occupied by Macy's in 1987, Proffitt's in 2004, and Belk in 2006. . That plan was canceled in 2009 as General Growth Properties reorganized under bankruptcy. On July 14, 2009 the Galleria announced that LEGO would open the state's first LEGO Brand Retail store in the mall on July 30, 2009. LEGO is the internationally-known maker of classic children's construction toys. The store will occupy 2,061 square feet (191.5 m 2) and will become one of the 32 LEGO Brand Retail stores nationwide when it opens. On September 16, 2010, The Limited, a women's clothing store, opened in the Galleria.
Anchor and major stores
- Belk (opened 1986 as Parisian, became Belk in 2007) (203,500 sq ft (18,910 m 2))
- Belk Home and Children's (opened 2007 in upper level of former Pizitz/McRae's)
- JCPenney (opened 1986) (135,163 sq ft (12,557 m 2))
- Macy's (opened 1986 as Rich's, became Macy's 2005) (220,000 sq ft (20,000 m 2))
- Sears (opened 1996) (150,000 sq ft (14,000 m 2))
- Belk (opened 2004 as Proffitt's in former Macy's, became Belk 2006, closed 2007, original space currently vacant) (255,000 sq ft (23,700 m 2))
- Macy's (first/original store opened 1987, closed 2003, original space vacant) (255,000 sq ft (23,700 m 2))
- McRae's (opened 1986 as Pizitz, became McRae's 1987, closed 2005, upper level became Belk Home Store 2007) (131,000 sq ft (12,200 m 2))
- Parisian (opened 1986, became Belk 2007) (203,500 sq ft (18,910 m²))
- Pizitz (opened 1986, became McRae's 1987, closed 2005) (131,000 sq ft (12,200 m 2))
- Proffitt's (opened 2004 in former Macy's, became Belk 2006, closed 2007, currently vacant) (255,000 sq ft (23,700 m 2))
- Rich's (opened 1986, operated as Rich's-Macy's 2003-2005, renamed Macy's 2005) (220,000 sq ft (20,000 m 2))
v · d · e Riverchase Galleria anchors timeline Decade 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s Year 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 Anchor #1 (east wing) J. C. Penney (from February 1986) Anchor #2 (south wing/ east) Parisian (February 1986 to September 2007; expansion in 1995) Belk (from September 2007) Anchor #3 (south wing/ west) Pizitz (February 1986 to fall 1987) McRae's (from fall 1987 to March 2005) Belk Home & Children's Store (upper level; from November 2007) Anchor #4 (west wing/ south) Rich's (February to March 2005; as Rich's-Macy's, February 2003 to March 2005) Macy's (from March 2005) Anchor #5 (north wing) Macy's (through April 2003) Proffitt's (October 2004 to March 2006) Belk (March 2006 to September 2007) Anchor #6 (west wing/ north) Sears (from spring 1996)