HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - When's the last time you shopped at Huntsville's Madison Square Mall? It's no secret the destination has not enjoyed its former glory these day amid waning popularity and competing retail locales.
"Madison Square Mall has been our regional mall for decades," says Huntsville City Zoning and Planning Administrator Michelle Jordan.
More than 40 storefronts and kiosks are currently vacant at the 30-year-old mall. Once bustling with shoppers, you can now find store employees waiting to entice customers in. But city leaders still want to see the location thrive as a retail magnet in the city.
"We're convinced the location is right in the middle of the target as far as being the place where retail will be successful - maybe it's a new model," Jordan suggests.
Chattanooga-based owners CBL & Associates are weighing possible redevelopment options. The two-level facility is also bracing for the impending loss of one of its major anchor tenants, Belk, who will open a super store soon at Bridge Street Town Center.
But there's good news for one of the four anchor tenants: soon beauty juggernaut Sephora will open up a massive store within JCPenney.
"When a Sephora comes into a JCPenney it does phenominal. None of them have done badly in any location," says Sephora beauty leader Jennifer Trivett.
So, maybe a cosmetics giant can garner some more foot traffic. In the meantime
CBL officials remain mum about what the future holds for Madison Square.
"We are hopeful that the owners will do all that they can to make sure that it's a vibrant part of our retail community," Michelle Jordan says.
City leaders say there's no timetable on when a plan may be announced, but CBL's director of corporate relations says the company has a long track record of successfully redeveloping its properties.