HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - For nearly two years, the former Madison Square Mall has been a construction zone but developers say they're less than a year away from showing off their new investment to people.
The MidCity property has been a 100-acre dirt field, a topic of endless speculation for over a year. This week, RCP company reps and city leaders turned shovels to ensure people that phase one is on.
"RCP took an interest in us and we took an interest in them," Huntsville City Councilman Will Culver said. "This was Madison Square Mall. That mall had become a dinosaur."
Nearly two years after the old mall was sold off and torn down, work continues on the 100-acre MidCity site on University Drive.
"We're building a place that's walkable, experiential in every sense of the word. That'll set new patterns for this end of town," RCP Company representative Nadia Niakossary said.
Project leaders turned shovels on Wednesday afternoon, celebrating phase one of what they say will be a $350 million investment. They expect the site will be a draw for its apartments, office space and outdoor recreation.
"This is what we were always looking for, something that puts this property to the best use it could be," Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said.
The steel frame is currently taking shape for what will be the new 40-foot climbing wall, the first neighbor to join Top Golf next year.
Developers say the new climbing gym will be one of the first properties to open, they hope by April or May. REI and Dave and Busters plan to open next summer.