Thirty Years Later: Madison Square Mall at a crossroads

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Madison Square Mall opened to quite the crowd three decades ago.

Huntsville Director of Planning Michelle Jordan muses, “They’ve had a great thirty-year history in Huntsville.”

But now the mall just doesn’t create the same excitement. Turns out, more than a few things have changed since it opened.

Jordan points out, “Thirty years ago, a million-square feet under one square roof was the blueprint for success.”

Now though, communities around the country look for new solutions to keep these buildings in tact.

Once temples of retail, the malls of this era have had to find new ways of generating excitement.

Jordan adds, “I think many of those malls from the eighties have turned into a combination of residential, office, and maybe some retail.”

Frankly, since the mall opened, the whole way people shop has transformed.

“The most recent trend is online shopping,” notes Jordan, “People don’t need as much floorspace as they did in the eighties.”

But retailers that surround Madison Square keep chugging along. Jordan thinks the mall’s location has actually improved in one key way, “It’s almost right in the center of the city when thirty years ago it was right on the outskirts of the city. I think it’s an incredible piece of property, an incredible location.”

So the future may just be a matter of harnessing traffic and creating excitement.

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