Roebuck Marketplace hosts grand opening for three businesses today
by Mandy Shunnarah • August 27, 2012 @ 11:52am
East Birmingham shopping center Roebuck Marketplace welcomed three new businesses during today’s grand opening ceremonies.
Through the efforts of American Commercial Realty, which owns the facility, the Birmingham City Council, and the business owners, Abbey Carpet and Floor, Beauty Town, and DTLR have joined the city’s eastern commercial district.
Birmingham Mayor William Bell led the ribbon-cutting ceremony with Councilors Kim Rafferty and Lashunda Scales on either side. “This not only creates jobs, but also helps our great city continue to grow economically and start to address a retail commercial need in District Two,” said Mayor Bell.
“We were looking to expand and considering different cities, but we saw the traffic here and saw that the city is putting money here. We’ve got folks coming in from all over the city and we’ve doubled our first month’s budget,” said Ted Gregerson, owner of Abbey Carpet and Floor.
“The neighborhood has had a lack of retail, so this will be a catalyst to grow retail space. This will make the community strong and viable,” said Tracey Morant Adams, Director of Economic Development for the City of Birmingham.
The shopping center is now at 92% occupancy, up from 60% when the city began the program to drive businesses to the area.
“Any filled retail space is good news. Roebuck Marketplace is a central focus for the community. We’ve got options now, so people won’t have to go to the suburbs for goods. We’re working to bring more businesses here—I’d like to see a book store and a grocery store next,” said Councilor Rafferty.
“We want our customers to have more options, so we come into under-served communities to help drive traffic,” said Danny Tonkins, District Manager of DTLR, clothing store.
“Positive growth and development make residents desire to shop, and play where they live. This is well worth the wait. More businesses will continue to come. Today is a great day,” said Councilor Scales.
“I’ve done business here for fifteen years. I like the people here and I love this area,” said Albert Chin, owner of Beauty Town.
“Without the city’s incentives, we would not have been able to attract many of the new merchants to the center. What is most exciting to see is that many of these merchants were not part of an incentive program, which shows that the incentives have a multiplier effect,” said Rick Baer, Chief Operating Officer of American Commercial Realty.
Residents are happy with the new additions as well.
“I’m really pleased. I remember when this place was built. A few years ago it was a ghost town, and now it’s coming back,” said Willie Winborn, resident.
“This is what we need and want. Having businesses here will change the perception that this area is all crime and low-income houses. We want more businesses to come,” said Willie Beggs, Airport Hills Community President.
See for yourself and support the new businesses. Roebuck Marketplace is located at 9150 Parkway East in Birmingham.