MONTGOMERY, AL | DEC 03, 2007—Montgomery, Ala. real estate developers Jim Wilson & Associates, LLC (JWA), and Helms Roark, Inc. (HR) announce plans to build a retail development, Gateway Towne Center on approximately 150 acres at the intersection of U.S. Highway 41 and Interstate 20 in Moody, Ala. Phase I of the open-air center is anticipated to be approximately 400,000 square feet of retail but could top out at 1 million square feet, depending on demand.
“The population growth in Moody and St. Clair County and the need for retail to meet this growth makes this area extremely attractive for retail development” said Will Wilson, President of Jim Wilson & Associates, LLC. “JWA along with our partners Helms Roark is working to bring the best retail mix to the center and to our shoppers.” Targeted merchants include national retail names in fashion, home improvement, electronics, general merchandise, shoes and sporting goods. Additional retail planned for the site includes a grocery anchor, book store, office supply store and a discount warehouse. “Helms Roark has developed dozens of shopping centers in Alabama and the Birmingham area,” said Randy Roark, partner with Helms Roark. “Based on the location and trade area, The Gateway Towne Center has the potential to be the finest center our company has been associated with.”
Jim Wilson & Associates has over 30 years in the commercial real estate business. Founded by Jim Wilson, Jr., in 1975, the company is led by sons, Jim Wilson, III and Will Wilson. The three million square foot Riverchase Galleria in Birmingham, the 300 acre, mixed-use EastChase development in Montgomery and the Mall of Louisiana in Baton Rouge, La., are some of the most notable projects developed by Jim Wilson & Associates. The company currently has in excess of 1.5 million square foot of retail and a residential neighborhood under development.
Helms Roark was founded by Bill Helms and Randy Roark in 1984 as a real estate, management and brokerage firm focusing on strip center development in the southeast. Previously Helms Roark has been responsible for development and management of several grocery and Wal Mart anchored shopping centers in the Birmingham area notably Alabaster Market Place, Pinson Valley Shopping Center, West County Market Place in Adamsville, Pell City Market Place and Southgate in Pelham. Projects currently under development include centers in Atlanta, Birmingham, Dothan and Saraland.
Gateway Towne Center will take advantage of the population growth and the retail demand as evidenced by the Birmingham SMSA. The immediate trade area of St. Clair County increased more than 4% in 2006. Additionally, the area boasts an average household income of $55,794. The proposed center will provide additional sales tax and ad valorem tax revenues for St. Clair County and the state. Once completed, Gateway Towne Center will create approximately 2,000 new jobs. Gateway Towne Center is the first joint venture project for Jim Wilson & Associates and Helms Roark. The center is projected to open in 2009.