Groundbreaking for Retail Phase I

10 Sep
Mr. Rele Evans addresses the Lane Parke Groundbreaking Luncheon.

Mr. Rele Evans addresses the Lane Parke Groundbreaking Luncheon.

Lane Parke, the luxury mixed-use development in Mountain Brook Village,  celebrated the beginning of construction on its 66,640 square foot Retail Phase I at a groundbreaking ceremony on September 10, 2015 at the site.

When the ceremonial first shovel of soil was turned, it  opened the latest chapter in a story that spans more than seven decades and three generations.

In 1948, August Aurelius Evans first developed land in Mountain Brook Village, building 276 apartments and, by the mid-1950s, Mountain Brook Shopping Center.  His son, “Rele” Evans—a fighter and test pilot who was a part of the NASA team that landed Apollo astronauts on the moon—says the new redevelopment is meant to honor his father’s legacy, as well as the traditions of Mountain Brook.

“My father loved this area, and dedicated countless hours to helping make Mountain Brook Village and the City as a whole what it is today. Our goal all along, with Lane Parke, has been to honor that commitment, and to reflect the traditions and culture of Mountain Brook. We believe the retail center we inaugurate today will do precisely that,” Rele Evans said.

Rele’s son, John Evans, who now oversees the day-to-day affairs of the family business (Evson, Inc.), says great care has been taken in selecting the right retail mix for the premier new development in Mountain Brook.

“We’ve worked with Retail Specialists, LLC to assemble a mix of retail tenants whom we believe are tailor-made for Mountain Brook and the greater Birmingham market. It represents a mix of existing tenants with exciting new additions, many of whom are the first of their kind in the area,” John Evans said.

Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, who serve as architects for the project, have created a retail center uniquely suited to the atmosphere of Mountain Brook Village. It features village-scaled, individual buildings reminiscent of the historic Village, rather than a traditional shopping center approach.

IBERIABANK provided financing for the project and HOAR Construction is the general contractor.

Retail tenants announced thus far include:

  • A’Mano, showcasing local, national and international artists with one-of-a-kind creations in glass, pottery, furniture, fine art and wearable art is a popular tenant in the current shopping center. Known for its extraordinarily knowledgeable staff, many of whom either hold art history degrees or are artists in their own right, A’Mano also offers gifts designed to cater to every taste, along with complimentary, colorful gift wrapping.
  • CharBar No. 7, the perfect mix between upscale and casual dining, represents a serious take on food without sacrificing a welcoming neighborhood restaurant feel. Long known to locals in Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina as a premium level dining experience for a mid-level price, the CharBar No. 7 menu ranges from seafood to chicken to classic sandwiches, but the soul of the menu is beef: burgers cooked with love and steaks with passion.
  • Kinnucan’s Specialty Outfitters (or KSO as its legion of devoted fans call it) carries all of the best brands for the items you need to lead an active lifestyle: men’s casual and better apparel, women’s fashion and casual apparel, footwear, technical outerwear and accessories, kids’ apparel and toys, sunglasses, and items designed for a variety of outdoor fun.
  • The Local Taco is known for fresh, diverse flavors, from the Tequila Lime Chicken, to the Portabella with Sage Goat Cheese, to the Korean Short Rib. The Local Taco menu has been described as “tapas in a taco.” It will be a neighborhood favorite, whether you’re stopping by for a quick lunch, bringing the family for dinner, or taking time to enjoy a pitcher of Fresh Fruit Sangria on the patio.
  • Revelator Coffee—born in New Orleans with a roaster and corporate headquarters in Birmingham—has quickly become renowned for its specialty and boutique coffees. Acquired while still in a “green” state, Revelator’s coffees are roasted in small, profiled batches to ensure the very peak of flavor perfection. If your idea of great coffee turns out to have been over-roasted hundreds of miles away in order to preserve its shelf-life, Revelator will change the thinking about America’s favorite hot beverage.
  • Western Supermarket (a tenant in the current shopping center) will enjoy a new, larger store, with expanded offerings, including: local, organics, produce, seafood, wine, craft beer and groceries. The wine department will include a climate-controlled fine wine room. Expanded cheese shop will offer a professional Cheese Monger to assist you in choosing just the right cheese, and a new butcher shop will offer a greater selection of cut, including in-store made sausage, craw fish cakes and crab cakes. Also planned: a mezzanine dining area, with Wi-Fi, where you can enjoy delicious prepared foods from the Deli and Pizza Shop.
  • Atlanta-based YEAH! BURGER, named by Bon Appetit magazine as one of 10 Favorite Burger Spots in the U.S., is an upscale fast-casual eatery committed to using natural and organic ingredients. YEAH! BURGER’s custom, made-to-order burgers are free of antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides and other unwanted additives. YEAH! BURGER provides numerous gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options for customers with special dietary needs, and is proud to be one of the greenest restaurants in America.

The groundbreaking ceremony included remarks from Rele and John Evans, as well as Mountain Brook City Council President, Hon. Virginia Smith and Council President Pro Tempore, Hon. Billy Pritchard. Robert Jolly, a principal in Retail Specialists outlined the strategy by which retail tenants were chosen.

Elsewhere within the Lane Parke development, The Grand Bohemian Hotel Mountain Brook (currently under construction) is set to debut this Fall. Managed by The Kessler Collection, the Grand Bohemian includes 100 beautifully appointed, luxury guest rooms, 12,000 square feet of meeting and event space, the Poseidon Spa, and a 2,800 square foot art gallery, featuring nationally and internationally acclaimed artists.

Two hundred seventy-six apartments, in one, two, and three-bedroom floorplans are already completed and accepting tenants. They represent the residential component of the project, developed in association with Daniel Corporation.