Prattville – What happened to all of those grand predictions that were made when Prattville’s High Point Town Center opened its first store, Bass Pro Shops, in 2007? Comparisons were being made between High Point and the Summit in Birmingham.
Within the Summit’s one million square feet are about 97 stores, including such outparcel restaurants as the Cheesecake Factory, P. F. Chang’s China Bistro, Macaroni Grill, and California Pizza Kitchen. At our 900,000 square foot lifestyle center there are a total of 8 stores; Bass Pro Shops, J. C. Penney, Belk, Nestle Toll House, an Avon retail store, Royal Nails, Publix, and Best Buy.
The Teaching Tree, which sells educational materials, is opening soon and will be the ninth store in the outdoor mall.
A synopsis of the High Point Town Center is on the McClinton & Company site and it describes the mall as “The place to shop, dine, and be entertained in the River Region of Central Alabama.” Those are impressive words to someone who has not visited the area and is looking for that ultimate shopping experience. But, it is truly a letdown when you drive through the seemingly endless number of vacant shops on your way at one end from J. C. Penney all the way to the other end at Belk.
Looking at the original architectural conception of this mall you can see lakes interspersed with upscale multi-tiered stores, walking paths, and lush landscapes. About seventy stores were planned with a hotel and several restaurants. In the 2006 issue of Images of Prattville, Alabama, one can see the plan layout in the first few pages of the magazine. However the plan changed somewhere along the way, and that’s unfortunate, because it looked so remarkable in the earlier version.
Is the High Point Town Center a victim of the national economy or did the local planners simply bite off more than they could chew? High Point Town Center is a joint venture between McClinton & Company and AIG/Baker. Our Prattville attempted to contact both companies. Neither one responded to phone calls or emails.
Article by Melissa Parker and Marc Parker
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