• MBJ-Web-Banner.jpg
  • Eastchase Expansions

    • Share:

    Still Shining in the East

    New stores and restaurants flock to EastChase and the surrounding areas

    May 2015

    By David Zaslawsky
    Photography by Robert Fouts

    The shopping pie just keeps getting bigger and bigger at and near EastChase with a development across Taylor Road and another even closer by.

    That’s the good news for The Shoppes at EastChase and The Plaza at EastChase, which are managed and leased by Birmingham-based Bayer Properties.

    “The key for a lifestyle center is synergy, and that has evolved and manifested more in the past few years than ever before,” said Vickie Lawrence, marketing manager for The Shoppes at EastChase, which along with the Plaza at EastChase and a few outparcels, is owned by JPMorgan Chase.

    “Right now with all that we added, we’ve become more of a lifestyle center, which is what we are,” Lawrence said. “We have all the different elements. You have an apartment complex, which contributes to our success. You have a grocery store – you have Earth Fare and across the street you have Whole Foods. In addition to that you have electronics; you have soft lines. Everything that a person needs for their lifestyle is here.”

    There is even an office building – Lakeview Center – and plenty of restaurants. Two more restaurants – Outback Steakhouse and Buffalo Wild Wings – will be at Chase Corner, across Taylor Road from The Shoppes at EastChase. Chase Corner, which is being developed by Aronov Realty Management, will be anchored by Whole Foods Market. There will also be a Jared jewelry store, according to a local television station and a developer’s website.

    Meanwhile, the 16,000-square-foot EastChase Station, which is being developed near The Plaza by Alfa Realty and Jim Wilson & Associates, has just two spaces remaining. The center has two restaurants – Urban Cookhouse and Pizza 120 – along with Bama Fever, an Alfa Insurance office and Kelly’s Nail Salon. It is being leased by Terra Equities in Birmingham.

    Across from EastChase Station will be a 109-room, four-story Hilton Garden Inn on a 2.7-acre parcel that was purchased by Ram Hotels. Kobe Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar plans to open near the hotel.

    “You can take care of your insurance needs and get your nails done,” Lawrence said. She said that with very busy schedules, people are looking for convenience. “We have less time with all that we have going on. People need a place to shop that is all-inclusive.”

    The Shoppes at EastChase and The Plaza at EastChase have a combined 66-plus stores and 13 of those have been added in the last three years. There are just two vacancies for Bayer Properties and Lawrence all-but-guaranteed that those will be filled this year. She said one will most likely be filled by a new retailer to the area, something that is common with EastChase.

    “It’s an ideal location,” she said. “I think the reason we’re considered to be the entrance-way for the area is because of placement; because of location. We are right off I-85. We’re accessible; we’re convenient; we’re visible. In addition, I have to give credit to the city – Montgomery is an awesome city with a growing economic base. You layer the fact that we’re in a very good place within Montgomery.”

    While many of the stores and restaurants at EastChase are new to the River Region; many are new to Central Alabama and some are new to the state such as Blackfinn Ameripub, which opened in March. “It’s the first new-generation pub and has the traditional elements of a pub,” Lawrence said. She said the company, which is based in North Carolina, “redesigned the feel of a traditional pub so that it not only caters to an upbeat and lively bunch, but if you want to visit and have a quiet dinner; a business lunch – there is an opportunity for that as well.” She said the Montgomery site is a new prototype. “They decided to revamp their content.”

    Firebirds Wood Fired Grill opened two years ago, but remains a big draw and is the first location in Central Alabama. “It affords people a place to go if they want to have a girls’ night or guys’ night out and also if you want to celebrate something like a graduation or what have you.  It’s a nice go-to-place for that, too.”

    She credits those restaurants along with Which Wich?, a fast-casual restaurant that specializes in sandwiches and salads – for increasing the foot traffic to The Shoppes and Plaza.

    A remerchandising effort a few years ago also has spurred more shoppers, Lawrence said. Before Bayer Properties took over, a side of The Shoppes was nearly vacant when Hollister went out of business. “We changed the retail mix,” she said. Now that area has DSW, PeachMac, Anthony Vince Nail Spa and Versona Accessories. “It was the right mix according to the demand in the area,” Lawrence said. “That definitely has increased our traffic on that side.”

  • Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce
    600 S. Court St, P.O. Box 79
    Montgomery, Alabama 36101
    Tel: 334.834.5200   Fax: 334.265.4745

  • Receive the latest announcements and updates.

iStock-499134200 [Converted]