TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The demolition of the old McFarland Mall is underway in Tuscaloosa.
Crews using heavy machinery started to tear down portions of the building Tuesday morning. Tuscaloosa resident Paula Foster Caddell was one of many people who showed up to watch the building come crumbling down.
“I think it’s a bittersweet moment that the mall is being torn down to make a sports complex. The mall has been around since 1968. But I think it’s very positive and jobs will be created, and families will be able to get together and do things people out of town are able to do it right here,” Caddell said.
Property owner and Tuscaloosa businessman Stan Pate wants to build a state-of-the-art sports complex that would house an arena for tournaments. The proposed complex could also include small stores and restaurants and a skate park and ice-skating rink and a three thousand car parking deck.
“The public wants this, and I want this and there’s a need here and I am going to promise to the community there will be something in this project for a toddler, and for seniors. I want to create an environment a wholesome place for families,” Pate said.
City Councilwoman Sonya McKinstry says this is exciting not only for her district but for all of Tuscaloosa.
“This is something we worked hard for and to see. The mall coming down and the sports complex replacing it is groundbreaking and is exciting news for the district and for the city,” McKinstry said.
In the next phase, after demolition is finished, Stan Pate will bring in a team of consultants to do a feasibility study for the sports complex project.