History of LT Shopping Center
What does the “LT” stand for? Because the LT Shopping Center is the cornerstone of the entire portfolio, it is the lithos timios, or as translated from the Greek, “precious cornerstone”.
Before acquisition, this corner was a Chevron gas station with an adjacent mechanic and tire shop. It had been a staple in Mountain Brook for some forty plus years, but it had become dilapidated and was not to the HABU (“highest and best use”) for the location.
This property was acquired on January 19, 2007. It was decided that much more could be done with such an invaluable location, with its best use suited for retail. Retail Specialists, Inc., was instrumental in the investment and market analyses in this decision and strategy. This would mean that a new building would have to be built and that maximum space of the lot achieved before the new city council restrictions took place which limited the size of any new development.
At this point around April of 2007, demolition, environmental clean-up, and deed restriction removal was directed by the founder, but aided by the talents of Charles Denaburg of Najjar Denaburg. In the end, all was accomplished and the site was ready for build in August of 2007.
The founder hired an exceptional architectural father and son team, Lauren and Brian Barrett, on October 15, 2007, who possessed a solid track record of noteworthy designs. After several consultations, a new building was designed with over 9,100 square feet, included an outside patio and a second floor with balcony seating, an unknown in Mountain Brook, that overlooks the bustling Village Circle.
After a handful of interviews with various construction companies, in March 2008, the founder hired an an aggressive and talented individual, Will Ross, who was with a smaller firm, Nearen Construction at the time. This allowed for construction to begin in April of 2008 by Mr. Ross, who while cutting costs and exceeding the time deadlines, erected a beautiful building which fits the English Tudor style of the Mountain Brook Village, a historic location with development dating back to the 1920’s.
The anchor tenant was signed on February 26, 2008, with a successful restaurateur who spent several months finishing out the interiors of both spaces. The two restaurants were open for business in March of 2009, with very unique concepts in both, one downstairs and one upstairs. However, due to poor management by the owners, mundane food choices, and sloppy service, the tenant was removed from LTSC at the end of 2018. The owner has replaced that one tenant, which operated as two separate restaurants with two new tenants, which are a much better fit for spaces set to open in September of 2019. Upstairs will be renovated and opened as an Asian fusion restaurant and bar by an accomplished and creative chef, Abhi Sainjek. The downstairs space, formerly a whiskey bar, will be operated and owned by David Carrigan, an established bar owner with delicious upscale pub-style food and various craft beers and cocktails.
On February 12, 2009, a year later than the original anchor tenant from 2008, despite the difficult economic climate, the Landlord found and signed a second tenant. This was a high-end nail salon, Envy Nails, owned and operated by Skye Phan, who opened for business in April of 2009. He renewed his latest option and plans to stay for the long term. As of August 2019, he has been at LTSC longer than anyone, and has a tremendously loyal following.
The third initial tenant, Swoop, an upscale children’s retailer, was signed on May 8, 2012. However, after five years of repeated late payments and poor sales, the Landlord decided to replace them with a company that was much more of a fit for Mountain Brook and the space. This tenant is South Oak Title, who has locations in Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee. They were signed to an initial five year lease on March 16, 2018, and consider this latest office as a boutique store, catering to the MB residents for residential and commercial title and closings, with simple, yet high-tech methods. The space renovated and signage out front that South Oak has done is first class, just like their owners and employees.