Officials break ground on first retail facility for Town Madison
MADISON — Citizens driving down I-565 may now begin to see more construction going on southeast of the interstate as Town Madison presses forward with the groundbreaking of Duluth Trading Company, the development’s first retail partner.
Breland Companies is spearheading the 563-acre, mixed-use development project, having been working with the city, county and state for the past few years to bring that vision to life.
Despite the rain drizzle, dozens came out the morning of Dec. 7 to witness the groundbreaking ceremony. Madison Chamber of Commerce Board President Carmelita Palmer kicked off the event by expressing her excitement for Town Madison’s progress.
“Not only are they (Duluth Trading Co.) coming to Town Madison, but this is their first store in Alabama, which is incredibly exciting, and I know that they’re going to really bring a true shopping experience,” she said.
The Wisconsin-based workwear company is known for producing high-quality outdoor apparel and equipment. Until the Madison store opens later next year, the nearest location is nearly 300 miles away in Louisville, Kentucky. According to a news release, plans are also in the works to bring a second Alabama location to Hoover next year.
Breland Companies spokesman Joey Ceci also attended the ceremony, filling in for Louis Breland, who was unable to attend. Like Palmer, Ceci expressed his excitement for the development and beginning to see the payoff of all the hard work between city, county and state partners.
“This is really an exciting day for Town Madison,” he said. “… We’ve experienced some great announcements this year, and this is a great way to cap it off—with a great retailer that will be kind of a first in this community, and we couldn’t pick a better retailer or a better partner to have for this first retailer.”
Ceci also recognized several of the officials who have helped Town Madison begin to come to fruition, including Madison Mayor Paul Finley, Chairman Dale Strong of the Madison County Commission and County Commissioner Steve Haraway. Haraway is also a part of the Town Madison Cooperative District board. “He has worked tirelessly on behalf of this project to make it a reality, and without his leadership and his hard work, we wouldn’t be here today,” Ceci added.
He also recognized the help of Jay Moore, senior vice president of development at Oppidan Investment Company in Minnesota. “We’re just really pleased to partner with him on this project,” Ceci said.
According to Moore, Oppidan approached Louis Breland and Herman Neese of Breland Companies about a year ago to discuss the possibility of finding some places in the area to develop.
“We’ve been looking in the greater Madison-Huntsville market for quite some time, but I think through patience, and with this development as it’s about to become, we are super proud to be able to put a Duluth Trading store here right along the interstate and be one of the first retailers that’s in this fine development,” Moore said.
Finley also called Duluth Trading Co. a “great investment for Town Madison” and recognized the importance of a strong partnership in making the development a reality. He also added Planning Director Mary Beth Broeren to the list of movers and shakers that have worked to achieve this.
In addition, Finley discussed the importance of each piece that must fall into place to make these developments happen. He said the city “can’t be any happier” to support the needed infrastructure in the area as one of these pieces. Strong later mentioned that he and the rest of the team have also been working with the highway director for Federal Highway Administration on that matter.
“Joey, Herman and Louis continue to have a vision, and they continue to look for quality, and they continue to find the right pieces that make a difference for our development in Madison and our community,” Finley added. “When all of this is said and done, whether it’s two years or five years or 10 years, this is going to be something that we all are so proud of for years and years and years to come.”
Strong expressed a similar spirit in regards to what the addition of Duluth Trading Co. will mean for both the city and the county, especially when considering that it will be just one part of the enormous Town Madison development.
“You look at what’s going on here—this is the start of a destination location that … the foundation will be in Madison, Alabama,” he said. “… These dollars that will be created here will create money for Madison. It will be part of the dollars that will lead to the next fire station built in Madison, the next high school built in Madison, the next middle school, elementary school, and this is how you grow an economy. It’s letting the people spend their dollars here locally.”
With that, Strong thanked the Madison Chamber of Commerce, as well as Breland and his wife, for their part in growing business in the area. He also reiterated the importance of good partnerships in these developments and his pleasure in playing his own role in the matter.
“It takes a great team,” he said. “… I’m going to tell you right now—the city of Madison [and] Madison County’s best days are ahead, and I’m glad to be a small part of it.”
Duluth Trading Co.’s 15,000-square-foot retail facility is projected to open in 2019. It will be located at 170 Graphics Drive in Madison.
For more information on Town Madison, visit townmadison.com.