HomeGoods to take over former Barnes & Noble space on University Drive

Home Goods HomeGoods, which specializes in high-end home fashions at discounted prices, currently has 374 stores nationwide, including locations in Birmingham and Hoover.

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — The Huntsville Development News blog is reporting that HomeGoods will open its first area store this fall in the former Barnes Noble space on University Drive. HomeGoods, which specializes in high-end home fashions at discounted prices, currently has 374 stores nationwide, including locations in Birmingham and Hoover. Its parent company, Massachussets-based TJX, also owns nearly 2,000 Marshalls and T.J. Maxx stores.

Huntsville Development News blogger James Vandiver, who is also a part-time retail specialist in the mayor’s office, reports that renovations are already under way on the University Drive HomeGoods store. It will offer 25,000 square feet of retail space next door to Best Buy. The Barnes and Noble space has been vacant since the bookstore moved to Bridge Street Town Centre in 2008.

Follow me on Twitter: @swdoyle

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/06/homegoods_to_take_over_former.html

Growing west Huntsville said to be in line for Academy Sports + Outdoors store

Academy Sports logo.jpg

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Academy Sports + Outdoors is apparently looking to build its first Huntsville store in a cotton field near U.S. 72 West and Nance Road.

Earlier this week, the Huntsville Planning Commission approved the layout of two commercial lots on either side of a Bank Independent under construction at the northeast corner of the intersection.

Madison County Commissioner Dale Strong said his father, Horace Strong, and aunt Myrna Ford intend to sell the larger of the two lots — 8.4 acres — to GBT Realty of Brentwood, Tenn.

“From what I’ve been told,” Strong said Tuesday, “GBT is working on an Academy Sports.”

A GBT spokeswoman said late Wednesday that the company had no comment.

Academy Sports + Outdoors operates over 140 stores across the country, including Decatur, Birmingham, Gadsden, Hoover, Mobile, Montgomery, Auburn, Tuscaloosa and Prattville.

The company traces its beginnings to a San Antonio, Texas, tire shop opened in 1938. The owner, Max Gochman, eventually branched out into military surplus and sporting goods.

Last year, the Gochman family sold the company to the global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts Co. Academy Sports has annual sales of more than $2.7 billion.

GBT Realty is no stranger to the Huntsville market. The company developed the new Target-anchored Shoppes of Madison on U.S. 72 West and plans to build a smaller shopping center just west of Madison Hospital.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/06/growing_west_huntsville_said_t.html

BAE secures new commercial contract, christens chemical tanker (Gallery)

BAE Ship Christening

MOBILE, Alabama — BAE Systems today said the shipyard has picked up a contract from Illinois-based Great Lakes Dredge Dock Co., to build two dump scows, a project that is expected to add about 125 workers to the company’s Mobile shipyard.

Vic Rhoades, director and general manager at BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards Alabama, said the contract also includes the option for the shipyard to build two additional dump scows, vessels used to transport and dump sediments acquired while dredging waterways.

The 295-foot-long and 62-foot-wide dump scows will be built concurrently, with completion slated for 2013. The additional dump scows, if built, would be completed in 2014.

The announcement came at the christening of the American Phoenix, a 616-foot-long, 105-foot-wide chemical tanker that BAE built for owner Mid-Ocean Tanker Company LLC of South Norwalk, Conn., a joint venture between private equity firm Alterna Capital Partners and Mid-Ocean Marine, a shipping company also based in South Norwalk.

Rhoades said that the completion and delivery of the American Phoenix, the largest vessel ever built in Alabama, is a major event for shipbuilding in the Mobile area and the construction of the vessel has helped the company secure follow-on, new construction opportunities.

“It was the stepping stone to the return to new construction here in the yard,” he said on the ship’s completion. “Primarily, it’s the precursor to industry acceptance in the fact that BAE can build ships and deliver a quality product.”

Sea trials and delivery for the ship are scheduled to occur in July. The vessel will conduct trade in the Gulf of Mexico on a time charter to Koch Industries.

The christening marks the end of a long journey for the American Phoenix that began when the BAE yard was owned by Atlantic Marine.

In 2007, AHL Shipping Co. signed a $124 million-per-ship contract with Atlantic to build three oil tankers that could carry 350,000 barrels.

They were supposed to be built in modular fashion, with shipyards in Louisiana, Texas, Florida and Canada fabricating components and Atlantic building the hulls and assembling the pieces, but the deal fell apart in December 2009 when AHL filed for bankruptcy.

Mid-Ocean bought the ship closest to completion in January 2011 for $12.65 million through a New Orleans-based bankruptcy court. In April the same year it hired BAE to complete the ship as a chemical tanker. The amount of the contract was not announced, but a Mid-Ocean official told trade publication Tradewinds in 2011 that the tanker needed about $50 million worth of work.

BAE added about 150 employees for the completion of the ship. The shipyard now has about 650 workers.

BAE has also began construction on its next project, the MV Magdalen, a trailing suction hopper dredge expected to be completed in 2014 for Weeks Marine Inc.

The ship will be used to gather sediment in shallow water then load the dredge material into one or more hoppers in the vessel to be disposed of at a different location.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/press-register-business/2012/06/bae_secures_new_commercial_con.html

Mobile business leaders’ confidence sags

city seal.jpg

MOBILE, Alabama — Alabama and Mobile-area business leaders feel that things aren’t looking up for the economy.

After two quarters of improved optimism, a survey by the University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research found that executives expect the economy to sink in the third quarter.

The Alabama Business Confidence Index fell to 50.2 statewide, barely above the midpoint of 50 that divides expansion from contraction, and down from 56.8 in the second quarter.

The data was computed from a quarterly poll of about 300 business people that asks whether they expect the national and state economies to expand or contract in the coming quarter, and how they expect sales, profits, hiring and capital spending to change in their own industry.

Executives surveyed in the Mobile area were even less optimistic, with the overall index falling to 48.9 from 55.5 in the third quarter.

“A temporary period of optimism has given way to concerns about a difficult environment created by national and global economic events amid slow or no growth in local economies,” wrote UA analyst Jonathan Law. “An end to economic uncertainty could benefit Mobile’s economy more than most.”

The majority of survey respondents in Mobile, about 43.9, said they believe Alabama’s economy will stay the same in the third quarter. Similarly, the majority expects no change in sales, profits, hiring and capital spending.

Statewide, the majority of business leaders also predicted no change in sales, profits, hiring and capital spending for the third quarter, but forecasts for industry sales and profits both dipped about 7 points from their second-quarter outlooks.

About 40.7 percent of panelists said they expect sales in their industry to stay the same this quarter, while 39.6 percent expect an increase and only 19.8 percent expect sales to shrink.

The Huntsville area had the lowest outlook of Alabama’s four largest cities, at 48.3. Montgomery led the way in optimism, registering a 53.1 reading on the index.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/press-register-business/2012/06/mobile_business_leaders_confid.html

After surviving the housing crash, CentraLite has ‘come full circle,’ says founder Jim Busby

CentraLite.jpgView full sizeCentraLite founder Jim Busby, left, his son, Jimmy Busby, the president and CEO of the company, and John Calagaz, CentraLite’s chief technology officer and vice president, right, talk Thursday about their new agreement with a major cable company to sell its home electronics controls.(Press-Register/G.M. Andrews)

MOBILE, Alabama — After surviving the housing crash through new business with commercial properties, Mobile-based CentraLite is back on the map in home automation, where new contracts with national and international cable companies promise significant returns.

Its founder, Jim Busby, a man who counts himself lucky to have had his business survive the market crash, now sees several large national and international firms among his customers and in the coming years plans a multi-million dollar expansion of CentraLite’s offices.

Names like Comcast, Time Warner, Cox Communications and Florida-based Bright House Networks are among resellers of CentraLite’s home automation products, systems that can regulate anything from home security to the thermostat to turning the lights out after you leave home.

“We’ve come full circle now,” Busby said of a return to the housing market after several years away. “That’s where we’re going with these cable companies. We’re back with home automation that can go into everyone’s house because we’re teamed up with somebody that knows where all the customers are — that’s already there.”

Busby became a household name in Mobile business circles after he founded and grew printer company Quality Micro Systems into 1,500 employees and a ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange.

QMS developed and sold leading-edge printers, and Busby sold the company before Minolta bought a controlling interest and took the company private.

Busby started CentraLite in 1997 and named his son, Jimmy Busby, president and chief executive in 2010.

Jim Busby remains chairman and took the title of executive vice president and chief operating officer.

CentraLite’s first product was a hard-wired system for controlling lighting and other electronic elements in residences, offering builders the kind of automation system in low- to mid-priced homes that was more commonly found in high-priced residences. As Jim Busby describes it, he was trying to create “a home automation for the masses.”

Company leaders made a bumpy transition to wireless seven years ago when, unsure if they would be able to create wireless products themselves, they commissioned another firm to do it for them.

Displeased with the outcome, Jimmy Busby proposed they try it on their own. Within three months, CentraLite had developed ZigBee Wireless, the basis for what the business would later sell to cable companies.

The new product allowed CentraLite to transition from home automation to energy management in multi-room facilities such as hotels and university dorms, starting in 2008, just before the housing bubble burst.

The system essentially does what many people forget to do before they leave home, turn the thermostat down and the lights off, relying on wireless, in-room thermostats and door and motion sensors.

“We had an opportunity to put our components into hotels and do energy savings,” Jimmy Busby said. “For the longest time we were doing that on the side. We never touted the energy savings because nobody cared. But about four years ago with energy prices going up, people really started noticing.”

CentraLite has put the product in hotels in Las Vegas, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, a resort hotel in Cabo San Lucas, and even local establishments like the Holiday Inn Downtown Mobile and dorms at the University of South Alabama.

Two years ago, CentraLite began working with iControl, a maker of security systems that broadband companies were beginning to install. The partnership gave CentraLite an in, and it quickly grabbed up multiple contracts and sales from large cable companies.

“We saw this really good opportunity to be able to sell our existing products and a few new products,” Jimmy Busby said.

New business with cable companies in the past year has brought CentraLite back to the housing market in a big way, with customers such as Rogers Cable Inc. in Canada, Swisscom in Switzerland, security system provider ipDatatel Inc. and Comporium Communications in South Carolina. Whereas CentraLite’s original business was just for new homes, about 98 percent of the company’s product now goes into existing structures.

“It’s not new houses so we’re not dependent on the construction,” Jimmy Busby said of CentraLite’s wireless system. “This stuff can be installed anywhere.”

Jonathan Collins, an analyst with New York-based ABI Research, a market intelligence company, said home automation has traditionally been either a high-end luxury or a DIY enthusiast product. But as a new range of big consumer players move into that marketplace, the automation is becoming more mainstream.

Companies such as cable providers and home security businesses “have begun to see home automation as an incremental service they can provide, bringing in new revenue streams and making their existing services more attractive,” Collins said. “There is a great deal of variety in the players that are coming to the home automation market and there are many ways of focusing or targeting their offerings. This will shape how suppliers are chosen.”

Collins said home automation is increasingly competitive, but a market that is expected to grow significantly in the next five years. Competition among companies such a CentraLite to partner with large providers such as Comcast and Time Warner is also strong, as the maturity of software amongst the home automation companies has increased.

Given its recent business with cable companies, CentraLite’s income has risen quickly. Busby expects the revenue from the first half of 2012 will match a 2011 total of $3 million and 2012 total revenue will between $10 million and $15 million.

To meet growing demand, the business has added more than 20 employees since March and is moving its manufacturing and assembly shop to a 20,000-square-foot facility, still in Mobile County, to accommodate the 20,000 to 25,000 units they’ll be making and shipping in both July and August. The increase is a stark contrast to the less than 200 units monthly CentraLite was shipping in December.

Now at 59 employees locally, the company estimates it will end 2012 with 65 or more employees and expects to push out 15 new products in the next year.

“We have quite a laundry list of new products that we’re going to develop that some of the cable companies have asked us to develop for them,” Jim Busby said. The company is looking at two different places for its new manufacturing and assembly shop, one in Mobile and one in Theodore, and expects to have 100 percent of its products made in Mobile within the next three months.

He also said the company hopes to start designing and building a 40,000- to 60,000-square-foot facility in the next six months to house the entire company, a complex Jim Busby thinks will mean an investment of $4 million to $5 million.

He said the main thing that has changed about the company’s thinking is its shrinking reliance on product from other companies.

“We have decided that we are as good or better at designing things with radios in them than anybody else in the country,” Jim said. “Everything we’re making has our own designs, our own products.”

Article source: http://blog.al.com/press-register-business/2012/06/after_surviving_the_housing_cr.html

UPDATE1: Judge rules county cannot reserve for legal fees from sewer revenues

UPDATES WITH DETAIL ON RESERVING MONEY FROM SEWER REVENUES IN PARAGRAPH ONE.

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Cash-strapped Jefferson County cannot use sewer
system revenues to establish a reserve fund for expenses such as legal fees, a bankruptcy judge wrote this morning.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett said in a 43 page memorandum
opinion that sewer system operating expenses as determined under the
contract between the county and sewer creditors “do not include (1) a
reserve for depreciation, amortization, or future expenditures or (2) an
estimate for professional fees and expenses.”

Bennett said he plans to enter a separate order incorporating his ruling.

The decision appears to be a blow for the county who had argued that reserving money for attorney fees and capital expenditures
a fund for big repairs and new projects — is allowed by both the legal
terms of the bond agreements and the judge’s rulings since the
bankruptcy filing.

County officials said the ruling means the system will continue to be maintained.

“Among other things, we note that the court’s ruling maintains the
status quo . . . the county can continue to operate the system, and the
county’s sewer professionals have the resources that need to continue
providing vital services to the community,” Commission President David
Carrington said in a prepared statement.

The trustee for the creditors has asked in a filing earlier this year
for a declaratory judgment stating that net sewer revenues belong to
the bondholders. Creditors also asked that fees paid to county attorneys
be deducted from the county’s end, not the creditors.

Efforts to reach the creditors’ lawyers for comment were unsuccessful.

Bennett wrote in his memorandum opinion today that the money
remaining in the sewer revenue account following payment of operating
expenses that were incurred in the current or prior months are to be
remitted to creditors “without withholding of any monies for
depreciation, amortization, reserves, or estimated expenditures that are
the subject of this litigation.”

Jefferson County filed for the largest Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy
in U.S. history in November, citing $3.14 billion owed to bondholders
who lent money to expand and repair the decrepit sewer system starting
in 1997.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2012/06/update1_judge_rules_county_can.html

Wall Street to cheer Judge Bennett sewer ruling, bond analyst says

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett  04.09.12U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett ruled today that Jefferson County sewer revenues cannot be used to establish reserve accounts for capital expenditures or legal fees. (The Birmingham News / Michelle Campbell)BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — The ruling today on the use of surplus Jefferson County sewer revenues will be applauded by Wall Street, a top bond analyst said.

Matt Fabian is a managing director at Massachusetts-based Municipal Market Advisors, which counsels bond buyers and sellers on strategies and tactics.

He said in an interview that investors will approve of the ruling today by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett that the county cannot use sewer system revenues to establish reserve accounts for capital expenditures and other non-operating expenses.

He said such a ruling agrees with the position of the investors who lent $3.2 billion for the expansion and repair of the decrepit sewer system starting in 1997, that the revenues after operating expenses belong to them.

“It is consistent with the market’s understanding of how revenues should be spent,” Fabian said. “So it’s a bit of a relief for investors and for other local issuers who might want to come to market who now won’t face as much of a borrowing penalty as otherwise.”

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett said in a 43-page memorandum
opinion today that sewer system operating expenses as defined by the contract between the county and lenders doesn’t provide for a
reserve fund for for depreciation, amortization, or future expenditures, or for an
estimate for professional fees and expenses.

The decision appears to be a blow for the county, which had argued that reserving money for attorney fees and capital expenditures
a fund for big repairs and new projects — is allowed by both the legal
terms of the bond agreements and the judge’s rulings since the
bankruptcy filing.

County officials said the ruling means the system will continue to be maintained.

“Among other things, we note that the court’s ruling maintains the
status quo . . . the county can continue to operate the system, and the
county’s sewer professionals have the resources that need to continue
providing vital services to the community,” Commission President David
Carrington said in a prepared statement.

The trustee for the creditors has asked in a filing earlier this year
for a declaratory judgment stating that net sewer revenues belong to
the bondholders. Creditors also asked that fees paid to county attorneys
be deducted from the county’s end, not the creditors.

Efforts to reach the creditors’ lawyers for comment were unsuccessful.

Bennett wrote in his memorandum opinion today that the money
remaining in the sewer revenue account following payment of operating
expenses that were incurred in the current or prior months are to be
remitted to creditors “without withholding of any monies for
depreciation, amortization, reserves, or estimated expenditures that are
the subject of this litigation.”

Jefferson County filed for the largest Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy
in U.S. history in November, citing $3.14 billion owed to bondholders
who lent money to expand and repair the decrepit sewer system starting
in 1997.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2012/06/wall_street_to_cheer_judge_ben.html

Jefferson County cannot withhold sewer revenue for reserve accounts, judge rules

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett  04.09.12U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett ruled Friday that Jefferson County cannot establish reserve accounts for capital projects or professional fees with sewer system revenue. (The Birmingham News / Michelle Campbell)BIRMINGHAM, AlabamaJefferson County cannot use sewer system revenues to establish or add to reserve funds for capital projects and legal fees, a judge ruled Friday, siding with creditors who say the money belongs to them.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett
said in a 43-page memorandum opinion the contract between the county and lenders doesn’t provide for the establishment or maintenance of reserve accounts for sewer system depreciation, amortization, future expenditures, or legal fees.
 
The decision rebuffed county arguments, which held that reserving money for attorney fees and capital expenditures is allowed by both the legal terms of the bond agreements and the judge’s rulings since the bankruptcy filing last year.
 
Bennett wrote in his memorandum opinion that the money remaining in the sewer revenue account following payment of operating expenses is to be remitted to creditors owed $3.2 billion for sanitary system lending “without withholding of any monies for depreciation, amortization, reserves, or estimated expenditures that are the subject of this litigation.”
 
The memorandum opinion didn’t commit to a decision on the payment on actual capital expenses and legal and professional fees, writing that he doesn’t have enough information to decide if it is fair or not for the county to use sewer revenues for such purposes. He decided only that estimates or reserves cannot be deducted, which the county had been deducting at the rate of $833,000 a month, according to the opinion.
 
It is the latest round in a tussle for control of the sewer system’s revenue that intensified in November, when Jefferson County filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

The state’s largest county cited $3.14 billion lent to bondholders who financed the repair of a decrepit sanitary system starting in 1997, a system under federal oversight after pollution lawsuits.
 
At stake in the financial flap is about $13.5 million a month remitted by about 150,000 sewer customers. Creditors are getting about $5.5 million a month now. They have argued in court papers that it is improper for the county to withhold money for capital projects and that fees paid to county attorneys should be deducted from the county’s end. The county’s law firms include Birmingham’s Bradley Arant Boult Cummings and Los Angeles-based Klee Tuchin Bogdanoff Stern.
 
The ruling on the use of surplus Jefferson County sewer revenues will be applauded by Wall Street, a top bond analyst said.

Matt Fabian is a managing director at Massachusetts-based Municipal Market Advisors, which counsels bond buyers and sellers on strategies and tactics.

He said the ruling agrees with the position of investors at-large, who expect courts to uphold bond contracts that specify a pledge of revenues from a dedicated stream such a sewer bills to be used for that pledge and that pledge alone.
 
“It is consistent with the market’s understanding of how revenues should be spent,” Fabian said. “So it’s a bit of a relief for investors and for other local issuers who might want to come to market who now won’t face as much of a borrowing penalty as otherwise.”
 
Jefferson County Commission President David Carrington said in a prepared statement Friday the sewer system will continue to operate as it has, and that creditors will not exert any control over it.
 
“Among other things, we note that the court’s ruling maintains the status quo . . . the county can continue to operate the system, and the county’s sewer professionals have the resources that need to continue providing vital services to the community,” Carrington said.
 
The county and bond holders — mostly large institutional investors — have been at an impasse over the sewer system debt for years. What was supposed to be a $1 billion upgrade in 1996 ballooned into three times that. In the end, wrong-way interest-rate bets and too much debt for too few ratepayers ended in bankruptcy.
 
Along the way, almost two dozen contractors and elected officials were convicted of bribery, fraud and other crimes. The lead investment bank that structured and sold the sewer bonds, New York-based JPMorgan Chase Co., agreed to forfeit $647 million in fees and pay a $50 million penalty to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges it bribed cronies of county commissioners to win the business.
 
“The court is not unmindful of the numerous criminal convictions involving previous Jefferson County commissioners, former employees of the county, and businesses and employees of businesses involved in the sewer system’s projects and the funding for its projects,” Bennett wrote in a footnote contained in his opinion.


Article source: http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2012/06/jefferson_county_cannot_withho.html

Growing appetite for patio homes drives change in Huntsville’s zoning rules

Huntsville City Hall exterior.jpgHuntsville City Hall

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — The City of Huntsville is overhauling its zoning rules in response to a growing demand for patio-style homes.

On Tuesday evening, the Planning Commission unanimously approved a 10 percent increase in the allowable building coverage in Residence 1, 1-A and 1-B districts.

If the City Council concurs, homebuilders in those districts will be able to put up larger houses — with smaller lawns — than current zoning laws allow.

Lisa Leddo, an urban planner with the city, said the aging of the Baby Boomers has caused a spike in the demand for single-story homes with two- or three-car garages but not much yard care required.

“They still want that large master bedroom and glamour bath, but on one level,” Leddo said Monday. “To get that on one lot, you need more lot coverage.”

Currently in Residence 1 and Residence 1-A districts, structures can cover 25 percent of a home lot. The maximum coverage is 30 percent in Residence 1-B districts.

The changes OK’d Tuesday would increase the building coverage to 35 percent in Residence 1 and 1-A districts, and to 40 percent in Residence 1-B.

Marie Bostick, the city’s manager of planning and zoning administration, said the current building coverages are “significantly lower” than the national average and more restrictive than most Southeastern cities.

Huntsville has granted 84 coverage variances since mid-2007 to allow homes with larger footprints and smaller yards, said Leddo. And developers have built 12 subdivisions on that model by offering plat restrictions.

Jeff Enfinger, founder of Enfinger Steele Development, said homebuyers are increasingly looking for single-story homes on smaller lots with easy access to playgrounds, pools, walking trails and other shared amenities.

“People are getting away from that 1950s concept of one house on one acre,” Enfinger said Tuesday. “And everybody’s trying to get away from a two-story house into a one-story house, so all of a sudden lot coverage becomes an issue.”

A decade ago, he said, 10 percent of Enfinger Steele’s home plans were single-story. That’s jumped to about 40 percent today.

“As people get into their 60s and 70s, they don’t like stairs as much as they used to,” said Enfinger.

The City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed changes at its Aug. 23 meeting.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/06/growing_demand_for_patio_homes.html

HomeGoods to take over former Barnes & Noble space on University Drive

Home Goods HomeGoods, which specializes in high-end home fashions at discounted prices, currently has 374 stores nationwide, including locations in Birmingham and Hoover.

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — The Huntsville Development News blog is reporting that HomeGoods will open its first area store this fall in the former Barnes Noble space on University Drive. HomeGoods, which specializes in high-end home fashions at discounted prices, currently has 374 stores nationwide, including locations in Birmingham and Hoover. Its parent company, Massachussets-based TJX, also owns nearly 2,000 Marshalls and T.J. Maxx stores.

Huntsville Development News blogger James Vandiver, who is also a part-time retail specialist in the mayor’s office, reports that renovations are already under way on the University Drive HomeGoods store. It will offer 25,000 square feet of retail space next door to Best Buy. The Barnes and Noble space has been vacant since the bookstore moved to Bridge Street Town Centre in 2008.

Follow me on Twitter: @swdoyle

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/06/homegoods_to_take_over_former.html