“What an overnight success!”
This is common (positive) feedback that Breland Companies President Joey Ceci often hears from those who are wowed by the explosive development at Town Madison in the last three years.
Comments like this make Ceci chuckle a bit though because “if people only knew how long Louis has been working on this.”
Town Madison is the micro-community that’s home to Toyota Field, where the Rocket City Trash Pandas are getting ready to begin their second minor league baseball season. It’s located in Madison just south of I-565 and is currently home to a half dozen restaurants, several hotels, a bank, and hundreds of apartment units, townhomes, and single-family custom homes.
The Story of Town Madison in Madison, Alabama
About a dozen more restaurants are in the pipeline, all scheduled to be open by the summer of 2023. The Hub, a family-friendly destination with retail, restaurants, and live entertainment will open later this year, and several hundred more homes will soon be built as well.
Additional hotel concepts are also in the works, with “something signature” planned to wrap up the community, Ceci shares.
But the story of Town Madison is anything but an overnight success, according to Ceci. He says that what people are seeing and enjoying now has been 20 years in the making.
“I have been involved with this project for over 14 years and Louis started working on it several years before that.”
Over those years the hurdles to get where Town Madison is today have been quiet but countless.
“The biggest hurdle we’ve faced has been the retail landscape and how much it’s changed.”
He elaborates that the first concept of Town Madison actually included a big power center, gobs of retails, several department stores, and even a Bass Pro Shop.
“For a while, those big stores were going to be our anchors.”
He says that over time though, the whole retail world began to change and the way developers had to move forward was confusing, to say the least.
Looking for a new way forward, Louis Breland visited a new community in Atlanta called Avalon, which is located in suburban Alpharetta. Avalon was established in 2014 and is a mixed-use community with significant residential experiences, experiential restaurants, and retailers that consumers want to follow.
He knew something like that would do well in Madison, so Breland Companies moved forward with their design and plans for what is now the rapidly-developing community of Town Madison.
“What we have now has ended up being a stronger, much more durable project that is going to look good for years and years to come.”
Ceci says that curveballs such as the “downturn of 2008-2009 as well as the pandemic make people cautious by nature, especially with investments.”
He continued to share that potential tenants were nervous about Town Madison because they were starting from scratch.
“We heard all the time that something like Town Madison would never work in its current location simply because it was an empty field without a proven commercial tenant.”
Ceci explains though that the land where Town Madison is was owned by Intergraph and wasn’t available for development until Breland purchased it a few years ago.
“Intergraph and its founder owned all of this land at one time. Louis bought the south portion over twenty years ago but wasn’t able to purchase the former Intergraph campus at Wall Triana until a few years ago. So, the reason there were no proven tenants was that this land was “locked up” in a sense.
The Story of Town Madison: Challenges Overcome
Despite all of the risks and challenges that had to be overcome to bring Town Madison to life, Ceci says that Breland Companies founder and owner Louis Breland “is just one of those guys that isn’t ever going to give up. This is a very personal project to Louis; He’s out here every day paying attention to every detail.”
He concluded by sharing that it’s been crucial to continually adapt to the new reality of the world we live in and strive to make something quality of it.
“We’ve had no choice but to hang in there and make it work, and we are.”
To read a full, updated list on the concept coming soon to the Town Madison community, click here!