Lofts at City Center: Mixed-Use Student Housing and Retail/Restaurant Development

Lofts at City Center

Project type: Mixed-Use, Redevelopment
Project value: > $120mm
Project size: 675,000 square feet

In 2007, Capital Growth Buchalter identified and purchased a preexisting property called Wood Square Shopping Center on 13.5 acres in the heart of Tuscaloosa. The property had steady cash flows and a promising piece of underlying real estate. Then, in 2011, a tornado came through the city and leveled the center.

WoodSquare Center

After the storm, a new market assessment led to a new vision for the property—one that included a blend of student housing and retail. Co-investing alongside national private equity sources, CGB developed the Lofts at City Center, now an upscale mixed-use destination for students and Tuscaloosa residents alike.

City Center

Lofts at City Center Aerial View


  • Collaborated with the University of Alabama to lease a designated number of the property’s 1,200 housing units for university students
  • Tuscaloosa’s first mixed use development under new zoning codes which emphasize walkability and community common areas, requiring additional zoning negotiations which lasted for three years
  • Successfully attracted Aldi, Whataburger, Texas Roadhouse, and others to round out the site’s 50,000 square feet of retail
  • Employs more than 150 people and delivers more than $1.25mm in annual sales tax revenue to the local municipality

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