Cloverdale project prompts sudden move for longtime Montgomery business

Sandra Nickel Hat Team relocating with the help of Huntingdon College

Cloverdale project forces longtime business to begin new chapter

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A long-awaited redevelopment project in Montgomery’s Old Cloverdale neighborhood is forcing a longtime business in the area to relocate.

Sandra Nickel Hat Team Realtors were informed they would have to move out of their East Fairview Avenue office, which they have called home for nearly 30 years.

The Hat Team’s office is adjacent to a string of long-neglected storefronts that recently caved in. The owner of the property has begun a redevelopment project and Nickel says her business is not part of the future plan.

“When the roofs came off the adjacent buildings and then when the store fronts went, I began to realize that the destruction was creeping this way at an alarming pace,” Nickel said. “And sure enough, within a couple of weeks we got our 30-day notice.”

Fortunately. the real estate agency did not have to look far to find a new home. Huntingdon College came to their aid. As part of future expansion plans, Huntingdon recently purchased the old Richardson’s Pharmacy building and adjacent office complex on nearby Woodley Road.

“It was very clear that Huntingdon wanted us to stay in the neighborhood,” said Hat Team Production Manager Billy Young. The Huntgindon-owned complex will become the real estate agency’s new home later this month.

The new office won’t be as visible as the old location but Nickel says she’s glad to stay in Cloverdale, a historic district that she has championed her entire career.

“We lucked up,” Nickel Said. “We found a landlord who, I think, wants us very, very much. So it’s going to be a good move for us.”

When asked about the redevelopment project beginning on East Fairview, Nickel wished property owner Mike Watson success but said she is disappointed that he allowed the buildings to deteriorate to their current state.

In a text to WSFA 12 News, Watson said that once the demolition phase of the project is complete, construction on a new facility will begin. In the past, he has said the building would become a rehearsal and performance space for the Montgomery Ballet. But so far, no official announcement about the project has been made and no plans have been released.

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