City announces largest development in history

The city of Alabaster has announced a new interstate retail development to be located at the intersection of Interstate 65 and Highway 31.

The development will be the largest commercial venture in the city’s 50-year history.

And in a related matter, following a petition presented at Monday night’s regular City Council meeting, the council voted unanimously to approve a resolution to establish a Community Development Authority (CDA) for the city of Alabaster.

The first step to establish the authority was taken in the absence of Councilmember Adam Moseley.

And according to the petition to create it signed by Tony Holmes, Stephan Poplin and Greg Wood, its purpose will be &uot;promoting trade and commerce by inducing commercial enterprises to locate new facilities with the city and expand existing facilities in the city.&uot;

Council President Rick Walters later explained the city has only passed a resolution to establish the authority.

State Rep. Cam Ward, who also serves as director of the Industrial Development Board of the city of Alabaster, said the CDA is a legal means to allow the city to participate directly in the development of the project.

He said it will help resolve any remaining issues to acquire property around the announced development.

According to Ward, Colonial Properties Trust will build a new retail center on a 400-acre development.

He said the development will include a more than 800,000-square-foot outdoor shopping center. And he said of the 400 acres at the site, only seven or eight acres remain to be acquired.

Ward said the announcement of the new development

is the culmination of more than two years of work by Mayor David Frings, the City Council, employees of the city of Alabaster and real estate developers. And he said the project will be the largest commercial venture in the city’s 50-year history.

&uot;This will open the doors for development along the Alabaster corridor and provide services that Alabaster residents have asked for. The mayor and council are pleased with the direction the city has taken in economic development,&uot; he said.

Ward said a 203,000-square-foot Walmart Supercenter

is the only commitment to the new development, but he said the city is aggressively seeking others. And he said the city has some, as yet unnamed, tentative commitments.

He said the development will mean several million dollars per year in sales tax revenues to the city. But he also said, &uot;I think there will be some traffic issues that will have to be resolved. We will have to work with the developer on this.&uot;

As far as competing with the 750,000-square-foot Hayes Market Place that AIG Baker Shopping Center Properties is developing Shelby County Highway 52 and I-65, Ward said, &uot;There are enough retail tenants to go everywhere in Shelby County. If anything, they compliment each other.

&uot;I think it is good for the whole area, not just the citizens of Alabaster.&uot;

Echoing a similar sentiment to the recent groundbreaking of the White Stone Center off Highway 119, Frings said the new development announced by the city at I-65 and Highway 31 will &uot;improve the overall quality of life.&uot;

Walters added: &uot;This would not have happened as quickly as it did if the mayor and council were not working together to

achieve a goal of bringing retail commercial developers to the city to fund the best city services possible for Alabaster.&uot;