Alabaster expands re-development area

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 1, 2005

The city of Alabaster is expanding its Interstate 65, Exit 238 Urban Renewal and Urban Redevelopment Plan to include all properties of the current Colonial Promenade Shopping Center and the proposed Colonial Promenade Alabaster South Shopping Center.

This time, however, one city official said there would be no declarations of blight or condemnations of property.

The council approved the expansion of about 55 acres,

or some 2.39 million square feet, during a special called meeting held at the Alabaster Municipal Annex at 8 a.m. Saturday morning.

City attorney Ben Spratling said the special meeting was necessary to beat a Monday deadline to include the area in bond issues for the city.

The council would not normally have met again until Nov. 7.

On June 16, 2003, the council approved and adopted the I-65, Exit 238 Urban Renewal and Urban Redevelopment Plan.

According to the resolution approved by the council in the absence of Councilmembers Bob Hicks and Jerry Workman on Saturday, &8220;The city has determined that in order to further the objectives of the I-65 Exit 238 Plan, the Project Area … should be expanded to include an area located adjacent to or near the original project area.&8221;

Spratling said the area includes the &8220;new project&8221; (Colonial Promenade Alabaster South) and said the action taken, &8220;is in the nature of what I would call a formality.&8221;

In connection with the earlier project, certain property was declared blighted and was the subject of condemnation proceedings and the threat of eminent domain in connection with the re-development plan.

Following Saturday’s vote, Cam Ward, executive director of the Alabaster Industrial Development Board said, the action was necessary because, &8220;when we looked back at the development agreement to develop the entire interstate site, we realized we needed to expand the development area to include room for more shopping center space.&8221;

Ward said of the current action, &8220;There is no blight. It’s just an area we feel needs to be economically re-developed to fit the needs of the development scheme.&8221;

Ward said there would be no threat of eminent domain with regard to the expansion of the re-development plan.

&8220;We’re dealing with three different property owners, all of whom have sold to a developer and are eager to see this project go forward as we are.

&8220;There will be no condemnation whatsoever.&8221;

Present and voting in favor of the action were Council President Rick Walters and Councilmembers Jim McClain, Mike Sherwood, Tommy Ryals and Angela Moseley.

Also present was Alabaster Mayor David Frings.

According to city officials, the second shopping center has the potential to generate up to $100 million in sales tax revenues for the city during the next 20 years.

Located across from the current 680,000-square-foot Colonial Promenade which houses Wal-Mart Supercenter, Belk, Lowe’s and other retail locations, the second shopping center will include 350,000 square feet with 11 outparcels