Alabaster plans third shopping center for I-65, U.S. 31 location

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Alabaster City Council green-lighted plans at its meeting Monday night to bring a third shopping center to U.S. 31 and Interstate 65.

The city council decided that another shopping center built near AmStar Theater would serve the public better than any incidental private gain. Councilwoman Angela Moseley abstained from voting.

The unusual resolution is required under state law whenever a city or county government uses certain incentives to entice economic developers.

Alabaster now intends to ask a Shelby County judge to approve plans to give developer Robert Buchmust&8217;s company $10 million in sales taxes rebates if they set up shop. Under the plan, Buchmust would receive 75 percent of the sales tax generated until he was repaid for the development&8217;s construction.

Outside of building the actual 300,000-square-foot retail center, developers must also construct any infrastructure, including roads.

Mayor Frings said since his city won&8217;t be providing any incentives upfront like it did in the previous two centers at Colonial Promenade, there is really no danger for Alabaster.

&8220;I don&8217;t see any negatives for the city,&8221; said Frings. &8220;The developer is taking the risk and the city will receive the pay back.&8221;

Frings said he expects the center would generate more than $2.5 million in sales taxes revenue per year. He wouldn&8217;t name possible tenants of the center, but did say there would be two &8220;sizable&8221; anchors and several other stores.

&8220;This will put Alabaster as a leader in the service and retail area,&8221; said Councilman Mike Sherwood. &8220;This will be a tremendous benefit to the citizens.&8221;

Besides given residents more places to shop and added convenience, Frings said a third center would pay for many other benefits.

&8220;As we grow, we&8217;ll need additional jobs, road work, new parks … the new center would help us do that.&8221;

The retail center is expected to open by the end of 2007