Columbiana picks lender for Summer Classics site

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Columbiana City Council will borrow $730,000 from M&F Bank to buy property for a new city center.

The council voted last Tuesday to give Mayor Allan Lowe executive power to borrow the money to buy the former Summer Classics factory site.

Back in December, the council approved the purchase with the condition that Shelby County pays half of the price tag.

Lowe now hopes to close the deal by this Friday.

Councilman Tom Seale said M&F Bank was the lowest bidder, with a 4.2 percent fixed interest rate, no origination fee and no prepayment penalty. The city has seven years to repay the debt.

After the land is bought, the city will gift it to a Commercial Development Authority, a group of city residents who will decide what to do with the property.

Lowe said he expects the center would include commercial as well as residential developments. It will also provide a permanent home for the Academy of Fine Arts of Shelby County.

The property was previously home to the Summer Classic furniture manufacturing factory before it burned down in 2004