Council to discuss vacant building

The Pelham City Council likely will discuss a project aimed at bringing a new tenant to the former Moore-Handley building during its Dec. 17 meeting. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Pelham City Council likely will discuss the status of a proposed commercial development in the former Moore-Handley building off U.S. 31 during its Dec. 17 meeting, council members said during a Dec. 3 work session.

During the work session, which was held before the council’s regular meeting, Mayor Gary Waters said city officials recently had a meeting with project stakeholders, and said he was “very encouraged by the dialogue.”

Pelham’s previous mayor and City Council members said they would like to work with Shelby County and the Shelby County Industrial Development Authority to purchase the vacant 30-acre property from the HHH Acquisition Company and then sell 17 acres to the Summer Classics furniture company.

The previous City Council voted to authorize former Mayor Don Murphy to negotiate the city’s purchase of the former Moore-Handley property, but the city did not finalize the purchase before the end of Murphy’s term last month.

Waters said the city’s plan to purchase the property and sell a portion to Summer Classics “is still viable,” but said the current council is not obligated by the previous council’s actions or discussions.

Waters also said other entities have inquired about the former Moore-Handley property, including one entity the city was set to meet with on Dec. 4.

“Nothing like this can go quickly. It must go deliberately,” Waters said.

Council President Rick Hayes said he would like the council to discuss the project during its Dec. 17 meeting and submit feedback to Summer Classics.

“I don’t think it would be appropriate to not give Summer Classics some feedback,” Hayes said, noting Summer Classics has been working with the city on the project for more than a year. “They are a business that has invested in Pelham. We owe them something in writing that lets them know where we stand on this.”

Councilman Ron Scott said filling the vacant property will help to “remove a commercial blight.”

“I hope this is the beginning of a revitalization of the 31 corridor,” Scott said.