Moore Handley property development still in works
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
A project aimed at redeveloping the former Moore Handley building off U.S. 31 is still pending, and Pelham City Council President Rick Hayes said a few entities have expressed interest in the project.
Hayes’ comments came during a March 7 town hall meeting at the Pelham Civic Complex after Pelham resident Bill Paxton asked if the city had considered using part of the property to house the Pelham Public Library and Senior Center.
Hayes said the former Moore Handley property occupies about 30 acres in a highly visible part of the city, and said Pelham officials are looking to spur business growth in the area.
Hayes said the city likely will not move the library and senior center into the former Moore Handley property, which has been vacant since the tool manufacturer went out of business several years ago.
“Our number-one objective is to have something that looks good and that will cause the right kind of growth in that area,” Hayes said, noting sales tax revenues fund the majority of Pelham’s budget.
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 property and then sell 17 acres to the Summer Classics furniture company.
In 2012, 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 in November 2012.
During the town hall meeting, Hayes said the city has not purchased the property.
“There is a real estate agent who is working very closely with the city,” Hayes said.
Hayes said the city has heard from multiple entities interested in the property, including “three that have been real active.”
“We want to get that property renovated and updated and start the right kind of growth,” Hayes said.