Summer Classics set to finalize deal on former Moore Handley building

Summer Classics is set to finalize a deal on purchasing a portion of the former Moore Handley building in Pelham. (File)

Summer Classics is set to finalize a deal on purchasing a portion of the former Moore Handley building in Pelham. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Summer Classics furniture company is set to finalize a deal to move into the former Moore Handley building in Pelham this week, and city leaders are hoping the project will spur development along the U.S. 31 corridor.

During a July 25 special-called meeting, the Pelham City Council voted to reduce the property’s sale price by $107,692 after Summer Classics finished inspecting the Moore Handley building, which has been vacant for several years.

“It was in worse shape than any of us could imagine,” City Council member Ron Scott said of the building, noting copper thefts had damaged many of the building’s HVAC systems.

Through the agreement, Pelham will loan Summer Classics $3.275 million to purchase the 17 acres. Summer Classics will make mortgage payments to the city to pay the amount back. A portion of the $3.275 million loan will be provided by Shelby County and the county’s Industrial Development Authority.

As a result of the resolution passed on July 25, the city will purchase the property from HHH for $107,692 less than originally anticipated, and will reduce Summer Classics’ purchase price by the same amount.

Summer Classics now has until Wednesday, July 31 to sign off on the deal to purchase the property, but likely will do so on July 30, according to Pelham Finance Manager Tom Seale.

Scott said the city decided to loan Summer Classics the money because banks were not interested in the project.

“We had a white elephant that no bank would loan, and we would have been stuck with an eyesore and a blight,” Scott said of the building. “That meant we had to step up to the plate to be the catalyst.”

In addition to the new Summer Classics location, the project also calls for outparcel developments around the former Moore Handley building.

“Businesses have expressed interest. Here’s the comment: ‘How close can I get to Summer Classics?’” Scott said. “The retail magnet is working, and it will be good.”