Alabaster Exchange seeing increased interest from retailers

Aronov Vice President of Development John Argo, right, visits the future site of the Alabaster Exchange shopping center during a 2012 television filming. (File)

Aronov Vice President of Development John Argo, right, visits the future site of the Alabaster Exchange shopping center during a 2012 television filming. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Alabaster officials working to attract retailers to the proposed Alabaster Exchange shopping center had one of their most promising months in July, according to the executive director of the city’s Industrial Development Board.

In October 2011, the Montgomery-based Aronov development company confirmed its plans to build the new 300,000-square-foot shopping center adjacent to Alabaster’s Colonial Promenade south shopping center on U.S 31.

Construction plans call for the new shopping center to be about the same size as the south wing of the Colonial Promenade shopping center.

Ward and other city officials have been working with Aronov over the past few years to attract retailers not currently in the Birmingham metropolitan area’s Interstate 65 corridor.

“This past month has been one of the busiest times we’ve had with interest in that particular development with the Alabaster Exchange,” Ward said. “I can’t reveal the particular tenants, but we’ve had (interest from) several large-box tenants, including craft-type supply stores that have been interested there.”

If constructed, the shopping center will be sandwiched between U.S. 31 and Old Highway 31 south of the current J.C. Penny department store and the Steak ‘n Shake restaurant.

During a May Alabaster City Council meeting, city leaders said they were planning to move forward extending Shelby County 26 from its current terminus at Old U.S. 31 to U.S. 31 near the Carmeuse Lime quarry.

If the road is rerouted, it will run through the middle of the proposed Alabaster Exchange, and will provide easier access to the development from U.S. 31. If the city extends Shelby County 26 to U.S. 31, the new intersection will replace the current U.S. 31-Old 31 intersection.