Calera City Council approves Calera Crossings shopping center expansion
By STEPHANIE BRUMFIELD / Staff Writer
CALERA – The Calera City Council approved a resolution at its Dec. 2 meeting that would allow the city to lease land adjacent to the Publix shopping center to a developer, who plans on adding a 5,600-square-foot retail space.
The proposed shopping center will be located on Alabama 70 on the Columbiana side of the existing Publix shopping center, said Shelby County Attorney Butch Ellis during the work session prior to the meeting.
Although construction has not begun and no permits have been approved, Ellis said an ABC store is expected to fill about half the space, while two other retailers will fill the remainder of the space. According to the agreement, at least 75 percent of the retailers’ activities will be subject to the city’s increased sales tax, Ellis said.
Calera Crossings, the developer interested in leasing the land, is the same developer who leased the land on what is now the Publix shopping center from the city of Calera in 2009, Ellis said. Calera Crossings borrowed approximately $8.2 million from Compass Bank to develop the land in 2009, according to the resolution.
Calera Crossings will refinance the loan as part of the new agreement and reduce its total debt by approximately $2.2 million, while the company will pay for the construction of the new 5,600-square-foot space out of pocket, said Calera Mayor Jon Graham.
“Butch (Ellis) has done a great job for the city of Calera in negotiating this (agreement),” Graham said. “We want this situation to be as good as it can be.”
According to the resolution, the proposed refinancing will benefit the city by reducing the company’s total debt by approximately $2.2 million, removing the out parcels (or land outside the Publix shopping center) from the lien of the loan, and generating more economic activity through additional space that should increase sales tax revenue once it is developed.
“We’re trying to get as much retail as we can to get as much sales tax as we can,” Ellis said. “It’s a major step in improvement (from the previous agreement).”