New Alabaster shopping center, hotel still a possibility
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
A new developer is interested in bringing a new shopping center to U.S. 31 in Alabaster, after the planned development’s original company pulled away from the project in March.
During an April 10 interview, state Sen. Cam Ward, who also is the chairman of the Alabaster Industrial Development Board, said the city has “shifted focus” on the project since the original developer, Aronov, dropped its name from the development.
In October 2011, Aronov announced plans to build the new 300,000-square-foot Alabaster Exchange shopping center adjacent to Alabaster’s South Promenade shopping center.
“We are just going to shift our strategy on that development,” Ward said. “We are working with a new developer who approached us.”
Ward said he was unable to release the name of the new development company, as the company asked to “remain confidential until he finishes (the) property purchase.”
Ward said the new developer is interested in bringing a shopping center with a “few big-box and some smaller tenants,” along with at least one hotel and a “food-type industry that is not currently in this market.”
The city has also taken an active role in the future of the shopping center, which is proposed for a tract of land along U.S. 31 south of Steak ‘n Shake and JC Penny in the South Promenade shopping center.
In February, the City Council voted to enter into a temporary $2.5 million line of credit with Central State Bank for “economic development purposes” on a portion of the proposed Alabaster Exchange land. The city is using a portion of the money to purchase a few tracts of land on the property, which is plans to use to extend Fulton Springs Road through to U.S. 31.
On April 10, Alabaster City Manager George Henry said he was preparing to meet with Alabama Department of Transportation and the Shelby County Highway Department on the Fulton Springs Road project, and said the city is “making progress” on the project.