New businesses cause economic surge in Alabaster

Alabaster leaders join developers in breaking ground on a new Holiday Inn Express behind the Propst Promenade shopping center in mid-March. The city has seen a surge in new businesses so far this year. (File)

Alabaster leaders join developers in breaking ground on a new Holiday Inn Express behind the Propst Promenade shopping center in mid-March. The city has seen a surge in new businesses so far this year. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Ward 7 Alabaster City Council member Tommy Ryals reads the city’s new home and business permit report during the council’s final meeting of each month, but he did so with a little more enthusiasm than usual on April 27.

“Through March, we had issued 376 total permits valued at $17.5 million. Last year, we had issued 192 permits valued at $5.7 million, which is about triple,” Ryals said. “I think a lot of that, you can attribute to the schools and the impact they’re having on property values.”

The first three months of 2015 marked the strongest economic start for Alabaster in several years, thanks primarily to a slew of new businesses coming to the city and several existing businesses renovating.

From the beginning of the year through the end of March, the Alabaster Department of Building Safety had issued a total of seven new commercial building permits for projects valued at a total of more than $11.5 million.

Through the first three months of 2014, the city had issued zero new commercial building permits.

The surge in new commercial building permits came as the result of projects such as a new Walmart Neighborhood Market being constructed on Alabama 119, a new Holiday Inn Express being built behind the Propst Promenade shopping center and a soon-to-be-built Ulta Beauty store in the South Promenade shopping center.

The seven new commercial building permits through the first three months of 2015 matched the year-end total for 2012 and beat the year-end numbers for 2014, 2011 and 2010.

The department had also issued 57 residential addition or remodel permits and 25 commercial addition or remodel permits through the end of March. In 2014, the city had only issued 15 residential and six commercial addition or remodel permits during the same timeframe.

On the residential side, the Department of Building Safety had issued 14 new home building permits through the end of March this year, compared to 13 during the same time last year.