Study: Alabaster needs more restaurants, car dealers, grocery stores
Published 12:18 pm Tuesday, September 1, 2015
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – Alabaster residents’ demand for some types of businesses currently is outstripping the city’s current business offerings, especially in the restaurant, grocery and car dealership segments, according to a study by the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham.
The RPC recently provided Alabaster leaders with draft copies of its existing conditions and market analysis studies, which examine the city’s current population and consumer trends and make recommendations for future development, respectively.
According to market data used to formulate the report, many Alabaster residents are traveling outside the city to shop at motor vehicle and parts dealers, food and beverage stores, restaurants and some department stores.
“These three subsectors represent $53.4 million in residential spending that is being spent else-where because of unmet demand in Alabaster,” read the market analysis study. “The data indicates that there is currently significant opportunity for expansion based on the demands of the Alabaster city residents.”
Currently, Alabaster is losing more than $102 million in spending annually because residents are traveling outside the city to shop at those types of businesses, according to the study.
The study identified potential retail growth areas near the intersection of Shelby County 17 and First Avenue West, on Industrial Road, on Simmsville Road, on Alabaster Boulevard and near the intersection of Butler Road and Mission Hills Road.
If new businesses do come to Alabaster over the next several years, they likely will serve an ever-growing customer base. According to population growth projections included in the study, Alabaster’s population likely will approach 50,000 people by 2040 – which is up from the city’s current population of slightly less than 32,000 people.
With a growing population will come an increased demand for office and industrial space. The study identified Industrial Road, Simmsville Road, the Shelby West Corporate Park and Airpark Industrial Road as possible areas for future industrial and office growth.
The two studies have been provided to city leaders for review, and have posted the documents on Alabasterforward.com. The city will have another public input session before possibly voting to accept its new comprehensive plan in October.
As of Sept. 1, the city had not yet set a date for the next public input session.