Pelham CDA invests $797,000 in land acquisitions

Published 1:33 pm Monday, August 15, 2016

Pelham’s Commercial Development Authority recently purchased two strip malls located on U.S. 31 on the corner of Vance Street. (Contributed)

One of two strip malls recently purchased by Pelham’s Commercial Development Authority. (Contributed)

By Briana Harris / Staff Writer

PELHAM – The Commercial Development Authority recently invested nearly $800,000 in two adjacent parcels of property located on U.S. 31 on the corner of Vance Street, traveling south.

The CDA paid $600,000 for one the properties, which consists of 4.1 acres and 300 feet of road front property and $197,000 for the second, which is 1.9 acres with 200 feet of road front property, said Lenny Glynn, chairman of the Commercial Development Authority.

The CDA is mainly funded by the city’s lodging tax. City Council President Rick Hayes said the council approved gradual lodging tax increases every month. The increase took effect in April and so far lodging taxes are up 9 percent from April to June over last year during the same time period, Hayes said.

Although some are critical of the lodging tax increase, Hayes said those funds are allowing the CDA to do things that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do.

Glynn said the $797,000 acquisition took about a month to solidify. The 4.1-acre property used to house Fran’s Restaurant and the 1.9-acre lot housed a bar that shut down about 15 years ago, Glynn said.

The CDA’s plan is to help the four businesses within the strip malls begin the process of relocating within Pelham. Two houses are also located on the properties.

Once the buildings are vacant they will be torn down and made available to developers, Glynn said. He said restaurants and a commercial developer have already shown interest.

Glynn said the land acquisition is a part of the city’s redevelopment plan that was approved by the City Council in July.  Hayes said the area is one of four that was included in the redevelopment plan.

“Our ultimate goal is to create an environment that attracts new businesses,” Glynn said.

Hayes said the move will help the city’s economic development efforts because restaurants and retailers want to be around other types of retailers that bring shoppers to the area.

“You have to have the types of businesses that retailers want to be around and the type of buildings they’re looking for,” Hayes said. “Those properties have 500 feet of prime frontage on U.S. 31 that can be combined for a great development project.”