Alabaster rezones property for District 31 shopping center

 

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – A new 75-acre shopping center in Alabaster soon will be able to move forward with construction, after the City Council agreed to rezone the property during a Feb. 12 meeting.

Council members voted unanimously during the meeting to rezone the property from mobile home and community business zoning to mixed-use zoning to allow for the more-than-350,000-square-foot District 31 shopping center to be constructed across I-65 from the Propst Promenade shopping center. The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission voted in November 2017 to recommend the rezoning to the City Council.

The rezoning will not go into effect until the project’s developer, Alumni Properties, purchases all the property for the development. The council voted to rezone the property after holding a public hearing on the matter, during which nobody spoke for or against the rezoning.

Alumni Properties President and CEO Keith Owens previously said the center will feature regional and national retailers and restaurants new to the Alabaster market, and will also include office space. He said Alumni Properties has been working with possible tenants for the development, but is not yet announcing which tenants will be coming to the new shopping center.

“We originally said we were shooting to begin construction in spring or summer of this year, and we are committed to that,” Owens said after the council meeting.

District 31 will include a main street-styled “shopping center within the shopping center” in the middle of the development featuring ample green space and focused on pedestrian walkability, Owens said.

During a September 2017 meeting, the City Council voted unanimously to approve an incentives package with Alumni Properties, through which the city will refund to the developer 1 percent of the city’s sales tax for either 30 years or up to $25 million, whichever comes first. The penny sales tax tied to the city’s education fund will not be included in the incentives package.

The shopping center is expected to generate more than $100 million in sales annually, according to the resolution passed by the council.

The city will also rebate the developer’s property taxes and lodging taxes for the next 30 years, and will commit up to $3 million to help fund roadway improvements for the project.

Through its agreement with the city, the developer agreed to provide a “tract of cleared and graded land” fronting U.S. 31 near the shopping center for a new Alabaster police station by 2019.

Once I-65 is widened between exit 242 in Pelham and 238 in Alabaster, upgrades will be made at exit 238 to allow traffic to travel directly from the interstate into the shopping center.

The Alumni Properties company is planning to bring a new 75-acre shopping center to Alabaster by 2019. (File)