New retail, apartments, hotel planned for Alabaster

Published 11:51 am Friday, October 12, 2018

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – A developer is looking to bring a new development featuring retail space, a hotel and an apartment complex to the area adjacent to Alabaster’s South Promenade shopping center, according to plans presented to the city.

Irving Meisler, who owns Rime Construction and developed the Wellington Manor apartment complex and Candlewood Suites in Alabaster, presented the details of the planned mixed-use development to the City Council during an Oct. 11 work session.

If constructed, the development would occupy about 20 acres directly behind the JC Penney department store in the South Promenade shopping center, and would connect with U.S. 31 and Old Highway 31. It would include 10,000 square feet of retail, a 100-room hotel and an about 160-unit gated apartment complex, Meisler said.

The apartment complex would consist of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, and would be designed similarly to the Patchwork Farms apartment complex in Vestavia Hills, he said. The entire development would be lined with sidewalks connecting the apartments, retail and hotel developments.

“We want something there to really draw people to the area,” Meisler said, noting rent for the apartments would start at about $1,000 for one-bedroom units. “With all the new retail and all the development in the city, we could really use some new apartments here. It’s one of those necessary things to handle the growth.”

A portion of the property for the development is already in Alabaster, but a portion would have to be annexed into the city from unincorporated Shelby County for the project to move forward. Because it is a mixed-use development, the city likely would have to approve a planned residential development district for the area, which would outline the density, appearance and other factors related to the project, before it could move forward.

Council members said they were in favor of the location of the project, as it is away from the city’s large residential areas, and would have easy access to U.S. 31 and Interstate 65 without adding traffic into already heavily congested roadways such as Alabama 119.

“To me, it’s a manageable amount of apartments in an ideal and desirable location,” said Ward 1 Councilwoman Sophie Martin.

If approved by the city, construction time for the apartments would be about 18 months, with the retail and hotel construction wrapping up shortly thereafter.