“As of 2011, I really am bullish on Pell City and our economy,” Mayor Bill Hereford said Thursday. “It really appears we are going in the right direction.”
The city’s building boom is all the more evident along U.S. 231, both north and south.
On the south end of Pell City, along U.S. 231, Benning Construction Company of Atlanta is moving forward with the construction of the new Publix Supermarket.
Officials say construction of the new Publix Supermarket, which has 45,600 square feet of space, is expected to be completed by mid August.
Just a few hundred feet from the Publix Supermarket, in the 13-acre South Park Shopping Center, workers are framing the new Bojangle’s restaurant. The restaurant is located on one of three retail out-parcels that fronts U.S. 231 in the new commercial development.
Hereford said with all the construction he sees in Pell City, he remains cautiously optimistic about the city’s economy.
“I know there is still high unemployment, but I believe we’re out of this or on our way out of this (economic downturn),” Hereford said. “How can you see it any other way?”
North of the South Park Shopping Center development, construction of a new Jack’s restaurant has begun and is well on its way to completion.
“I think development feeds other development,” Hereford said. “One commercial project creates real interest. I think Bojangle’s saw that Publix was coming.”
Hereford said he believes Publix influenced Bojangle’s officials into moving to Pell City.
Near the Jefferson State Community College campus, off Hazelwood Drive, construction of the St. Vincent’s St. Clair Hospital is also well under way.
“It’s moving quickly,” said Jason Goodgame with Goodgame Company, which is helping oversee the hospital construction project.
He said workers are finishing up the exterior of the new hospital, before workers begin concentrating their efforts on the interior work of the new facility.
Adjacent to the hospital, site work has begun for the new $50 million Col. Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home.
The home is the largest Veterans home project in the state.
Officials say the new 254-bed Veterans home is expected to create 300 new jobs.
“And we have Coosa Valley Water coming soon,” Hereford added.
The new Coosa Valley Water surface water treatment facility will provide Pell City with a reliable source of surface water for future growth.
Hereford also pointed out that work is also moving along I-20, which will eventually provide commuters six lanes of travel from Birmingham to Pell City.
He said I-20 plays a major, major role in the growth of Pell City.
He said the city recently annexed property on the north end of the city, at Hazelwood Drive, where a new Chick-fil-A restaurant could make a new home.
Hereford said because of new jobs created by the new hospital, VA home and the increased enrollment at Jefferson State Community College, there is also a proposal for the construction of an apartment complex along Hazelwood Drive, next to the college campus.
“I think some nice apartments over there couldn’t miss,” Hereford said.
He said he thought the proposed apartments near Jefferson State Community College could have about 65 units.
There is also a proposal for the construction of a new apartment complex on the old Avondale Mills plant site.
He said Avondale Mills property owners are expected to talk to the council next Thursday about the possible rezoning of the Avondale property. The city’s Planning and Zoning Board has already approved the zoning for the apartments but the city council has the last say.
Hereford said there are plans for the construction of a new 48-unit senior living facility with club house along 19th Street, across from the newly constructed South Hills Apartment.
Contact David Atchison at email@example.com.