With the recent closings of Ruby Tuesdays and O'Charleys in east Birmingham, Councilor Lashunda Scales and members of the east Birmingham community have joined to seek greater economic help and attention from the city of Birmingham.
Scales unveiled a "Sustainable Community Initiative" Monday morning. She called upon the Mayor's office to provide more resources, including tax incentives to attract business developers.
"Many residents in the eastern area are simply tired of taking their hard-earned monies to help build neighboring cities when they [residents] should be able to purchase quality goods and services in their local neighborhood, where they live", said Councilor Lashunda Scales in a press conference.
Scales add that east Birmingham is overlooked when it comes to business development. And due to that, many people go to nearby areas to shop.
Tracey Morant Adams, the Director of Mayor's Office of Economic Development released this statement to ABC 33/40:
- The closing of the Ruby Tuesday and O'Charley's restaurants appears to have caused increasing concern as to the viability of the Parkway East/Roebuck area for business development. It is very important to realize that those restaurants were closed, as were a number of other Ruby Tuesday and O'Charley's franchises in other parts of the Birmingham Metro, and across the southeast, because the restaurants "underperformed." The same can be said about the significant number of business closings of all types in other metro locations, to include several "over the mountain" communities. No matter where the business is located, retailers are in business to make a profit.
- At Mayor Bell's direction, our Economic Development Office will be pleased to join with Councilor Scales to determine how we can improve the business climate and operational success in the Parkway East/Roebuck area.
- As we begin to bring more business to the Parkway East/Roebuck community, there are many positives to bring forth. First, ease of access from an excellent transportation grid. Second, income levels in the 1, 3, and 5 mile radius around the community that are competitive and therefore, appealing to developers. Third, a beautiful new high school that will provide enhanced traffic counts and opportunities for specific retailers that range from grocery stores, to sporting goods sales, to clothing stores that will appeal to students and parents; Fourth, the beginnings of new construction in the area to include a Save-a-Lot grocery and a beautiful new Alabama Power District headquarters. Fifth, a commercial development community that wants to work with the City to bring new business, just as the development community has helped us with the Eastwood Village development and the CrossPlex.