District 31: 75-acre retail development to be built in Alabaster
A major new retail development will be built in Alabaster’s gateway.
The project known as District 31 will be built on 75 acres off interstate 65 and Highway 31.
Mayor Marty Handlon says the project includes retail, restaurants and office space. She expects crews to begin moving dirt in the next six months, with completion in 2019.
Handlon calls the project a visible improvement for the entrance to her city.
“We're changing the look and you can tell from looking around it has not been our finest impression,” said Handlon.
Mayor Marty Handlon explains the city entered an initial agreement with developers to create a complete facelift for the area.
“It's more than just a strip mall,” said Handlon. “It's not going to be your typical. It's going to be a classy development so I'm looking forward to it.”
Handlon expects widening projects for 65 and 31 to help with increased traffic.
The project is also designed for entertainment. A central courtyard will offer green space and could include life size games like checkers.
The city is already talking about creating an open container area.
“The millennials and the young people like to live and work close to each other so we hope that's going to attract more of our young people back to where they grew up as well as new professionals to the city of Alabaster,” said Handlon.
Handlon says developers worked with various property owners to acquire land and eminent domain was not used.
The city did agree to an incentives package. It includes a sales tax rebate up to $25 million and a property tax abatement.
Mayor Handlon says Alabaster's population is growing fast and she wants to offer more reasons for people to shop and dine in their own city.