New U.S. 231 development has benefits

Published 5:37 am Thursday, August 28, 2014

City and economic development officials say providing financial support to a new retail development on U.S. 231 will reap long-term benefits for the community.

The Troy city council on Tuesday unanimously approved a 722 amendment agreeing to provide up to $100,000 in reimbursement to Crowco, Inc. for development costs associated with the new retail development. The retail development includes seven storefronts, one of which will be occupied by Chicken Salad Chick, which announced plans in July to open a store in Troy in 2015.

Mayor Jason Reeves said the developer has prospects for the other locations, as well.

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Reeves said the 772 amendment is a vehicle governing boards can use to assist with economic development. It’s used primarily in Troy to assist with problems or issues related to site development.

“The 772 allows us to reimburse costs associated with a development that may be prohibitive to the developer,” Reeves said. “We’ve used it before, with Chick-fil-A for example, to reimburse costs associated with site work and the ravine on the property.”

In the case of Crowco, the city will provide up to $100,000 in reimbursement for development costs associated with a new retail development on U.S. 231. The site was previously the home of a Chevron gas station and leakage from the underground tanks caused an extensive cleanup, which required intervention and monitoring from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, among other agencies.

“We were approached last January and asked to help because the development costs were going to be prohibitive because of the cleanup that needed to be done,” Reeves said. “It’s taken so long to come before the council because we wanted to make sure ADEM had cleared the site.”

In providing financial assistance to develop the site, Reeves said the city invests in a development, which will in turn yield long-term revenue and tax dollars.

“We have a standard that we look for when considering these 772 requests,” Reeves said. “We ask, ‘is this something that’s going to turn something that’s not a productive area into something productive?’

“In this case, we know it will create jobs, generate sales tax revenue, generate water and utility revenue and improve the property value.”

Reeves said the agreement provides the mayor with the authority to manage the reimbursement process. He said part of the agreement will stipulate that the building be fully occupied within a certain timeframe. “We’re not going to pay for an empty building,” he said

Pike County Economic Development Corporation Preident Marsha Gaylard said she is excited to have a local developer Crowco, Inc, heading the project.

“I’m excited that it will create new retail businesses, which is a very positive thing for Troy,” Gaylard said. “It’ll help bring even more retail to the area. Retailers create a lot of jobs it is definitely going to generate sales tax revenue and bring jobs to citizens of our county.”

Pike County Chamber of Commerce President Kathleen Sauer said she is appreciative of the commitment the businesses have given to the new shopping location.

“Small businesses and retail are the backbone of our economy,” Sauer said. “We look forward to the grand opening of these stores. This location on 231 will be attractive for people passing through to stop and shop, will add variety to the shopping experience of residents of Pike County and enhance the tax revenue base.”