YEAR OF GROWTH: Troy continues to recruit jobs, retail in 2019

Published 7:03 pm Friday, December 27, 2019

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With another year nearly in the books, Troy has continued to grow with new and expanding industries as well as a growing infrastructure.

“There has certainly been a lot accomplished this year,” said Mayor Jason Reeves.

Two new industries, Kimber Manufacturing and Rex Lumber, made much progress in 2019 toward operating at full capacity. Once they reach that point, the industries will provide at least 370 jobs in the community.

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“I think you’ll see really in 2020 a more robust action by many of the companies,” Reeves said. “Rex continues to work and as time goes by we’ll see them reach their full production capacity. Kimber has machines beginning to arrive that will all be up and running by 2020.”

There are also other projects that have seen much progress in the past year, including the Conecuh Ridge Distillery. Although construction has not yet begun on the site, a portion of the property was annexed into the city and the entire property was rezoned to the new Tourism Development District to allow the construction process to begin. A groundbreaking is expected soon in 2020.

Alabama Pipe and Supply Company also located in the county and is initially employing 20 people, with a total of 80 to be employed within five years.

Longstanding industries including Sanders companies and Lockheed Martin are also in the middle of expansion projects.

In addition to industrial growth, the city inked an agreement with Hutton in May to construct a new shopping center on U.S. Highway 231 that will feature Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx, Ulta Beauty, Five Below and Rack Room Shoes as well as other stores and restaurants.

Officials broke ground on the property on Dec. 18 and construction is ongoing at the site.

“We have a lot of retail construction beginning and we certainly hope to see some open during 2020 – not necessarily the Hutton site, but some other things that are in the works,” Reeves said.

The 120,000 square foot shopping center will be under construction for all of the new year with officials planning to have the store open to customers by spring of 2021. The center must be open by November 2021 at the latest.

“It will hopefully be a banner year for our community,” Reeves said. “We appreciate all the hard work of our citizens to improve. We’re blessed that we’ve got a diversity of industry and we’ll continue to try to promote that. We just appreciate our workforce and entrepreneurs driving the economy of our city.”

With the economic expansion comes need for infrastructure growth, and the city took another step forward on Dec. 23 by awarding a bid to construct a new industrial access road to the area of Kimber, Horn beverage and the Pike County Schools Accelerated Learning Center that will be tied into the Enzor Road Connector Project.

“We’re working on trying to alleviate as much pressure on U.S. Highway 231 as we can,” Reeves said. “We certainly want to make it as easy for people to get around and go to work and shop on U.S. Highway 231. We also want to make it easy for through traffic to get around. The industrial access road and tying that into the Enzor Road connector will allow people to go certain places without having to get on or cross the highway.”

Reeves said work is also underway to tie North Three Notch Street into the highway better, including the completion of a loop behind the car dealerships back to Three Notch.

There will also be a focus on growing the downtown area in 2020, Reeves said.

Work will begin in January to replace more downtown sidewalks to make them more accessible and vibrant.

The city council also brought forward an ordinance to establish an entertainment district downtown in 2019, but had to remove the ordinance from consideration after the closing of Infusions Cocktail Bar left the area without enough liquor vendors to establish the district under state law.

Officials have said the entertainment district could come back up in the future if a new liquor vendor is established within the proposed district.

The district as proposed would only be opened during special occasions, allowing citizens to drink openly within the district as long as the alcohol is purchased from within the vendors in the district.