By Gary Lloyd
Two more businesses have expressed interest in the former Food World building on Main Street in Trussville.
Trussville City Councilman Buddy Choat said an independent grocer and fitness club have expressed interest in the building, which Food World has not occupied since 2010.
Choat said the number of businesses that have expressed interest in the building is now at five — three fitness clubs and two grocers.
The building could be divided for two businesses to share the space, or one business could fill the entire space. Trussville Mayor Gene Melton said last month that the city’s Downtown Redevelopment Authority was “real close” to finding a tenant or tenants to occupy the former grocery store.
The authority’s yearlong contract with Retail Specialists, which was helping recruit businesses for the building, ended Dec. 31. The authority didn’t sign another yearlong contract, though Retail Specialists was still working on an “at will” basis on behalf of the city, Melton said last month.
Choat said CVS, which is in the same shopping center as the former Food World, recently agreed to allow a fitness club in the empty space if the building is subdivided between two businesses. CVS would already allow a grocery store in the space but not a pharmacy or drugstore, Choat said.
Should a fitness club occupy half the building, the city would have to designate a certain amount of parking for CVS since there will be more demand for parking spots, Choat said
Melton said the city is incurring “about $22,000 plus or minus” each month to rent the building. That monthly payment is drawn because the city is paying the 15-year lease that America’s Thrift Stores had originally signed to occupy the entire space. The city originally set the authority up with a $750,000 line of credit to pay the lease.
Choat said the building is “pretty naked right now” and that if a grocery store were to occupy the entire space, it would likely cost between $1 million and $1.5 million to “bring it back up to a grocery store” status with proper equipment and maintenance.
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