By Gary Lloyd
The Trussville City Council on Tuesday approved an additional $300,000 for the city’s Downtown Redevelopment Authority to use to pay for the lease and renovations on the former Food World site.
The city council voted to immediately release $75,000 to the authority.
Trussville Mayor Gene Melton said the money goes toward the lease for the former Food World building on Main Street and to other things the authority must pay for.
Melton said it is probable that the building will be split between two businesses, which will most likely be a grocery store and fitness center. There have been three fitness clubs and two grocers to express interest in the site.
No timetable is set for new businesses to occupy the space.
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 in January
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.
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.
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.
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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