By Gary Lloyd
Two representatives from Retail Specialists, Inc. last week said they think they have a “real good” solution to occupying the former Food World on Main Street in Trussville.
Retail Specialists President Robert Jolly and Senior Leasing and Brokerage Representative Brooks Corr made a presentation to the Trussville City Council that proposed Associated Grocers occupying 70 percent of the available space. The rest, Jolly said, could be filled by a fitness center that would have “extreme upside,” he said.
The proposal projected $450,000 in city sales tax potential and 60 to 90 new employees working in Trussville.
Jolly said Associated Grocers is a “great operator” and has stores in Chattanooga, Tenn., Millbrook and Greenville. This store would cover about 23,000 square feet, whereas the other three cover between 40,000 and 45,000 square feet.
Should a plan be agreed to among the grocer, the city of Trussville and Engel Realty, and Associated Grocers moves to the vacant building, construction would likely take about 90 days, and another 120 days would be needed to fill the store with inventory and necessary items, Corr said.
Trussville Mayor Gene Melton said the grocery store and a fitness center locating in the former Food World would “be a boost” for downtown Trussville and surrounding businesses.
CVS, which is in the same shopping center as the former Food World, agreed earlier this year 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 earlier this year that 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 Trussville’s Downtown Redevelopment Authority up with a $750,000 line of credit to pay the lease.
The former Food World closed in 2010 and has been vacant since.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.