By Gary Lloyd
TRUSSVILLE — Trussville Mayor Gene Melton today said the opening of Fresh Value Marketplace, located in the former Food World building on Main Street, is “important” to the city.
Melton said the opening of the new grocery store in the long-vacant space will help other businesses in the downtown Trussville area.
“We’re glad that you’re here,” Melton said to employees at a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday morning.
Fresh Value Marketplace accounts for 23,000 square feet of the 38,000-square-foot building. 24e Fitness, which plans to open in early 2014, accounts for the remaining space.
Downtown Redevelopment Authority Chairman Jef Freeman said the authority has worked “long and hard” to fill the space and that he is excited to have the new grocery store in the city.
Jefferson County Commissioner Joe Knight said he welcomes the business to a “non-bankrupt county,” referencing Jefferson County’s recent closing of the sale of nearly $1.8 billion in new debt and emergence from the United States’ second-largest municipal bankruptcy.
In August, the Trussville City Council approved $800,000 in tax abatements over a four-year period for Fresh Value Marketplace and $912,000 to remodel the building to split it for two occupants.
The city of Trussville spent about $22,000 per month for rent on the building since leasing it in October 2011. The city spent $250,000 to end a 15-year lease with America’s Thrift Store, which had planned to open a store there. Food World closed in September 2010.
In October, RRP, LLC and Trussville resident George Glenn filed a lawsuit in Jefferson County Circuit Court over the process of filling the former Food World on Main Street. The lawsuit named Trussville City Council and Downtown Redevelopment Authority members as defendants. The lawsuit states that those bodies “acted in violation of applicable law in regards to the subject property.” The lawsuit states the individuals or administrative bodies may have acted “arbitrarily, capriciously, negligently or carelessly in the development of or approval for the subject property.” The court filing lists RRP, LLC as owning a business at 322 Main St. in Trussville. That is the address for Anytime Fitness, owned by Rick Plourde, who has spoken out against the new business at several city council meetings.
Contact Gary Lloyd at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.