From The Trussville
Tribune staff reports
Trussville city leaders have been talking about redeveloping downtown for 30 years.
And now the time is here.
Construction is expected to start this summer along Main Street and Chalkville Mountain Road to transform the aging corridor into an entertainment district that will include a plaza, additional retail shops, improved traffic, additional parking and more.
The public is invited to hear details about downtown’s redevelopment at the “Let’s Talk Trussville” Town Hall Panel, presented by Alabama Power and hosted by the Trussville Tribune, at 6 p.m. March 6 at the Trussville Civic Center. Come at 5:30 p.m. to see renderings of the development and talk to panelists about the plans one-on-one.
Redevelopment is on the move under the direction of a new mayor, Buddy Choat, and a new slate of City Council members and other city leaders. Several developers and business owners have jumped on board as momentum has grown to renovate and rebuild blocks of Trussville’s downtown.
The first phase of construction will bring at least 10 new businesses to Trussville in the first phase and increase the city’s visibility in metro Birmingham, Choat said.
“Our new downtown will bring people here who usually go to Avondale or Uptown but will want to come to a new place, the new brand for Trussville,” Choat said.
Kevin Sargent, vice president of operations for Brik Realty and member of Trussville Redevelopment Authority, said the city could see 20 to 30 new businesses joining the line up in the next two to five years.
“For 30 years we’ve heard that change is coming to downtown and this time it is actually happening,” Sargent said. “All the pieces are in place to make it a reality. There’s a new administration, a new mayor and council, so the right people are in place and making the right decisions to keep their (campaign) promises to revitalize downtown.”
Choat said he’s pleased to see his campaign promise come to fruition.
These new businesses will bring an increase in tax revenue that will help fund the school system and drive up home values in Trussville, said Sargent, who is a lifelong Trussville resident.
Brik Realty is under contract to purchase the building next to the former Braden’s near the corner of Main Street and Chalkville Mountain Road. The downtown redevelopment will will attract high-end retail and unique restaurants, Sargent said. It will be pedestrian-friendly and ideal for watching the city’s annual parades, he said.
Developments like Brik Realty’s, two breweries and the new Edgar’s Bakery at the former Sticks N Stuff location will open up opportunity for land around the main drag to be turned into additional profitable projects for the City of Trussville, Sargent said. The Redevelopment Authority offers façade grants and expects to see an increase in requests as growth takes off.
The first sign of a new downtown will be construction of improved infrastructure and traffic flow in October. It is part of the city’s correcting growing pains from years past and preparing the area for the added development.
Brik Realty will start their construction after the infrastructure, likely in spring 2019.