From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE — Changes in the downtown landscape are beginning to pick up pace. Some work will be very visible and some of the changes are not as easily seen by the public.
The most obvious change is set to take place on the city’s busiest intersection as the former Braden’s building is set for demolition to begin.
Mayor Buddy Choat said he anticipates demolition to begin on the first of next week.
“I would be surprised if they get started this week, but the first of next week seems likely,” Choat said. “Depending on the weather, it should definitely start in the next week or so.”
Choat said he didn’t know how long it will take to complete the demolition due to the confined space in which contractors will have to operate.
“They will take the buildings down from back to front, beginning on the Linden Street end,” Choat said. “It will be pretty ugly for a while, but that’s necessary to get it to the point that we can make it beautiful.”
All buildings along North Chalkville, four in all, will be coming down. On the Main Street side, the second building from the corner will remain and be renovated as the new home for Brik Realty.
There will eventually be a brick plaza on the corner that Choat called the “signature of downtown revitalization.”
The remainder of the property along North Chalkville Road could be returned to the market for development, but additional public parking will get the first consideration.
Included in the demolition process will be intersection work, which is part of the third phase of the revitalization process.
That phase includes power poles being moved to back of property, which will be done by Alabama Power. Charter Spectrum is also part of that process as cable and Internet lines are also on the poles to be moved. Many of the back poles in the downtown sector have already been put in place.
Also included will be new sidewalks, decorative lighting and landscaping.
Work that may not be as visible to passing traffic is the demolition of multiple buildings on Cedar Lane and Morrow Avenue, which is already underway and will continue to take place simultaneously. At least six buildings have been removed on Morrow and several on Cedar are gone, as well.
Cedar Lane will be the location of a significant amount of public parking for the downtown Quad One area. Morrow Avenue, the area behind Slag Heap Brewing Company, will be the centerpiece of the entertainment district with Ferus Artisan Ales and multiple new restaurants, as well as public space, which includes a pavilion and amphitheater.
Both of those areas, Morrow and Cedar, will also have new sidewalks, decorative lighting and landscaping.
In all, the city is planning an 18 month timeline for the public infrastructure work, but that will be dependent on weather and other external factors. Several of those elements could be completed sooner in phases.
There are also several construction and improvement projects planned by private developers within the downtown district that are expected to be completed within the same time period or sooner. With more and more businesses setting their sights on locations in downtown Trussville, the process can be expected to continue into the foreseeable future.