By Hannah Curran, Editor
IRONDALE — The city of Irondale announced at the council meeting on Tuesday, June 7, the purchase of the Zamora Shrine Center, located at 3521 Ratliff Road.
The council approved Resolution 2022-R-105, authorizing the purchase of real estate at 3521 Ratliff Road, for the purchase price of $5,000,000, and Resolution 2022-R-106, which assents to the vacation of a portion of the right-of-way on Old Leeds Road at the request of Grants Mill, LLC.
This resolution approved a short-term loan and authorized Mayor James Stewart to close on the facility.
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Stewart said the city of Irondale does not have any plans for the building.
“We just wanted to get the building under the city’s control,” Stewart said. “Once we completed the sale of the building, we will engage a firm to come in and to do a master plan for the whole 105 acres.
Citizens will have the opportunity to give feedback as to what they believe the building should be used for and how it would meet the needs of the comprehensive plan of Irondale.
“It’s for the citizens,” Stewart said. “We’re just here to shepherd the process.”
The process for citizen input will be the same as when Irondale developed its comprehensive plan. They held several town hall meetings to allow citizens to come in and brainstorm, white paper was put up around the room to allow people to come up and discuss the seven categories that Irondale had for the plan.
“This will allow them to be able to share what they want to see,” Stewart said. “Somebody may want to see a Civic Center, somebody may want to see walking trails, someone who may want to see a Rec center. We just want to leave it up to the citizens to be able to make that decision. Once they make that decision then that allows us as the administrative fund to follow through to make those things happen.”
Stewart said the reason that this is a positive piece of property for the city is that it’s “very hard to build community when you do not have a place for the community to commune.”
“This will allow us to be able to develop that whole entire site where it becomes a destination place for citizens to have an opportunity to fellowship with other citizens like a stadium, we don’t have a place,” Stewart said. “If we have more than 50 people to meet somewhere, it’s very hard for us to find a place that we can control that can allow that type of crowd to gather.”
This building will allow Irondale to be able to finally have something like some of the other surrounding municipalities have to be able to allow their citizens when larger events take place, to gather within the city limits.
The story will be updated when more information is available.