Business as Usual: New retail development underway in Oxford
by Eddie Burkhalter
eburkhalter@annistonstar.com
Mar 31, 2013 | 12894 views |  0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Where once stood a Holiday Inn motel, which would have been a symbol of Oxford civic pride when it opened in 1962, now sits a cleared plot of land ready for another development. (Anniston Star photo by Stephen Gross)
Where once stood a Holiday Inn motel, which would have been a symbol of Oxford civic pride when it opened in 1962, now sits a cleared plot of land ready for another development. (Anniston Star photo by Stephen Gross)
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OXFORD — Tractors were busy smoothing the way for a new retail project in Oxford on Friday, and the developer is asking the city for $2.3 million to help build it.

The site, located at the intersection of Alabama 21 and Hamric Drive, was once the location of a Holiday Inn.

“There’s a drug store, a grocery store and a restaurant,” Councilman Mike Henderson said of the three businesses planned for the site.

Henderson declined to name the businesses, however, until the developer, Munford-based Holmes Properties, makes the announcement. All three companies are under contract with the developer to build there, Henderson said.

Stacey Holmes, owner of Holmes Properties, is asking the city for $2.3 million to pay for grading and installation of water and sewer lines at the site.

Attempts Friday to reach Holmes, Mayor Leon Smith and council President Steven Waits for comment were unsuccessful, but the city stands to gain more than just sales taxes if the project moves forward, Henderson said.

Holmes is offering to give the city several acres of vacant land behind the retail project, Henderson said.

“The back portion of that property actually ties into the O’Charley’s property,” Henderson said, naming the nearby restaurant. “So if we ever wanted to put a road through there from O’Charley’s into the new development, we would have easement.”

If the council agrees, the money will be paid to the developer through the city’s Commercial Development Authority, said city attorney Bruce Rice.

The Commercial Development Authority uses taxpayer money and money from the sale of public land to entice development of large commercial projects in the city.

The council may vote on the developer’s request at a meeting on April 9 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, according to a legal notice.

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.

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