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Anniston considering incentives for retail development on McClellan Boulevard

The Anniston City Council will vote in December on a proposal to offer up to $1 million in tax rebates to a developer seeking to bring retailers to an undeveloped property on McClellan Boulevard.

In a legal advertisement in Friday’s Anniston Star, the city announced a plan to offer Birmingham-based Blackwater Development Corporation a 50-percent rebate — up to a total of $1 million — on sales tax from businesses it develops on a 2.5-acre plot on McClellan.

The measure will come before the council at its Dec. 1 meeting, according to the advertisement.

The council in March agreed to give Blackwater a 38-acre parcel just north of Lowe’s hardware store if the developer can attract retailers willing to open on the site.

Toby Bennington, Anniston’s director of planning and economic development, said the developer does have a retailer lined up, though he said he can’t reveal the name.

“I cannot say today, but it will be revealed at the meeting,” Bennington said.

The land in question was once part of Fort McClellan, the Army base that closed in 1999. The McClellan Development Authority gave the land to the city.

Before the agreement with Blackwater, the city worked with another developer, Horne Properties, but the partnership never yielded a new store on the property.

Attempts to reach Blackwater on Friday were unsuccessful. According to the company’s website, it has developed 79 projects in 21 states. Its shopping centers in Alabama are anchored by stores such as Publix, the beauty store Ulta and the discount store Five Below. 

Capitol & statewide reporter Tim Lockette: 256-294-4193. On Twitter @TLockette_Star.

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