Council approves building lease

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 14, 2005

A movie theatre became more of a reality Monday night when the Greenville City Council unanimously agreed to enter into a memorandum of understanding with Albertville developer Michael Dendy to locate a movie theatre, restaurant and a major retailer within the empty 58,000 square-foot building that once was home to Wal-Mart.

"You have seen empty Wal-Mart buildings all over the state and country, but you won't see it in Greenville," proclaimed the city's mayor Dexter McLendon.

Dendy has a history of transforming vacated Wal-Mart buildings by locating retail shops, restaurants and even movie theatres within the buildings.

The memorandum of understanding is just that. This is not yet a binding contract between the city, which has 13 years left on the lease of the building with Wal-Mart, and Dendy.

This is more of a gentleman's agreement that Dendy will renovate the building .

The agreement between the city and Dendy is that the developer will not pay any rent for the next two years.

Estimates indicate that the sales taxes generated from the movie theatre, retail store and restaurant will more than cover the annual rent payment to Wal-Mart.

After two years, Dendy would then be required to make annual rent payments to the city of $50,000 through the remainder of the city's lease with Wal-Mart. Should there not be a movie theatre located on the premises, then rent in years three and four would be $50,000 annually and then increase through the remainder of the lease.

For example, if a movie theatre is not located on the premises by year six, then Dendy's rent payment would be $85,000 for that year.

Should a movie theatre become a reality on site, then it is anticipated that a police sub-station will locate on the premises, too.

To make the movie theatre project financially viable, a movie ticket surcharge will be needed to defray the costs. However, the agreement stipulates that the surcharge will not cause the average price of a local movie ticket to exceed the average ticket price for first-run movies located in the Montgomery area, McLendon said.

McLendon said the estimated cost to renovate the building will be $2 million.

Dendy told the Advocate in an earlier interview that once the council gives its blessing for the sub-sublease agreement that work will begin immediately to renovate the empty Wal-Mart building. Dendy anticipated that the project would be complete by Thanksgiving of this year.

In other matters during the meeting the city council approved resolutions:

N Authorizing the final payment of $2,790.26 to Southeast Alabama Gas for the relocation of natural gas lines on and adjacent to Highway 185 South as necessitated for road improvements required for access to the Greenville Industrial Park Annex.

N Implementing the National Incident Management System.

N Authorizing the city to enter into an agreement with the housing authority to allow one police investigator to work within and for the Greenville housing authority.

N Issued a quit claim deed of property on Dohrimier Street to Faith Tabernacle Apostolic Church. The deed would allow for the church to use the property to build a new church on the property.

N Approving issuance of a special retail liquor license for the Sweet Gum Bottom Blues Festival on Oct. 15, 2005.

N Ammending the city's alcoholic beverage ordinance calling for no liquor license shall be granted if that liquor is served within 150 feet or less of a church or school building.

N Authorizing a cost-of-living increase for city retirees.

N Authorizing the final payment of $75,307.78 to Goodwyn, Mills and Caywood, Inc. for Interstate 65 frontage road (Cahaba to Manningham Road) known as Willow Lane.