Interstate Drive project moving forward

Published 3:35 pm Tuesday, May 14, 2013

An economic development project expected to pave the way for the creation of nearly 200 new jobs is one step closer to getting underway.

On Monday, the Greenville City Council voted to authorize the city to enter into a formal agreement with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Development (ADECA) for a Community Development Block Grant will assist with five economic development projects in the city, which are expected to create 195 jobs.

“This is just the next step in the process,” Mayor Dexter McLendon said.

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Gov. Robert Bentley announced in November that Greenville would be awarded a $500,000 grant that will help fund a project that will restructure traffic at the Hwy. 185/Walmart intersection. The project will also include the widening and straightening of Interstate Drive.

Greenville has pledged $1.1 million for the project, and will pay $50,000 in grant administrative fees.

According to Bentley’s office, the following projects will benefit from the grant:

  • BBS Properties and Assigns will construct an 18,000-square-foot shopping center with shops employing at least 25 people.
  • Shrinath Hotels will build an 80-unit hotel and full-service restaurant employing about 20 people.
  • Wintzell’s Oyster House will construct a restaurant creating 125 full- and part-time jobs.
  • Bishop Properties will construct a 140-unit apartment complex employing five people.
  • CP Homes will construct a 42-unit assisted living facility employing 20 people.

Along with the realignment of Interstate Drive, the CDBG will also assist in funding the construction of a new road, Mary Drive East, as well as the extension of Mary Drive West.

In November, McLendon said he felt restricting the roadway would lead to the creation of the nearly 200 jobs in two years or less.

“I really feel like these improvements will lead to the creation of jobs,” McLendon said. “None of these (economic development) projects listed in the grant are guaranteed, but doing this work on the road will help us bring in businesses that will lead to jobs. It may be these listed, or it may be other businesses, but I am confident that at the end of the two years we will have created the jobs that the grant calls for.”