A new Lowe’s Home Center could be locating in north Phenix City in the coming months.
Lowe’s put the project in the public arena last week when it applied to the city for a parking variance on a large piece of land near the current Wal-Mart. A hearing was held Thursday and the Board of Zoning Adjustment and Appeals approved the request.
Lowe’s has narrowed in on a nearly 19-acre site at 3710 U.S. 280, on the south side of the busy highway. It is between a Precision Tune Auto Care and a McDonald’s. It is east of a Home Depot in that vicinity.
Mayor Eddie Lowe is confident the city will close the deal with the North Carolina-based home improvement chain.
“At this point, it would take something really bad to happen and I don’t know what that would be,” Lowe said. “This has already passed through their financial department.”
The city has been talking to representatives about a new Lowe’s in that location since last year, city officials said.
“We told them that as soon as they made that application the confidentiality requirements no longer existed,” Lowe said.
Lowe’s officials in Mooresville, N.C., were careful in their response on Tuesday.
“While we are always evaluating potential sites to best serve our customers, we have not closed on a property in your community,” Lowe’s spokeswoman Megan Lewis said in an email response to a Ledger-Enquirer inquiry.
The property is currently owned by McClure Property Management, according to the application for a parking variance. A site plan submitted with the variance request, shows the store sitting on the backside of the property with an odd shaped parking area in the front.
The deal is far from done, said Phenix City Economic Development Manager Shawn Culligan.
“There are still hurdles that have to be cleared and they are going through that process,” Culligan said on Tuesday. “They are still in the due diligence phase.”
In its request for 85 fewer parking spaces than required by the city, Lowe’s cited four site issues, elevation, slope, shallowness and shape.