It’s been in the dream and planning stages for more than six years. But construction on a shopping center on U.S. Highway 431 South in Phenix City is about to crank up, the project’s developers said Monday.
What will be called The Village at Crosswinds — located near the intersection of U.S. 431 and Alabama Highway 165 — will be anchored by 40,000-square-foot Renfroe’s Market when it opens before the end of this year or early 2019.
The development is going up on 22 acres of land and will include 26,000 square feet of inline retail space for future tenants. Marco’s Pizza already has been confirmed for the location. The site plan also indicates a standalone restaurant is being sought for the project.
There also will be six outparcels fronting U.S. Highway 431, according to the site plan, with expectations of attracting various users to include a hotel, convenience store, fast-food outlets, medical, automotive and additional retail. Roughly 29,000 vehicles pass the location each day.
Dallas, Texas-based Altera Development and Birmingham, Ala.-based eds America — the latter entity’s name is short for “economic development strategies of America” — are working together on the project with assistance from Phenix City.
The city’s council last March approved an ordinance to purchase $2.8 million in bonds to help with the building for Montgomery, Ala.-based Renfroe’s Market. The developers are to construct the building’s shell and lease it to the city, which in turn will provide heating and air conditioning, as well as refrigeration equipment for the supermarket. Renfroe’s Market then will lease the space from Phenix City.
“Phenix City is a tremendous community that at times has been overshadowed by its sister city in Columbus,” Altera’s Chief Executive Officer Terry Quinn said in a statement. “But we have found that the people of Phenix City are proud in their own right and want to support Alabama businesses in Alabama, and wanted a new mixed-use retail development to help continue the growth along this corridor of Highway 431.”
Troy University, Chattahoochee Community College and the Grand Reserve apartments all are near the new development, the developers noted Monday, while the growing Fort Mitchell, Ala., community with its heavy military residential presence is just a few miles away on Alabama Hwy. 165. There also is a steady stream of traffic from vacationing out-of-towners heading to and coming from the Gulf Coast area on U.S. Hwy. 431, it said. All are expected to keep the shopping center busy, particularly with a major grocery store located there.
“We look forward to and welcome Renfroe’s Market coming to The Village at Crosswinds,” Phenix City Mayor Eddie Lowe said in a statement. “It has been a pleasure working with the Renfroe family, and we are excited about bringing them to our city.”
Phenix City’s financial department has projected the supermarket alone will generate as much as $500,000 annually in sales tax revenue, while paying the city $276,000 each year to lease the building. As tenants are added to the property, the sales tax revenue number, naturally, will grow.
Renfroe’s Market will make its debut in an already crowded grocery store market in Columbus and Phenix City, with Walmart, Publix, Piggly-Wiggly and Winn-Dixie the primary competitors. There also have been smaller niche entries into the area, to include Aldi’s and Food Depot in north and east Columbus. However, none of those supermarket rivals are anywhere near The Village at Crosswinds.