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  #681  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2016, 1:17 PM
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Yep- always wondered why they never had one proximate to the stadium. But the new hotels downtown has done well and helped transform downtown. Still some work to be done downtown though. Especially at the gateways when you first enter in my opinion.
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  #682  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2016, 1:24 PM
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Still haven't seen anything on how maNY jobs it will create
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  #683  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2016, 3:20 PM
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Finally, University Blvd is now complete.

Next phase will begin next spring

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  #684  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2016, 7:16 PM
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Finally, University Blvd is now complete.

Next phase will begin next spring

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Wow... I don't even recognize it... Love the bike lanes on the side
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  #685  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2016, 1:45 PM
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Wow... I don't even recognize it... Love the bike lanes on the side
Really can't wait for phase 2 to see what it's like. The UA/downtown corridor is going to be much improved.
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  #686  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2016, 1:46 PM
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Tuscaloosa City Council approves annexation for new grocery store

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The Tuscaloosa City Council Tuesday approved annexing land needed for the development of a new grocery store on Alabama Highway 69 South.

The council voted 4-1 to annex a 5.89 acres at the corner of Patriot Parkway and Highway 69.

Council members Kip Tyner and Sonya McKinstry were absent and Councilman Eddie Pugh cast the lone dissenting vote.

Pugh has said he's opposed to a plan that calls for the city to purchase the now privately-owned Patriot Parkway to facilitate the store's development.

A recent appraisal for the road valued it at about $1.3 million.

Map Development is planning a new Walmart Neighborhood Market for the tract on the northwest corner of the intersection.

The company, which also built the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Hargrove Road near Skyland Boulevard, has described the store as a 42,000-square-foot grocery store with a deli, bakery, produce department and pharmacy along with an exterior fuel station.

The overall investment in the development is expected to be about $10 million and, once completed, the store would employ about 95 full- and part-time workers and generate about $7 million in sales its first year, developers said.

The store would be the third Walmart Neighborhood Market in the Tuscaloosa area. Construction is under way for such a grocery at the old Kmart site on McFarland Boulevard in Northport.
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  #687  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2016, 2:08 PM
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Noticed they're going to build a pretty nice building on the corner of Lurleen and 6th street for retail. Similar location where the new River Fall bank. I can't find anything on it, but it looks like it will be 3 stories. Really like the progress of downtown.

Also, ABC Beverage approved for downtown

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It's designed to be all brick with glass on the front, and its approval from the city's Planning and Zoning Commission came with a series of conditions, including the construction of a sidewalk and entrance on 12th Street.

Last edited by TheCapstone; Jul 28, 2016 at 1:47 PM.
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  #688  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2016, 1:43 PM
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New neighborhood WalMart to open in Northport in AUgust

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Several new restaurants and retailers are setting up shop in Northport this month and more are on the horizon, according to sources at City Hall and the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.

Amy Materson, the Chamber's Director of Communications and Marketing, pointed to four recent or upcoming additions to the businesses operating in Northport.

Most significantly, developers are putting the finishing touches on the Walmart Neighborhood Market being built on McFarland Boulevard at the former Kmart site.

Materson said builders have finished exterior construction and are working inside the 41,000-square-foot grocery store this week. A spokesperson for Walmart said it would take possession of the store on Aug. 1 and begin stocking the shelves, aiming to open at the end of August. Materson said a ribbon-cutting at the supermarket is planned for Aug. 31.

Northport City Council President Jay Logan said the Walmart Neighborhood Market will bring a minimum of 100 "direct jobs" to Northport, as well as several "indirect jobs," for people such as landscapers who are not directly employed by the store but have work to do because of its presence.

The supermarket also will draw other retailers to the area. Great Clips, a hair salon, cut the ribbon on a new shop in the same shopping center earlier this month.
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  #689  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2016, 12:23 PM
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Vance factory expansion to create 535 new jobs


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Automotive supplier Lear Operations Corp. plans to expand its factory in Vance -- a move that will create more than 500 new manufacturing jobs during the next few years.

Lear now makes auto seats for Mercedes-Benz’s C-Class sedans. It will make seats for Mercedes’ GLE and GLS sport utility vehicles when the additional plant comes on line in 2019.

Mike Thomas, Lear’s plant manager, said the plant will add an estimated 535 employees when the SUV seating production begins. The plant now has around 140 employees. With the expansion and additional hiring, Lear will become one of the largest employers among the automotive suppliers in Tuscaloosa County.

Lear will spend more than $27.7 million on the expansion at its plant at 17499 Brookwood Parkway. The figure includes construction and addition equipment. Construction is expected to start this fall.

Thomas said the company will do its own training of the new employees. It might start hiring in the second quarter of 2017. Lear’s hiring will be done through Alabama Industrial Development Training, the state’s workforce development partnership, he said.

When the hiring begins, Lear will post the jobs and job applications on AIDT’s website, he said.

Lear revealed its expansion plans Thursday at the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority’s board meeting.

The board approved abating $567,857 in non-educational ad valorem taxes over 10 years and $1,112,770 in non-educational sales and use taxes incurred during construction. The state allows such abatements for manufacturers that build or expand plants that result in additional manufacturing jobs.

Lear came to Tuscaloosa County in 2012 when it built its Vance plan to make seating for Mercedes C-Class. Lear is located down the road from Mercedes' sprawling auto assembly plant in Vance.

The TCIDA board also amended the incentive package approved in 2014. The company, now called Yanfeng, incurred additional costs during its expansion.

Yanfeng initially expected to spend around $10.4 million but ended up spending $14.4 million.

Its non-educational tax abatements were increased as follows: ad valorem taxes over 10 years from $210,771 to $300,411; sales and use taxes for construction from $168,552 to $389,340.

Yanfeng makes automotive parts and assemblies at a plant on Progressive Drive in the Cedar Cove Technology Park in Cottondale. That plant employs more than 400 people.
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  #690  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2016, 10:09 PM
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  #691  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2016, 3:50 AM
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This looks really nice. Also, the University Blvd. project looks amazing. The entrance to the University from from McFarland / University Blvd. has always been beautiful and impressive, but this just enhances it even more. SO glad they are paving over the bumpy concrete! Can't wait to see how this looks when the complete the work from campus to Downtown.

Now, if we can just get a major focus on completely redoing McFarland from the interstate to University, I'll be happy. =)
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  #692  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2016, 12:34 PM
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This looks really nice. Also, the University Blvd. project looks amazing. The entrance to the University from from McFarland / University Blvd. has always been beautiful and impressive, but this just enhances it even more. SO glad they are paving over the bumpy concrete! Can't wait to see how this looks when the complete the work from campus to Downtown.

Now, if we can just get a major focus on completely redoing McFarland from the interstate to University, I'll be happy. =)
Yeah unfortunately though that little road work only starts near that first intersection between University and 2nd Ave. But it goes on until it hits the Quad. The bike lanes and sidewalks are awesome. Can't wait till it extends out next year.
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  #693  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2016, 12:36 PM
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MOre new stuff for Alberta

Council OKs budget for Alberta Park

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The Tuscaloosa City Council on Tuesday set a budget of $1.3 million for the planned Alberta Park, which will be located near the Gateway -- Alberta’s Innovation and Discovery Center and in front of the Alberta School of Performing Arts.

“It’s going to be an explosive year. It is going to be such a vibrant place,” said District 5 Councilman Kip Tyner, referring to Alberta City.

Tyner sees the park as the latest step in the recovery and growth of the community.

The park is envisioned as an anchor for the City Walk recreational trail, and preliminary plans call for a central fountain, a memorial plaque and garden for the April 27, 2011, tornado victims as well as space for events.

“I wanted it to just be a place where people can walk and reflect,” Tyner said.

The budget approved Tuesday reflects a reduced scope for the project, which originally had an estimated budget of $1.9 million and included multiple fountains, a stage and space for a projector screen and other related equipment.

The funding for the park includes $701,027 in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds and $598,973 from Alabama Power Co. The council also voted Tuesday at its regular meeting to reallocate the block grant funds for the park after other projects came in under budget.

The council’s Public Project’s Committee on Tuesday considered a proposal to contract with Ward Scott Architecture for design of the park. The base fee quoted by the firm was $87,017 plus an additional services and reimbursable expenses fee of $74,360, according to a memorandum in the packet. The proposal is expected to come to the full council for consideration at a later meeting.
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  #694  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2016, 12:37 PM
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Smaller projects will get initial funds


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The Tuscaloosa County Road Improvement Commission on Tuesday adopted a five-year funding plan that will invest nearly $60 million in area infrastructure and road improvements.

The seven-member commission was formed to govern the spending of some of the funds generated by the changes outlined in a state local legislation enacted in 2015 that re-allocated Tuscaloosa County's sales tax.

That law combined a permanent countywide 2-cent sales tax with a temporary 1-cent tax that was set to expire in June. The resultant 3-cent tax is to serve as "a stable 3 percent countywide sales tax which funds education, transportation and local government services."

Ten percent of the revenue generated by the new tax will be given to the TCRIC for road and infrastructure improvements throughout the Tuscaloosa area. The legislation specifically identified seven "priority projects" to be funded by the tax dollars, which Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said will represent a nearly $200 million investment.

The tax has only been in effect for a month, so right now the TCRIC only has around $600,000 at its disposal, Maddox said, but estimates indicate more than $50 million will be allocated by fiscal year 2022 and more than $370 million will be available over the next 30 years.

Now that the money is coming, the commission met Tuesday morning to decide how to spend it. Its members voted unanimously to adopt a five-year plan created by Maddox and Tuscaloosa city staffers.

"It's historic," Maddox said. "We're talking about nearly $200 million worth of infrastructure and road projects that have been needed in our community for a long time. What you saw here today was the manifestation of two years of work and bipartisan effort that has resulted in us investing in our infrastructure for the next generation of Tuscaloosa. It's exciting."
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  #695  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2016, 12:02 PM
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City adjust plans for streetlights

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Tuscaloosa city officials are moving forward with plans to reduce the costs for new streetlights planned for two separate parts of town.

In May, the City Council signed off on the installation of new streetlights on Diamond Ridge Lane and the confluence of Loop Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway.

For Diamond Ridge Lane, four new lights are expected to be built between 36th Avenue East and the neighborhood entrance of Diamond Circle.

At Loop Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway, six lights are planned for various spots near the intersection's entry and exit ramps.

These new lights, to be installed by Alabama Power Co., were expected to cost about $44,000.

But on Tuesday Selvin Greene, the acting director of the Tuscaloosa Department of Transportation, told the council that a decision to switch to LED-based lights would bring installation cost savings of about $20,000.

Now, the cost to install the lights in these areas of Tuscaloosa is expected to cost about $23,000.

Greene said the reduction comes from the expected maintenance of the lights. Alabama Power factors in the amount of work it will take to maintain streetlights when it bills municipalities for their installation.

With LED lights, the expected maintenance is expected to be much less than the metal halide, or traditional streetlights that give off the yellowish color at night.

Alabama Power does not, however, bill cities at a cheaper rate because of the LED lights, which require less energy than traditional lights to illuminate.
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  #696  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2016, 12:03 PM
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Looks like Tuscaloosa is getting a Sleep Number store next to Shops at Legacy Center

Last edited by TheCapstone; Aug 10, 2016 at 12:25 PM.
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  #697  
Old Posted Aug 24, 2016, 12:41 PM
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Food Trucks OK'd for downtown
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  #698  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2016, 1:42 PM
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15th Street and McFarland Boulevard tenants include salon, medical clinic

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A building taking shape at the corner of McFarland Boulevard and 15th Street is set to be the new home of a hair salon, medical clinic and cellphone store.

David Furhman Sr., president and CEO of Tuscaloosa’s College City Properties LLC, said he expects the new tenants to be operating by early 2017.

“We’re excited and pleased with the tenants there,” Furhman said. “And we believe the tenant mix there is ideal.”

The 10,800-square-foot building now going up is set to house a Verizon Wireless store, American Family Care clinic and Supercuts salon.

According to a fact sheet distributed by College City Properties, Verizon is the operator of the largest mobile phone and data network in the nation; American Family Care is a Birmingham-based operator of more than 160 non-emergency that currently sees more than 2 million patients per year (this will be the clinic’s second location in the Tuscaloosa market); and Supercuts, which has 10,000 hair salon locations worldwide, will be owned by Adam and Trystan Terrell and mark the company’s third location in the Tuscaloosa market.

Two Supercuts stores currently operate in the area but none are near this intersection.

According to the company’s website, one Supercuts is in Northwood Crossing in Northport and the other is in Patriot Center off Alabama Highway 69 South in Tuscaloosa.
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  #699  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2016, 3:22 PM
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I hope this is the SW corner of McFarland Blvd. and 15th Street. That old boarded up building, owned by Stan Pate, is an eyesore. Unfortunately, a lot of Stan's properties are eyesores.
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  #700  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2016, 9:51 PM
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Glad to say Tuscaloosa has/and continuing to invest into fixing the roads. Over $50 million being put into fixing some of the issues Tuscaloosa has faced for a while now. Give it about 2 years and I'd say it'll be pretty crazy around town.

I of course am not a civil engineer, so it's hard for me to project and analyze these things.
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