By Melanie Patterson
North Jefferson News
One taking a drive through north Jefferson County could not miss various ongoing construction projects, all at different levels of completion.
“We are seeing more interest in commercial property than we have in the last couple of years,” said Joe Bolton, finance chairman for the city of Fultondale. “The land is selling at pretty much a premium. People are paying a competitive square foot price.”
He said the On Tap Sports Cafe site, located on Walker Chapel Road in Fultondale next to Whataburger, sold for $600,000, and that the empty lot just west of it could sell for more than $800,000.
“I think in the next 30 days, we will have an announcement on the next lot,” Bolton said. “In the next year or two, I think we’re going to see a good amount of growth.”
In Fultondale and Gardendale, crews are currently building a restaurant, a library, a street department building and a car dealership. Other new businesses have recently opened in the area, including a DQ Grill and Chill in Gardendale and On Tap Sports Cafe in Fultondale.
On Tap Sports Cafe had a soft opening two weeks ago, and will have an official opening soon. DQ Grill and Chill also opened its doors about two weeks ago.
Another eatery opening soon is Buffalo Wild Wings in Gardendale, which is the first building in the planned City Center on Mt. Olive Road. Plans also call for the city center to include a future city hall building, movie theater, hotel, retail space and more restaurants.
Another major commercial enterprise in Gardendale is the construction of Dewey Barber Chevrolet off of Mary Buckelew Parkway and Interstate 65. The dealership is moving from Warrior; the new location is expected to be open for business this summer.
Other projects, in Fultondale, are not commercial, but have been in the works for two years.
Crews are building a new library near the Winn Dixie shopping complex off of U.S. Highway 31. It is scheduled to be completed this spring.
Also in Fultondale, a new street department facility is under construction.
Bolton said the municipal projects were originally scheduled for completion about 18 months ago, but the April 2011 tornado that devastated much of the city delayed construction while the city was concentrating on the cleanup and repair of existing buildings.
Gardendale also recently completed a municipal project. The new public safety center opened in November; it was formerly the Food World grocery store on U.S. Highway 31. The center houses the jail, police department, magistrates’ offices and courtroom.