North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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March 10, 2011

Publix plans may see setbacks in Gardendale

GARDENDALE — Money troubles may delay plans to open a Publix store by the end of this year.

“Our goal now is to secure the financing to get started on construction,” said Bob Madden, CEO of Century Retail, the company that owns the Century Shoppes of Gardendale Northgate. Madden said his company wants to tear down the former Goody’s store and relocate Dollar Tree to another site at the shopping center in order to make room for a 45,600-square-foot Publix store.

“Additionally, we’re real close to negotiating a lease with T.J. Maxx for the space next to Hobby Lobby,” Madden said. Hobby Lobby is also in the Northgate shopping center.

Madden said it would take only eight or nine months after receiving financing to construct and open the store, but he can not predict when financing will be approved.

Gardendale Mayor Othell Phillips said the store will likely not open by late 2011, as a sign at the shopping center states.

“We’ve been in continuous contact with the developers, Century Retail and Publix and receiving updates throughout this project,” Phillips said.

He and other officials met last week with Publix and Century Retail representatives

According to a letter from Phillips to Century Retail, the redevelopment project at Northgate would require “an initial investment of approximately $14 million.”

The city in the past has offered incentives to private developers, including “the construction of public roads, the relocation of utilities, long-term financing and other assistance as may be appropriate in a particular case,” the letter stated.

Phillips added that the city has discussed “the possibility of the city making available to Century Companies and its affiliates a portion of the credit facilities required for the project.”

Publix did not return telephone calls or emails.

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