Gardendale Mayor Othell Phillips had a big day on Thursday.
At the Gardendale Chamber of Commerce annual luncheon, Phillips announced some big changes slated for his city.
Those in attendance got their first hint when they started piling up their plates with food from Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar. The caterer for the event was a surprise: Phillips had said the food would be provided by someone who would be opening in Gardendale, but he would not release the name of the business until Thursday.
Buffalo Wild Wings has committed to open in the new Gardendale City Center, the master plan of which Phillips also revealed during the luncheon.
The center will be located on the 22-acre plot formerly known as Caufield Square.
Neil King, president of Evan Terry Associates, an architectural firm, provided details of the city center.
Another of the surprises is that planners have included a 50,000 square foot, 12-screen cinema in the center. King said previous studies showed that the area would support a large movie theater.
Also planned for the center are a 26,000-square-foot, two-story hotel; a 26,000-square-foot, two-story medical facility; 88,200 square feet of retail space, including some two-story structures, two restaurants, a plaza and, of course, a city hall facility.
Gardendale recently sold its current city hall building to CVS, which will tear the building down and build a store there across from Walgreens Pharmacy.
The city center will include more than 200,000 square feet of new development, according to King.
That was only part of Phillips’ news for the city.
He also gave details on the Century Shoppes at Gardendale project, which will be a redevelopment of the Northgate Shopping Center at Fieldstown Road and Odum Road.
Builders will add a 12,000-square-foot space at the south end of the strip mall. The existing Dollar Tree store will relocate to that spot.
The new additions to the shopping center will be a long-anticipated Publix store and T.J. Maxx. Publix will be built where Dollar Tree is, and T.J. Maxx is scheduled to occupy the empty portion of the Hobby Lobby building.
“This project has been in the works for several years,” said Phillips. “Good things and large projects take time to happen.”
On Monday, the Gardendale City Council started the validation process to receive a $2.85 million loan to redevelop the Northgate Shopping Center.
It must be approved by a court because the city is borrowing money from Regions Bank in order to finance a public project.