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Athens developments create 300 jobs, $28 Million in taxable sales

The Athens city council on Monday approved a wave of new retail and restaurant developments for the north Alabama city that the mayor said points to the city’s growth.

These projects also include tax and financial incentives. These projects are expected to create more than 300 jobs and generate more than $28 million in annual sales.

The retail offerings were among the three developments approved by the city council.

“We’re a growing community, and as we grow, we’ll see opportunities like this presented to us from developers and companies who have an interest in investing in our city,”Ronnie Marks was the Athens Mayor. “Sales tax makes up about 40 percent of our revenue to fund police, fire, sanitation, parks, paving and other services. The more options we can provide in Athens from small business to major chains, the less sales tax dollars leave our city.”

One development is The Noon Athens Project. TJ Maxx. Old Navy Ross Dress for Less Ulta Beauty. Five Below. The businesses will provide 125 jobs, according to the city’s announcement, and about $20 million annually in taxable sales.

The development will be situated just east I-65 at U.S. 72.

Developers will receive $6 million in incentives from the city – the first $2 million after all five stores open and $2 million each after the first and second years of operation.

Another development is The Ming CRE Group Project. It will house Chicken Salad Chicks (Ace Hardware), Valvoline, and a 2.5-acre site for additional retail. These outlets will offer 165 job opportunities and $6.5million annually in taxable sales. They will be located at U.S.72 and Bab Daly Road.

The deal covers sales tax reimbursement from new retail for six years or up to $800,000. The city will also make public infrastructure improvements with new turn lanes on U.S. 72 at the development’s entrance and improvements at the nearby Greenfield Drive intersection as well as extension of water, sewer, gas and electric services.

The final development is a Jack’s family restaurant by LP Project. The Jack’s will be located at U.S. 72 and Lucas Ferry Road, provide 50 jobs and $1.8 million in annual taxable sales. The developer will receive reimbursement for sales tax earned from the restaurant over five-years or until $200,000 has already been reimbursed, whichever is earlier. U.S.72 will be extended in order to accommodate the project.

Updated today, June 7, 20,22 at 2:48 PM. These are taxable sales, to clarify.

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