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Athens City Council approves agreements to bring big box retailers to city

ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) — Athens city leaders approved three projects Monday night – bringing in several big box retailers to the area.

The retailers approved in the projects include TJ Maxx, Old Navy, Chicken Salad Chick, and more. The new developments could bring over 300 new jobs to Athens.

According to a statement from the city, the Athens City Council approved the projects at a meeting on Monday, June 6. City leaders said more shopping options is something they hear a lot about from citizens.

“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,” said Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks. “Sales tax makes up about 40% 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,” Marks continued.

The city provided a breakdown of each project:

Noon Athens Project

  • Stores: TJ Maxx, Old Navy, Ross Dress for Less, Ulta Beauty, Five Below
  • Jobs: 125
  • Taxable sales: $20 million annually, according to estimates
  • Location: U.S. 72 East near I-65 behind Wendy’s
  • Project agreement: The city will provide a $2 million incentive after the stores open. After one year, the city provides another $2 million incentive, and after two years in operation, the stores will receive another $2 million incentive from the city.

Ming CRE Group Project

  • Stores: Chicken Salad Chick, Ace Hardware, Valvoline
  • Jobs: 165
  • Taxable sales: $6.5 million annually, according to estimates
  • Location: U.S. 72 East and Bob Daly Road
  • Project agreement: The city will provide either reimbursement of sales tax generated from new retail for six years or $800,000, whichever comes first.

There is an additional 2.5-acre site for further retail development with the Ming CRE Group project. This project also requires new turn lanes on U.S. 72 at the entrance and median improvements at the Greenfield Drive intersection. It will also require an extension of water, sewer, gas, and electric services.

Jack’s Family Restaurant, LP Project

  • Stores: Jack’s
  • Jobs: 50
  • Taxable sales: $1.8 million
  • Location: U.S. 72 and Lucas Ferry Road
  • Project agreement: The city will provide either reimbursement of sales tax generated from new retail for five years or $200,000, whichever comes first.

The Jack’s project will require the extension of turn lanes on U.S. 72 as well.

See pictures of each development in the gallery below.

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