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Athens City Council approves deals to bring big-box retailers to the city

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

Approved retailers in projects include TJ Maxx, Old Navy, Chicken Salad Chick, and more. The new developments could create more than 300 new jobs in Athens.

According to a city statement, the Athens City Council approved the projects during a meeting on Monday, June 6.

“We are a growing community, and as we grow, we will see opportunities like this presented to us by developers and businesses who want to invest in our city,” said the mayor of Athens, Ronnie Marks. “Sales tax accounts for about 40% of our revenue to fund police, fire, sanitation, parks, paving and other services.”

“The more options we can offer in Athens, from small businesses to large chains, the less sales tax leaves our city,” Marks continued.

The city provided a breakdown of each project:

Midday project in Athens

  • Stores: TJ Maxx, Old Navy, Ross Dress For Less, Ulta Beauty, Five Below
  • Works: 125
  • Taxable sales: $20 million per year, estimated
  • Location: US 72 East near I-65 behind Wendy’s
  • Project Agreement: The city will provide a $2 million incentive after stores open. After one year, the city offers another $2 million incentive, and after two years of operation, stores will receive another $2 million incentive from the city.

Ming CRE Group Project

  • Stores: Chicken Salad Chicken, Ace Hardware, Valvoline
  • Works: 165
  • Taxable sales: $6.5 million per year, estimated
  • Location: US 72 East and Bob Daly Road
  • Project Agreement: The city will provide either the sales tax rebate generated by new retail businesses for six years or $800,000, whichever comes first.

There is an additional 2.5 acre site for retail development with the Ming CRE Group project. This project also requires new turn lanes on US 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
  • Works: 50
  • Taxable sales: $1.8 million
  • Location: US 72 and Lucas Ferry Road
  • Project Agreement: The city will provide either the sales tax rebate generated by new retail businesses for five years or $200,000, whichever comes first.

Jack’s project will also require extending the turning lanes on US 72.

See photos of each development in the gallery below.


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