City, County Celebrate ‘Town Madison’ in GroundbreakingPublished 12:45pm Wednesday, August 13, 2014
By Charles Molineaux | For The Record
MADISON – Declaring “this is a great development for a great part of the state,” Governor Robert Bentley joined leaders from the city of Madison and Madison County for formal groundbreaking in the Town Madison district, intended to be a large scale mixed-use development of housing, retail, restaurants and entertainment.
An ebullient Louis Breland, lead developer on the project, served as master of ceremonies promising “You will see a retail center developed here that will rival any retail live-work-play development… in the southeast.”
As described by Breland, the $400 million Town Madison development would cover 280 acres southwest of I-565 and Zierdt Road, an area now largely forest and soybean fields, bringing in a new 565 interchange, large apartment/condo complexes and 1.5 million square feet of commercial space and providing some 1,600 new jobs.
Bentley pointed at the potential job creation saying the state tended to underappreciate the value of retail development. “We love Remington. We love all these companies that come, Airbus or any of these great companies, but we sometimes leave out some of the largest job producing entities in any state and that’s those of retail.”
“It’s a win-win-win, declared 5th District Congressman Mo Brooks. “This part of Madison County has long had great potential but underutilization. This project is going to go a long way towards improving our community from a commercial standpoint with increasing sales tax revenues, options for residents to go to as well as business opportunities.”
The groundbreaking celebrated new tax revenues promised by the project. “It makes a big difference,” said Madison School Superintendent Dee Fowler. “Everybody knows that economic development and the schoolhouse walk hand in hand and we’re very excited about that.”
The entire Town Madison Development District covers 700 acres south of I-565 between Wall Triana Highway and Zierdt road, including Intergraph’s headquarters and the Madison Quarry. Officials said some road construction and site work would begin immediately and some stores could be completed next year, but that the overall project would span decades.
“This is going to be building for the next 25 years,” said Madison Mayor Troy Trulock
Charles Molineaux is an anchor and investigative reporter with WAFF 48 News.