Work on a new shopping center on Cherokee Avenue is well underway.
The new development will be located across from the Wal-Mart shopping center and construction of the Bojangles Fried Chicken location is already nearing completion.
Restaurants Golden Rule BBQ, Santa Fe Cattle Company and Bojangles Fried Chicken have already signed on for standalone locations at the new development, while negotiations are ongoing for some retail stores, as well.
Greg Smith, developer for the new retail area, did not respond to messages left seeking comment.
In a previous interview, Smith said the six acre development could also house hotels, in addition to restaurants and retail stores.
In preparation for the new retail area, the City of Cullman has approved the extension of Lee Avenue to connect the development to Heritage Park.
In addition to connecting the park and development, the project will also create a new entrance for the park.
“That street will be a great access for us,” Cullman Mayor Max Townson said. “It’ll give Heritage Park another entryway ... We approved this now to help this project get started.”
Townson said the city also plans to add a stoplight to the Lee Avenue and Cherokee Avenue intersection.
“The light has already been approved by the state,” he said. “It’s just a slow process.”
The city has contracted with St. John and Associates to handle the road design.
Cullman Economic Development Agency Director Peggy Smith said the new development should have a lasting affect on the local economy.
“The development of the site and building has created and will continue to create jobs and business for many local companies,” she said, referring to the Bojangles Fried Chicken restaurant under construction.
Smith said the new development will eventually provide additional jobs, payroll and add to the tax base in Cullman County.
“I definitely see some signs of the economy rebounding,” she said.
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