By Donna Thornton/News Editor
The Gadsden City Council approved purchase on Nov. 19 of the former Kmart property in East Gadsden, completing acquisition of almost 25 acres of riverfront property for future development.
The city paid $2.6 million for approximately 9.3 acres of Kmart property and leased approximately 9.15 acres from Alabama Power Company for $1 a year, for 20 years.
The city already owns 4.2 riverfront acres, which, along with the Alabama Power property is currently being designed for development of a recreational area along the Coosa River, Mayor Sherman Guyton said.
The Kmart property was purchased from F and P Investments.
When conceptual drawings are complete, Guyton said, the city will seek opportunities for development of the former Kmart property also.
Guyton said the administration’s hope is that this project will serve as a catalyst for development of the city’s riverfront on the east bank of the Coosa River, and redevelopment of the corridor along Wallace Drive.
Council member Deverick Williams said often people have asked why the city did not develop the riverfront. He said people sometime don’t understand that cities must deal with private property owners to obtain land in areas that would invite development.
Guyton said he wanted citizens to know city leaders continue to work to bring not only commercial developments to the city, but also industrial and business prospects.
In other business, the city council approved rezoning of property on Wilbanks Avenue from one-family residential to neighborhood business district. The rezoning came at the request of Quality of Life Health Services. Quality of Life plans to put a school-based medical and dental clinic on the property, located between Oscar Adams Elementary School and Litchfield Middle School.
Amelia Wofford of Quality of Life thanks the council and the city’s zoning board for approving the change.
MANNA Board member Pudden McArthur addressed the council, reminding them that Sunday, Nov. 24 is MANNA Sunday. As part of the effort to increase awareness and raise funds for support the service that delivers meals to seniors and others, McDonald’s in Southside will host a pancake supper on Nov 24, from 5 to 7:30 p.m.