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Commission keeps project on Target

By Martin Burkey
DAILY Staff Writer 340-2441

The Decatur Planning Commission is having a called session Thursday to hustle along the planned Target shopping center.

Planners will vote on three measures. B&L Investments LLC will ask the city to vacate 20 feet of drainage easement, as well as a 3.4-acre retention pond on the property. It's also asking the commission to consolidate and subdivide several pieces of property on the site.

Steve Kelso with the Planning Department said the developers are aiming for a Sept. 1 closing and need the action by the City Council. While the city will vacate its existing easements, the eventual site plan for the property will include new drainage easements, he said.

"Actually, the drainage problems will be better when it's all said and done," he said.

Acting City Engineer Carl Prewitt said the retention pond mentioned is only an easement and was never built.

"But their retention pond to be built with the Target site would take the place of that easement to the best of my knowledge," he said.

The council last June agreed to spend $4.75 million to buy about 28 acres at U.S. 31 and Alabama 67 to build a shopping center now called The Crossings of Decatur.

The 200,000-square-foot shopping center is expected to include other national retailers and restaurants. Construction would begin in September, with a grand opening in October 2007.

City officials expect their investment to return $2.4 million annually in sales tax revenue.

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