The overgrown lot at the corner of Pappy Dunn Boulevard and Eglin Avenue is protected by a rusty fence and contains 11 run-down buildings that will be demolished under the contract authorized at a called meeting of the authority.
“I guess I just think there’s this positive momentum going about Pappy Dunn,” said board member Aaron Acker. “It’s just a good opportunity to create a real good-looking site at a good price.”
Members of the MDA board decided to remove the 11 buildings, a below-ground rack made to wash beneath vehicles, and about 3,000 feet of chain link fencing, but leave asphalt poured at the site. Six of the buildings at the property will require asbestos abatement before demolition.
Gulf Services of Mobile returned the least expensive proposal for that work and the MDA awarded the company the $194,110 project.
MDA Executive Director Robin Scott said he expects work on the project to begin mid-June.
The new project is part of an effort to draw tenants into McClellan’s industrial and research parks. Last month, the MDA, the city of Anniston and a number of other local governments and institutions announced they will be working together to complete an $8 million project to improve infrastructure, landscaping and signage along Pappy Dunn Boulevard.
Scott said the reasoning for undertaking the project approved on Wednesday was simple: “If we’re going to spend the money and make Pappy Dunn our gateway, let’s makes sure the properties along Pappy Dunn are looking their best,” he said.
Earlier this month, Holmes II Excavation began clearing 57 acres of property at the park for development, and the Calhoun County Economic Development Council is currently clearing 60 acres there. At Wednesday’s meeting, Scott informed board members that 14 additional concrete slabs — former foundations — were discovered on those 60 acres, which the MDA is responsible for removing based on its contract for the property’s sale to the EDC.
Scott said the MDA plans to negotiate a value engineering agreement with some of its existing contractors to remove those slabs. Board members approved such an agreement at a cost not to exceed $50,000.