New retail complex gets $2.3 million boost from Oxford CDA
by Eddie Burkhalter
May 23, 2013 | 8062 views |  0 comments | 223 223 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OXFORD — The Oxford Commercial Development Authority agreed Thursday to pay $2.3 million toward construction of a new retail complex located at the intersection of Alabama 21 and Hamric Drive.

The money, to be paid to Munford-based Holmes II Excavation, will come from the city’s general fund. The City Council agreed to pay for the work, which will include sewer and water line installation, grading and construction of an access road, at an April 9 meeting.

The city often pays money to contractors through the CDA — an independent board appointed by the council — to draw in commercial development. In this instance, however, the development company of the complex — Holmes Properties — and Holmes II Excavation are owned by the same person, Stacy Holmes.

Since it was established in 1994, the CDA has awarded many millions in non-competitive contracts. City governments must follow Alabama’s competitive bid law, which requires cities to look for the lowest price before paying out taxpayer money.

CDAs are not required to look for the lowest price, however, and in this instance the project was not put through the bidding process.

Located where a Holiday Inn once stood, the site will have a grocery store, drug store and a restaurant.

Holmes said the only business under contract to open there that he can name is a Bojangles’ restaurant. The two remaining companies will make announcements in the future, Holmes said.

According to contract terms, the project is to be completed by August 1.

Council president Steven Waits has said the city will make back its $2.3 million investment in less than two and a half years in collection of sales taxes.

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.
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