Weaver’s growth may help Anniston’s retail efforts
by Brian Anderson
Jan 11, 2014 | 7747 views |  0 comments | 76 76 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Classic at Buckhorn restaurant will open after a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday.  Photo by Bill Wilson.
Classic at Buckhorn restaurant will open after a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday. Photo by Bill Wilson.
WEAVER – Nearly one-sixth of all the residents here live in the Buckhorn subdivision. Gary Angel would like even more.

The developer who has almost single-handedly built the neighborhood with more than 200 homes and expanded Weaver’s city limits north to the Alexandria-Jacksonville Highway will cut the ribbon Monday on Buckhorn’s latest addition — the new Classic restaurant, managed by David Mashburn who runs Anniston’s Classic on Noble. It’s the first of several business projects Angel said he hopes will continue Buckhorn’s growth, including a vineyard and a grocery store, and a lot more houses.

“I think people are really excited to see a five-star restaurant in Weaver,” said Mayor Wayne Willis. “Or just in this part of the county in general.”

That part of Weaver, and Calhoun County, between U.S. 431 and Alabama 21, is one of the fastest-growing residential spots in the area. Weaver is hopeful growth means more business and revenue, but it could have big payoffs for Anniston too.

While the Anniston City Council has backed off a proposed purchase of Anniston Middle School to develop business on McClellan Boulevard in the north part of the city, Anniston Mayor Vaughn Stewart said the city is still looking to bring businesses to the McClellan area. And the only way it will be able to attract retailers is to convince them there’s a growing number of middle-class residents in the area.

“Buckhorn was one of the only subdivisions in the county that actually grew during the recession,” Stewart said. “There and some developments on 431 are very helpful.”

Stewart said retailers look at a 5-mile radius of residents when determining whether a spot is ideal to set up shop. Buckhorn would be at the northern end of that radius for the intersection of McClellan Boulevard and Summerall Gate Road — or about a 15-minute drive for residents of the neighborhood to the McClellan area. But Stewart said the city believes it can attract shoppers far outside that bubble. Traffic counters on McClellan Boulevard see more than 30,000 trips per day as commuters from Jacksonville and Piedmont come through the city.

“Anniston swells during the day and empties at night,” Stewart said. “There’s a lot of north-south traffic that we’re attracting that makes the area attractive for businesses.”

Angel said the Classic at Buckhorn, as the new restaurant is called, is only going to make the area of Weaver more attractive for residents.

“Once you get this, get people coming out here, they’ll see how nice it is,” Angel said. “More businesses will see the potential, more people will move here.”

The Classic at Buckhorn is scheduled to open Monday at 11 a.m. after a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Mashburn said that for the first few weeks, the restaurant will open only for lunch. But it will gradually expand evening hours, he said.

Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.

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