Negotiations on five projects underway for McClellan
by Patrick McCreless
pmccreless@annistonstar.com
Feb 05, 2014 | 4478 views |  0 comments | 90 90 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Negotiations are underway for five projects at McClellan, some of which could be approved in the coming months and create jobs in the near future, officials say.

Citing confidentiality agreements, local officials would not provide details about the projects.

During its quarterly meeting Wednesday, the McClellan Development Authority, which manages development at the former fort, authorized its staff to continue negotiating and finalize the projects. Once finalized, the deals will be brought back to the board for approval.

"We hope to target these clients and hope to get something back to the board sometime in March," MDA Executive Director Robin Scott said about the projects.

Though he declined to provide details about the projects, Scott said the they range from low-tier to high-tier in terms of significance and size.

"I think we've got some good news ... nothing is ever guaranteed, but we feel confident that over the coming months, we'll have announcements to make," Phil Webb, chairman of the MDA.

Also during the meeting, the authority agreed to sell timber on about 64 acres for $133,932 to Steel Timber in Lincoln. The deal will net the MDA $120,538, once it pays a consulting fee to the Alabama Forestry Commission for helping on the deal.

The timber is located on MDA-owned property around Lowe's on Alabama 21 and the tree cutting should start later this month.

"Once the timber is cleared, we'll be looking to attract potential retail clients there," Scott said. "We have no retailers lined up yet, but doing this will make the locations more attractive."

Scott said the MDA has sold timber for years.

"We do it for a combination of reasons, but mostly to develop property," Scott said. "Over the years, we've done it for several clients."

Scott also gave a short update on a developer planning to convert several historic McClellan buildings into homes for retirees. Scott said the project will soon move forward now that the Alabama Historical Commission has approved the developer's request for a historic tax credit. The tax credit will help the developer, Georgia-based Diversified Real Estate Services, pay for its project.

Alabama last year created a state historic preservation income tax credit for owners who rehabilitate residential or commercial properties.

Diversified Real Estate Services plans to develop five former barracks on Buckner Circle into independent living facilities by 2015. The project will be paired with the developer's assisted living facility already under construction at McClellan.

Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.

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