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Panera Bread opens in Decatur

10th store in state offers 'quick-casual' dining experience

Alabama's newest Panera bread restaurant has opened in Decatur at the new Crossings of Decatur shopping center. It is now the newest addition to the shopping center that opened a few weeks ago and includes stores like Target, Old Navy, Ross, and Petsmart.

Most of the article can be summed up in the paragraph above, surprisingly, so, I'm not really gonna go into anymore detail. So, if you wanna read the entire article, here's the link:

Article: Panera opens in Decatur

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EDIT: Renovations in store for Decatur Mall

The new owners of the "Decatur Mall" on the Beltline have announced renovations will take place on the mall and the specifics will be announced in May.

City Officials encouraged the mall's former ower, Colonial Prop., to undergo renovations. Unfortunately, Colonial announced plans for a renovation, and after the city said they would give $4 Million towards the renovation, Colonial dropped all plans for renovating the mall.

Also, one of the anchors, Dillards, has announced that they will close the home store which is located on the mall complex but, is not attached to the building. This will bring Dillards square footage down from 160,000 to about 140,0A00.

Article: Renovation in store for Decatur Mall

Edited by Alabadrock
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Decatur Number 1 in housing price rises in Alabama

At the end of the fiscal year on September 30th, Decatur had the highest house cost rise of any metro area in the state that was ranked. With a percent increase of 7.2%, Decatur beat out 265 other metro areas in the United States, ranking number 22nd in the metros that were ranked.

Other metros were not ranked because they had fewer than 15,000 transactions over the past 10 years.

Decatur actually had the second highest, Dothan came in first. But, because Dothan had less than 15,000 transactions over the past decade, they were not ranked.

Article: Decatur #1 in AL for housing price increase

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This news comes not long after a report that Decatur's housing price increase is the second highest in the state, and the highest among those ranked. Also, it is 22nd in the country, anyways, for that topic, look at the article above.

Decatur's Economic Outlook Fifth Best in the Naiton

The Manpower Employement Outlook Survey recently released findings that not only are 60% of employers in the city of Decatur looking to hire more employees between January and March, but, none of them are planning to reduce their payroles. Also, the city is ranked 5th in the country in the in the Economic Outlook, trailing only Fresno, Calif.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Everett, Wash.; and Annapolis, Md.

This is very good news for Decatur's housing market and rate of growth. In recent years, the growth of the economy and city as whole in housing and population has slacked and has been nearly stagnant. UAH economists say that this survey means that employers are confident in the city and confidence goes a long way in influencing the cities growth.

EDIT: LINK:Decatur's Economic Outlook Fifth Best in Nation

Edited by Alabadrock
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  • 4 weeks later...

For only the second time this decade, a new house is under construction in one of Decatur's historic districts. The home is being built in the Albany historic district, where new construction has to meet stringent guidelines.

Good to see infill housing construction in a historic neighborhood. I hope it catches on and all available lots get built on in the historic districts.

Decatur Daily article reprinted in Montgomery Advertiser: New house being built in historic neighborhood

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For only the second time this decade, a new house is under construction in one of Decatur's historic districts. The home is being built in the Albany historic district, where new construction has to meet stringent guidelines.

Good to see infill housing construction in a historic neighborhood. I hope it catches on and all available lots get built on in the historic districts.

Decatur Daily article reprinted in Montgomery Advertiser: New house being built in historic neighborhood

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A surprising robotics boom

Growth of robotic-aided surgeries in Decatur faster than expected, doctor says

The introduction of the da Vinci Surgical System to Decatur's Decatur General Hospital has produced more activity than expected. So far, the hospital has used the robot to aid in 60 surgeries and is expected to double that by the time the machine's first anniversary rolls around.

The robot assisted surgeries have been so successful that Decatur General has performed 20 robot assisted surgeries faster than any other hospital in the Southeastern United States.

Currently, there are more robot assisted surgeries in Decatur than anywhere else in North Alabama.

A surprising robotics boom

EDIT: Heading needed to be fixed

Edited by Alabadrock
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Decatur Mall plans to expand

The new management company, hired by the new owners of the mall, plan to expand and improve the Decatur Mall, that was formerly owned by Colonial Properties.

Improvements, so far, include moving the Regal Cinemas Theater into the mall. It is currently located on an outparcel location on the perimeter that surrounds the main building. The addition of more outside entrances to the anchor stores is also expected. Also, the city plans to aid in the construction of a road that enters the mall on the southside of the perimeter in efforts to help traffic and improve entrances to the mall.

In 2004, the city offered $4 Million dollars to Colonial to aid in a $19 Million improvement of the mall. Unfortunately, Colonial ceased plans to improve the 1970s era mall.

Link: Mall plans expansion

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Decatur Mall plans to expand

The new management company, hired by the new owners of the mall, plan to expand and improve the Decatur Mall, that was formerly owned by Colonial Properties.

Improvements, so far, include moving the Regal Cinemas Theater into the mall. It is currently located on an outparcel location on the perimeter that surrounds the main building. The addition of more outside entrances to the anchor stores is also expected. Also, the city plans to aid in the construction of a road that enters the mall on the southside of the perimeter in efforts to help traffic and improve entrances to the mall.

In 2004, the city offered $4 Million dollars to Colonial to aid in a $19 Million improvement of the mall. Unfortunately, Colonial ceased plans to improve the 1970s era mall.

Link: Mall plans expansion

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WAFF's report on this as well

Some big news for shoppers in Decatur. The city's only mall will be expanding soon.

It's still early in the planning stage, but the news means new infrastructure and much more.

For the last few years there were rumors of closings, rumors of sales; and now, after a change in ownership, talk about a facelift.

Mayor Don Kyle said, "Some of that included additional outside entrances."

Kyle said don't be surprised to find a food court added as well. "It would include, probably building the theater complex and being in a brand new theatre complex as a component to the primary mall proper."

He says the folks at Jones Lang Lasalle are working hard to utilize space better. That's good news for Decatur shoppers.

Calvin Powers, a shopper said, "that's wonderful for the mall and for the businesses out there and the customers."

Rebecca Bearden said, "I think it would be fantastic. I think they need the additional changes there, the easy access, the movies. That's a good idea."

The city will also help with infrastructure. Mayor Kyle added, "we already had some plans to add a rear street for entry into the parking area and hopefully the six lane that's directly in front of them will be finished fairly quickly this spring."

Nothing has been set in stone yet, but we'll pass it along to you as soon as we do know more.

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Ready to Turn Dirt

Redevelopment in Downtown Decatur

An article in the Decatur Daily reports on the meeting that was held at the Princess Theatre in front of a crowd of 125.

Suggested improvements include turning what is currently a field of gravel and overgrown weeds and grasses into parkspace that is bordered by the railroad tracks, Railroad St, Finley Dr, and Wilson Street (AL 20/ALT 72). Other additions proposed are the building of art galleries and museums that expose the cities history in railroad transport and its tenure as North Alabama's regional hub. Museums would be built where there are currently abandoned buildings and parking lots. The old railroad depot would be transformed into a railroad museum.

The city already plans to plant 30 crepe myrtles on the bend of Lee Street where it curves to the north to turn into Bank Street. If any of you have driven through downtown Decatur, you'll notice that this bend successfully divides the two parts of downtown. The city is looking to join them by improving the asthetics of the area that is now a delapitated part of town that has few places that are actual destinations.

These proposals come after city officials that took a trip to Greenville to study the success of their downtown renewl. Greenville serves as a great model for Decatur because of the similarities the cities share in population and demographics.

ARTICLE: Read to turn the Dirt

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Hartselle OKs subdivision plan near I-65

The planning commision unanimously approved a 51-lot first phase for the Hartselle Heights subdivision along Interstate 65 in Hartselle. The location is just off East Byrd Road near 65, on the eastern side of the interstate. That is about midway between the exits that invovle I-65/AL 36 and I-65/Thompson Rd.

The developer agreed to annex his property after the city told him that they were extending sewer line under the interstate to the far eastern side of the city.

The developer cited the school system as his primary reason for annexing the property into the city limits. One detail that the planning commision did not discuss was the impact that the subdivision would have on the overcrowding schools in the system. Citizens will vote on March 11 on whether or not to approve a 7.5 mill property tax increase to fund a new Hartselle High School.

ARTICLE: Hartselle OKs subdivision

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Living in luxury on Burleson Mountain

The Decatur Planning Commision gave a favorable recomendation about the proposed subdivision on Burleson Mountain in Decatur next to the Indian Hills Golf Course. The current phase will be 35.8 acres of the golf course in 94 lots of the subdivision.

The subdivision will consist of attributes that make it very pedestrian friendly. Off street driveways, and garages, and broad porches will be part of all of the houses. Developers intend to recreate old Decatur in the suburbs.

The full subdivision once completely built will be 400 lots on 166 total acres in the city limits.

ARTICLE: Burleson development

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Decatur Daily reports that the Chile's Bar and Grill in Decatur, in front of Home Depot, will be open by mid August. The developer says that at 6,000 square feet, it will be larger than most of the other Huntsville area locations.

An Academy Sports store is also planned for the lot adjacent to the Chile's location.

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I, along with most of the city leaders and residents, was worried about what was going to happen to the sudden glut of office space in downtown Decatur after all the bank mergers occured. And I've been rather surprised. Not only has office space been taken up by other companies and businesses after AmSouth and UnionPlanters left, there actually seems to be a higher occupancy rate. I'm not sure what entity took up the space in the old AmSouth Tower, but it's obvious there are people in the building during the night, so when you drive down 6th Avenue, it's not just a sea of darkness. And the other Union planters building is now being occupied by Progress Bank, and newly formed bank with offices in Decatur and Huntsville, which I assume is based in Decatur.

Anyways, here's a picture of the building that Progress Bank renovated to an extent.

DecaturApr08007.jpg

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Just looking around on WAFF's website and saw the ALFA Camera Network. Clicked on the Decatur view and it's got a really nice view of the riverfront. You can see the condo project next to Rhodes Ferry Park and I'm sure you'll be able to see building's rising up in a few months at the interchange. :)

http://www.waff.com/global/Category.asp?C=113774

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  • 14 years later...

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