TRUSSVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — Work is underway to demolish aging buildings downtown in order to make room for more modern structures and an entertainment district.
The 18-month project will cost the city an estimated $15.2 million, according to Trussville Mayor Buddy Choat, and bring in an estimated $20 to 22 million in sales tax revenue annually.
“We think it’s going to be worth every bit, every penny of the $15 million,” Choat said. “It’s an investment in our future is what it is. Things are going so well in Trussville with our schools and our neighborhoods and our parks that we just feel like this is something that’s just going to continue to make us a special place.”
Demolition crews are currently tearing down buildings near the intersection of Main Street and North Chalkville Road behind the Braden’s Furniture building, which will also be demolished. New restaurants, retail and a brewery are planned for the downtown revitalization project and an entertainment district — including an amphitheatre — will eventually be built near Main Street and Cedar Street.
“We can do local events, we can bring in national names as we choose, but really it will just be a new, exciting experience,” Choat said. “We call it the Trussville Entertainment District — the TED for short — I just think it’s going to bring a whole new dimension to Trussville and to the Birmingham area.”
Choat said at least five restaurants and a brewery have signed onto the project and more than 400 parking spots will be added to accommodate the growth. A traffic study was done and the streets around the project will be made more pedestrian friendly with sidewalk and landscaping improvements.
Several employees and business owners nearby told CBS 42 they look forward to seeing the project completed.
Freddy Williamson, with Williamson Financial Services, owns the building across from the demolition area and has had a front row seat to all of the changes.
“It’s very exciting when you’ve been around here all your life, because things are changing so rapidly,” Williamson said. “The building that they’re tearing down across the street has been there for probably 75 years if I’m guessing. A lot longer than I have.”
Destiney Dodd works at Kuttin’ Up across from the demolition site and hopes the project will bring more patrons into the business.
“We’re really excited to get it down, get Trussville looking better, get more business in, have the roads cleared, not as much traffic,” Dodd said.
Mayor Choat expects the entire revitalization project will be completed in June 2020 but expects some businesses to open prior to that date.