GARDENDALE, Ala. (WIAT) — New businesses are popping up all over Gardendale, and according to the Gardendale mayor, they’re just the start to the city’s growth.

Recently, a Santos Coffee opened its doors to business and construction is currently underway for an Ulta.

Additionally, last week the city broke ground on a Woods Trading Company with sites for several hotels and a Sonic on the horizon as well.

Mayor Stan Hogeland said this is proof of the city’s immense growth.

“With all the growth south of town, it was just a matter of time before it started coming north,” Hogeland said.

In just the last year, he said the number of new businesses skyrocketed, starting with national brands such as Longhorn Steakhouse and Olive Garden along I-65, which helped put them on the map.

“Anytime that you can bring destination restaurants or retail is great for the community because then, the smaller businesses have the opportunity for people to see where they are,” Hogeland said.

Ellen and Mark Herron from Dora are excited about the developments. They came to town on Monday to see the eye doctor and try out the new restaurants. Ellen said Gardendale is closer to their residence than Birmingham, Hoover or Homewood.

“It’s fantastic. It saves a lot of time,” said Mark.

Hogeland said these businesses are also bringing new jobs and much-needed tax dollars into the community. It’s a trend he hopes will continue.

“It’s the ability to be able to keep the money here locally … It’s very rewarding,” Hogeland said.