IRONDALE, Ala. (WIAT) — Many changes are coming to the Irondale landscape, from new traffic patterns with a roundabout at Grants Mill Road to a new grocery store to new housing.

“The citizens are very excited about the Publix, The Heights, the roundabout, the opening of Grants Mill Road. Then we have five capital projects that we’re working on at the same time,” says Irondale Mayor James D. Stewart Jr.

Stewart says when the last census was done in 2020, the city had grown over 9% and since that census was taken, the city has grown by over 700 people.

“Over the last three years, we’ve been able to move Irondale in a different direction with all the projects we’ve been doing. We’re trying to improve the quality of life because as we improve the quality of life for the citizens that are here, it also works as a magnet to be able to attract new people to the community,” said Stewart.

Stewart said it’s been about 15 years since the city has had a grocery store and after around two years of construction, a Publix is scheduled to open next to the Grants Mill Road roundabout on November first.

“There’s going to be pandemonium in the city on Wednesday, November first because of finally having a grocery store,” said Stewart. “We’re no longer considered a food desert.”

Other major changes to Irondale include the addition of The Heights, a neighborhood of over 170 rental homes with more scheduled to be built.

“It brings a certain type of individual into the city, mostly people that are professional people that are going to be here for a short term,” says Stewart. “They don’t want to buy a house but they can also rent one that is fairly new and don’t have to worry about doing all of the upkeep at the same time.”

Stewart said the city has its eyes set on a specific type of project moving forward.

“The thing that pops up and I hear on a regular basis is when are we going to get some more restaurants in the city? So that’s going to be our focus in ’24,” said Stewart.

Stewart said starting November 1, the city will be launching a campaign to brand itself as the ‘Auto Capitol of the South’.