Entertainment district, commercial development may be in Alabaster’s future

Local News
Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

ALABASTER, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabaster City Council Planning and Zoning Commission approved a draft of the city’s comprehensive plan Tuesday night which includes some big developments for the rapidly growing Shelby County suburb.

The plan includes a new civic center in the Medical Mile district that would be part of an entertainment venue. In the draft, the civic center would be located near the intersection of Hwy. 31 and Industrial Road (CR-66).

The comprehensive plan draft also recommends expanded nature trails and a proposed mixed-use residential/professional development in the Siluria area. Some of the listed goals of the plan are to improve the sense of community, to foster a more “tech saavy” business environment, and to give people a variety of transportation options in addition to driving (walking, bicycling, and transit).Photos: See Alabaster’s prospective downtown district

“I think two of the key points are definitely the Medical Mile and the Siluria Mill revitalization effort,” said Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon.

“The Medical Mile is a very positive thing for our city,” she continued. “Claiming that as a district and limiting the type of businesses that can go in that area brings more professional jobs which means you don’t have to leave Alabaster to go to any health care facility.”

Handlon says a lot of resources have been put into redeveloping the Siluria area as well.

It’s already the site of the new Alabaster Municipal Complex and Senior Center. Hanldon envisions a day when the area may also have an amphitheater, or a new library, and a mixed use development that combines residential loft space with commercial space below.

“Right now we don’t have place that really appeals to a millennial, but if we’re going to have a professional job community we need a place for the millennials who don’t want to commit to a house and a yard,” said Handlon.

The comprehensive plan recommends extending the Buck Creek Trail and making redeveloped parts of the city more accessible to foot traffic. It includes the possibility of a shuttle.

Don Satterfield enjoys getting fresh air on the trails that wind through Veteran’s Park in Alabaster. “I got here in ’81,” said Satterfield.

Satterfield says he can remember a time when Alabaster looked a lot different.

“There was one restaurant, downtown,” said Satterfield. “It’s changed a lot.”

He says he doesn’t have anything against a civic center or continued growth, but he likes the city as it is.

“How are they going to pay for this shuttle? More tax funds? I’m against taxes, I’ll be honest with you,” said Satterfield.

Satterfield’s friend Bill Sparacino has a different take.

“I like it when they have a little bit more opportunity,” said Sparacino.

He thinks a shuttle could be worthwhile and likes the idea of extending walking trails like the one that runs through Veteran’s Park.

“I think Alabaster probably needs more sidewalks for people who don’t use a park,” said Sparacino.

Sparacino says he is excited about the potential for new restaurants to come to the area.

The Alabaster City Council is set to consider the comprehensive draft plan at its December 21 meeting. You can read it in depth HERE.

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