NORTHPORT, Ala. (WIAT) — The City of Northport is experiencing a lot of growth, with many new businesses under construction, and some already are open. Mayor Bobby Herndon said he and the City Council are excited and said the growth will be good for the economy and tax base.

“The lodging tax and people coming in more and shopping in Northport eating downtown and walking on the levee trail by the river. It’s awesome and means a lot to have more people and businesses coming in and more people seeing what Northport has to offer,” he said.

Along Highway 82 there is a new Guthrie’s Restaurant, Papa Murphy’s Pizza, Planet Fitness and Firehouse Subs under construction. Next to Firehouse is a Marble Slab Creamery and Great American Cookies.

Mayor Herndon said Northport is headed in the right direction.

“Like I’ve said many times before, I want Northport to be the preferred city anywhere, a place where you can eat and shop and live and work,” he said. “And it’s going in that direction.”

A new Waffle House just opened for business Wednesday in Northport on Rose Boulevard. Michael Clements is the area Vice President.

“Anytime you can expand business out to what I consider outskirt areas from Tuscaloosa it’s going to bring economic gain that wasn’t here before,” he said. “We’ve had people stop here that have been traveling coming in to eat yesterday and this morning. So it is going good.”

Downtown Northport is getting a new hotel soon, with a Courtyard by Marriott currently under construction. Mayor Herndon told CBS 42 this will be a game-changer for the city. He is hoping football fans will stay at the hotel for gameday weekends. Herndon says all the new growth is good competition against neighboring Tuscaloosa.

“I love Tuscaloosa, but I am the Mayor of Northport,” he said. “Yes we are competing, and Mayor Maddox is a friend of mine. When they get something great, I clap for them, and when we get things that are great, they clap for me. We want things that are not only going to improve Northport, but our whole community”.

Herndon says the new Courtyard Hotel should open for business in Sept. 2022.