TRUSSVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — Business is booming in Trussville as the entertainment district continues showing success. New businesses are moving in left and right.
City leaders said there is a new Mexican brunch restaurant going in, new condos are being rented above their retail space, and the city is building short term rentals right by the entertainment district so people near and far can have a taste of the vibrant night life they now offer.
City Council President Lisa Bright said the entertainment district has been successful on multiple levels, giving the city opportunity to provide more services around town.
A now thriving city, Trussville is even attracting businesses like Scenthound Rountine Dog Care & Grooming.
“I think it’s positioned to explode in growth. I think people, you know, who get tired of the traffic and the small lots and the expensive homes in over-the-mountain neighborhoods are going to find Trussville to be the place they want to go and get to have all the benefits of a Birmingham, but without some of the headaches,” said Jacob Lee, owner of Scenthound Birmingham.
While there are multiple new businesses popping up in the entertainment district and throughout the city, some fan favorites are making a comeback like Velma’s
Current owner Tammy Butler said Velma’s was a local icon in the city of Trussville for over 70 years.
Before it closed in 2012, Butler said it was the place to be- the place everybody knew everybody, and it’s been missed ever since.
As a longtime community member, she said seeing new businesses come in and others reviving is a great sign their community is thriving.
“For us to be able to give something back to our community, like that, it means the world to us, and that’s what’s really important to us, he relationships that we’re going to build here and make with the people,” said Butler. “So many people have messaged us about the relationships they formed here previously. You know, how they met their husband, their wives, their best friend, you know, and they’re still so connected to it. So that’s the coolest part of it for us.”
Although growth can be a sign of success, city leaders tell me it can also come with some growing pains like increased traffic congestion.
Councilor Bright said the entertainment district has been a great financial boost for the city and allows them to provide more for their community members, but traffic is definitely an issue.
That’s why they’re working on short connector roads to help alleviate it, especially on Highway 11.
“We’re doing a loop road on the south side of Chalkville Road and that’s going to help take traffic off of Highway 11,” said Bright. “Then on up towards Paine Elementary School we’re doing a short connector road into our Industrial Park. That will help with the train situation. People that live on that side will be able to have access to get out.”
Butler said Highway 11 is like the new Hwy 280.
Bright noted train blockages also cause congestion in the area, but Trussville and the city of Birmingham have collaborated with Norfolk Southern to receive a planning grant.
$8 million in federal funding will go towards helping areas continuously blocked by trains. In Trussville, Bright said they hope to add seven miles of extra track by Mary Taylor Road for trains to park without blocking traffic.
“I think the planning grant will be instrumental in showing us ways that we can alleviate train blockages,” said Bright. “Norfolk Southern has been extremely helpful in trying to help us along with this because it is a problem. It’s a safety issue, it’s obviously a traffic issue and it effects our businesses as well.”
Bright said Trussville is proud to receive the planning grant and they hope to see it become an implementation grant in the near future.