The city of Chelsea: One of the fastest growing cities in Alabama

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City of Chelsea (CBS 42)

The city of Chelsea is known as one of the fastest growing cities in Alabama, according to the U.S. census bureau.

Every year, statistics from the U.S census bureau shows the population in Chelsea has grown. In 2010, they had around 10,000 people living in Chelsea. Mayor Tony Picklesimer said in 2019, they’re look at at a population of 15,000, which is a big milestone for the city.

Over the hill off Highway 280 is a city that is seeing a lot of change.

Chelsea is driving in a lot of young families. Many said it’s because of the schools and the people.

“When we moved in, some of these houses weren’t built. They’re built and all sold. People are already moved in,” said Nikki Madeley, who lives in Chelsea with her husband and children.

“For Chelsea, it’s the small town feel. It’s a tight-nit community. I know it’s growing and maybe losing some of that but Chelsea has been a great community,” said Jason Vandiver, who moved to Chelsea last year with his family.

Chelsea mayor Tony Picklesimer said his city is family-oriented.

“One of the key factors I believe is we have 89.8% home ownership rate so what that mean is 9 out of 10 properties in Chelsea , the people that live in them, own them, and so we’re not a transit community,” said Picklesimer.

Many new homes in Chelsea are sold or have very few ‘for sale’ signs up in the neighborhood.

“Chelsea is a boom town. People are choosing to move to Chelsea simply because it’s convenient to lots of restaurants and shopping but you still get a small town feel,” said Tiffany Bittner, with ARC Realty.

According to ARC realty, 310 units were sold from January to May of 2018 with an average price of $256,000. From January to May of 2019, 145 units have been sold, but the average price has gone up to $265,000.

“Ii think the main thing is the budget. You can get more house for your dollars,” said Bittner.

Bittner said a new neighborhood is being proposed that would bring in 400 houses, but adding homes aren’t the only priority for the city.

“We did a 13 million dollar capitol budget last year that included a phase 2 in our athletic complex, another fire station on the eastern end of town to circle our coverage for our citizens. Also, a big addition at the community center. We’ll be adding a splash pad and a wave pool and an Amphitheater out at the playground so with the growth its all good but it brings responsibility ,” said Picklesimer.

Picklesimer said his big goal is to bring in a hotel, but they’re also closing a deal on a 12 acre business park in the foothill area on July 1. The mayor said the city’s blessing and curse is highway 280.

“We’re actually working with the regional planning commission now to try to try to create some service roads and create opportunities for neighborhoods to be able to get to a grocery store and get to restaurants and get to post office without ever getting on 280,” said Picklesimer.

“I would love to see more shopping come to the main part of Chelsea and the 280 area because the woe is going over the mountain and dealing with the traffic,” said Chelsea resident Jason Vandiver

Families said the growth brought them in to Chelsea, but the people and small-town feel are whats keeping them around.

“Its amazing and all the neighbors are super friendly,” said Madeley.
“It’s been a good move for us,” said Vandiver.

Mayor Picklesimer said because they hit around 15,000 in population, that’s a big number for commercial developments. He said expect to see more businesses, chain restaurants, and hopefully a hotel coming to the Chelsea area in the next few years.

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