Beltline to Get a New Hotel
Beltline Road, north of Old Moulton Road, will be the home of a new $7 million Holiday Inn Express that will sit on 2.1 acres and be the catalyst for retail and commercial growth in a prime area of the city that will now provide the necessary infrastructure; namely sewer and an access road to run from Old Moulton to Beltline road. This hotel will help curtail the overflow for tournaments and major events, but there is room to grow.
Sewer Extension Means Retail/Commercial Development
Decatur Utilities finished the $6.5 million first phase of the sewer extension, running along Beltline from Old Moulton Road to Gordon Terry Parkway, in August 2013. Three more phases are planned to extend sewer to Alabama 20. The sewer extension will give direct access to the new hotel and several more commercial lots.
Decatur’s largest retail asset owners, Garrison Investment Group, have a commitment with the city to invest $16 million dollars in the mall. Belk department store completed a $5 million renovation and expansion that included their 90,000-square-foot main store and the relocation of home merchandise into a new 13,000-square-foot Belk Home Store in the mall next to the main store's mall entrance. A new 12-screen, stadium seating, theater features Carmike's big screen concept "BigD" auditoriums, with a 60 foot wide screen lit up by a Digital Cinema Projection System capable of both 2D and 3D presentations. The mall has become a regional retail destination with addition of other shops and eateries.
Mellow Mushroom Comes Downtown
Mellow Mushroom located in historic downtown Decatur opened in March 2013, with the theme “Rolling on the River.” Additional eateries and shopping are needed to enhance a new, vibrant culture that is developing in our thriving downtown now designated as an Arts & Entertainment District. Mellow Mushroom’s outdoor patio has provided the perfect atmosphere for many families, tournament guests and college students looking for an enjoyable casual dining experience.
First Walmart Neighborhood Market in North Alabama Opens in Decatur
The Walmart Neighborhood Market located right in the middle of Decatur on the heavily traveled 6th Avenue Corridor is the first in north Alabama. The 40,000 square foot store is a major enhancement to a very active retail landscape and is helping to fill a major retail gap in the grocery and supermarket category of 40 percent; more than $35 million annually.
An expanded Cook Museum of Natural Science, will move to downtown Decatur. A market survey by America’s Research Group estimated the museum will attract 200,000 visitors a year, not including school groups. The Cook family said it is investing $7 million in the 35,000-square-foot facility, with an expected opening in late 2015. The museum also will include a cafe, a classroom and a 5,000-square-foot space for events and traveling exhibits. Brian Cook said the expanded museum is part of his effort to continue a family legacy. Cook said his family wanted to use the museum’s new location to help promote the redevelopment of downtown Decatur. “We decided we wanted to do something even more meaningful for the community and place it in an area with more synergy,” he said. “It made sense for it to be downtown.”
Double Tree Hotel
Executives of Cooper Hotels, owner of the Garden Plaza Hotel & Suites (formerly Holiday Inn & Suites) for more than 40 years, announced the start of a multi-million dollar renovation and rebranding to convert the hotel into a DoubleTree by Hilton. The refurbished hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton Decatur Riverfront will feature complete renovations to the hotel’s 142 guest rooms and 23 suites, and a new restaurant with a full bar and a Starbucks kiosk. With over 10,000 square feet of event space, it is the city’s largest meeting, banquet and event venue. The renovation is scheduled to be complete by fall 2014.