published Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Firm preps old Food World building for 'national retailer'

Scottsboro, Ala., officials have taken an unusual step to woo another retailer into the former Food World building now owned by Second Street Plaza LLC.

Scottsboro City Council members in September approved a redevelopment and reimbursement agreement with Second Street Plaza LLC that provides up to $500,000 in sales tax rebates over the next 10 years. Under the proposed agreement, the company will get 50 percent of the city's portion of sales tax revenues collected annually by the tenant or tenants of the property, up to $50,000 each year.

Mayor Melton Potter said the agreement has to pass muster with a Circuit Court review, but a future for the former Food World building is at the end of that road.

Potter said the incentive agreement with the company stipulates that annual sales tax collections from the site that exceed the $50,000 cap for the year will go to the city.

Brent Federick, co-owner with Myles Harris of Ridgeland, Miss.-based Second Street Plaza, said the interior demolition was just completed and the naming of a "national retailer" as the new tenant could be just weeks away.

The building was originally constructed as a Kroger grocery store and the last occupant was Food World. Federick said 10 to 12 years have passed since a business operated in the building and it is showing its age in some places.

"We are now in the process of totally renovating that property," Federick said. "The total investment is going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 million."

The building is getting a complete face-lift inside.

"We've gutted the whole building, and we'll build back new inside; new heat and air, new storefronts and doors," he said. "We'll have to put a new roof on it."

The type of work happening at the old Food World is Second Street Plaza's area of expertise, he said. The company seeks out old grocery store and department store buildings to renovate and repurpose for new tenants.

Second Street Plaza usually strips its old buildings down to bare bones for updates, he said.

Federick said the company's most recent development site in Pell City, Ala., is another old Food World building the company renovated for new tenants in 2012.

"The one in Pell City turned out really nice; we're proud of it," he said.

The Scottsboro project "will be as nice or nicer than that one turned out to be," Federick predicted.

An artist's rendering of the renovated building will be released with the announcement of the new tenant, he said. The tenant could open its doors by spring, he said.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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