City, McDonald’s close deal

Published 9:28 am Wednesday, October 6, 2010

After a much-anticipated wait, McDonald’s has signed on the dotted line, sealing the deal on another restaurant at the Rivercane development off Interstate 65 in Atmore.

Mayor Howard Shell announced the $385,920 deal just after 9:30 a.m. Tuesday after broker Tim Herrington of Herrington Realty, Inc. received an overnight package containing the signed contract.

“We are extremely pleased to see McDonald’s be a leader in stepping out to come into Rivercane,” Shell said. “We feel that once they start construction, which is expected right after the first of the year, that we will begin to see some other things move. We have been told that there are some other activities out there, and we’ve had some soft contacts with some of our people. We are hoping things are beginning to look up for everybody.”

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Shell hopes that other businesses will utilize the in-depth research McDonald’s performs prior to constructing new restaurants as a catalyst to also secure property in Rivercane for future development.

“McDonald’s does a good job of checking their demographics and doing background studies before they go in and invest in a property,” Shell said. “Our information is that usually where McDonald’s goes, there are businesses that rely on the due diligence they have done to get there. Sometimes they act as a spark plug and we hope maybe that’s the case here.”

McDonald’s and Herrington have been in contact for more than a year, Shell said. He added that the closing was several months of work coming to fruition.

“McDonald’s had looked at us earlier and had backed off when the economy took a little downturn, but they are beginning to move forward and make some investments in areas and we were one of the ones they chose,” he said.

McDonald’s will be located across from Hardee’s on the northwest corner of Hwy. 21 and Rivercane Boulevard. Construction is planned to begin January 2011.