City hopes Rivercane will continue to attract business

Published 4:48 pm Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Members of the Atmore Industrial Development Board heard positive news that the economy may be improving, during Thursday’s board meeting.

Tim Herrington, of Herrington Realty, Inc., told board members Thursday that a chicken restaurant may soon present a letter of intent to build a store in the Rivercane development, but its owners are waiting to see how sales do at the new Taco Bell location.

“It looks like the food business might be more robust than we anticipated,” said Mark Dauber, a sales associate with John Stanley & Associates Commercial Real Estate of Montgomery. “We might be able to get a few more [businesses] out there in Rivercane.”

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Taco Bell opened its doors in early August. Other restaurants currently in the Rivercane development include Waffle House, McDonald’s and Hardee’s.

Dauber also said that he has been talking with some potential industrial clients for the city. He suggested that the city should designate a particular portion of its land as an industrial park, in order to better attract potential customers.

“We’ve got to have a park in place,” Dauber said. “You’re not going to be competitive if all you have is a sketch or pretty drawing. You’ve got to have assets on the ground.

“Atmore is in a position to attract industry; we just have to be ready.”

Atmore Mayor Jim Staff told Dauber that “we are as ready as we can afford.”

Staff said that the IDB had researched possibly building a “spec building” in order to attract an industrial customer, but such a building can only be constructed if there are enough roads in place to access it. He said there isn’t enough money available right now to undertake such a project.