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Food City plans 6 stores in Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE — Food City is coming to the Rocket City.

The Virginia-based grocery store chain is planning to build six stores in Huntsville, according to a development agreement with the city of Huntsville. The City Council is expected to vote on the resolution at Thursday’s meeting.

The resolution would authorize Mayor Tommy Battle to enter into a Grocery Store Development between the City of Huntsville and Marathon Realty Corp., “for the development of Food City grocery stores.”

“Huntsville’s growth has provided new opportunities to expand our retail offerings, particularly in the grocery sector where some areas are presently underserved,” said Shane Davis, director of Urban and Economic Development. “Food City has a strong reputation as a quality retailer and being a good community partner. They will be an excellent addition to the Huntsville market. This partnership allows Huntsville to secure all six store locations planned to service the Huntsville-Madison County market.

“This is a win-win in that we are able to provide new retail opportunities to areas that need better retail options and the new revenues can be invested back into the community for public infrastructure projects.”

The parent K-VA-T Food Stores operates 149 retail outlets throughout southeast Kentucky, southwest Virginia, east Tennessee, north Georgia and Alabama. The Alabama stores are in Albertville and one will soon be opened in Gadsden.

The company said it will invest about $15 million for each store ($90 million total) and will hire 225 for each store (1,350 total).

The plans for the Huntsville stores call for development in two phases, with the first phase stores being completed within three years. The sites are North Memorial Parkway near Bob Wade Lane, on U.S. 72 near Shields Road and U.S. 431 near Taylor Road.

The second phase stores will be along Alabama 53 north of Research Park Boulevard, near the Jordan Lane-Interstate 565 interchange and west of County Line Road in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County.

Construction on Phase I is expected to start in May with the first store opening this fall.

The company is seeking the city’s help through tax refunds up to a total of $9 million.

The agreement reads “due to the increasing cost of construction materials, labor shortages, and supply chain delays, along with rising interest rates, it cannot construct and develop the Grocery Stores without the financial assistance from the City, and the City has agreed to make certain payments to the Company out of a portion of the net proceeds received by the City from City levied non-educational” sales taxes.

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