Story by Daniel Taylor- The Sand Mountain Reporter
Alabama’s first Food City officially broke ground in Albertville on Tuesday. City officials, Food City executives and developers with Hutton, LLC, gathered at the site to throw out a ceremonial shovel of dirt to commemorate the occasion where it was also announced that an Ulta Beauty and Five Below stores would also be built on the same site.
“To put a store to life takes a little bit of work,” Food City President and CEO Steve Smith said. “You’re going to have one of our most modern stores here … It will have a lot of amenities that I think the people here in Albertville and surrounding areas will really enjoy.”
The 54,000-square-foot store is expected to be one of the largest among the 65-year-old chain and become the cornerstone of the city’s Albertville Marketplace development led by Hutton, LLC.
In addition to an in-store bakery and café, the new Food City will include full-service meat and seafood departments, a wide variety of locally grown fruit and vegetable products, a Starbucks Coffee café, a pharmacy and a Gas N’ Go fuel station outside.
“The variety and selection, I think, will exceed anything in the region here,” Smith said. “And beyond that, we’re going to have some of the finest folks that you’ll ever want to meet — our associates.”
Smith said the store is scheduled to open in March 2021 and will create approximately 175 new jobs for the area.
“We’re going to give back to your community,” he said. “We’re going to do the right things here to be a good community partner.”
Karen Hutton, CEO of Hutton, LLC, commended Mayor Tracy Honea and the city council on their role in bringing the project to fruition.
“It takes visionaries, and I know it didn’t come easy,” she said. “I just want to thank them very much for believing in the community.”
Hutton developing partner Becca Island announced the addition of an Ulta Beauty and Five Below to be built adjacent to the Food City on the same site located at the former Kmart property at the intersection of U.S. Highway 431 and Alabama Highway 75.
“We’ve been through a difficult year as we all know, and we’re very honored and very thankful that we’ve not had this kind of project fall apart in a time that it very well could have,” Honea said. “Albertville has got a lot of good things coming ahead, and we’re super proud to be a part of it.”
Original story by Daniel Taylor of the Sand Mountain Reporter- September 22, 2020