Clanton used past prices to determine recent land purchase cost

Published 9:11 am Tuesday, March 28, 2023

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

When negotiating the city’s recent land purchase on Highway 31, Mayor Jeff Mims used the prices of property the city had purchased previously in the area as a guide.

The city purchased eight acres near County Road 7 for $1.2 million on March 22 to market for future retail development. Mims said the property owner Top Shelf Logistics, which is owned by Allen Williams, initially wanted more for the property. An appraisal was not completed on the property prior to purchase. Instead, Mims said he used prices of properties the city has purchased in the area in the past to determine what the city was willing to pay. This comparison included 1.45 acres that the city had an appraised prior to purchase in summer of 2022. This property, located across from Walmart next to Popeye’s, was purchased for $655,000, according to city records.

The plan is to recruit retail development to the eight-acre site, including a chain grocery store.

Mims said purchasing the property also improves the look of the area.

The Clanton City Council gave the mayor authority to negotiate land purchases as a part of an ordinance to borrow $5 million for purchasing and improving land for economic development.

“The Mayor and the City Clerk, or either of them, are each hereby further authorized and directed to execute such instruments, directions, orders, notices, agreements, certificates or other documents as shall be necessary or desirable in order to carry out the transactions contemplated by this Ordinance,” the ordinance states.

The motion was passed unanimously on July 11.

A number of land-related projects have been in the works since the ordinance passed, and Mims said he gives the city council updates at work sessions. Some of these work sessions have included executive sessions. Mims said council members can present concerns during these meetings, but they have not objected to moving forward with purchases.

One project has been to recruit a hotel, Hampton Inn by Hilton, to the city-owned property on Big M Boulevard near Interstate 75, Exit 205. The city purchased the site for $1.5 million. Mansa CTN LLC is buying half of the property, slightly less than two acres, for $850,000. Mims said on March 27 that talks have begun with developers for the remaining property the city owns at the site. This remaining portion of the Exit 205 city-owned property would be sold to the developer as a part of the final agreement