Officials hope dealership will spur growth

Published 12:09 am Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sanford is on its way to becoming the hottest place in the county for economic growth.

Mayor Chris Thomasson said Friday it is actively recruiting franchise businesses to locate on a recently purchased three-acre parcel on U.S. Hwy. 84 across from Sitel.

“It’s our goal to lure some kind of franchise business,” Thomasson said. “The site is nearly three acres, and we’d love to divide it up into three lots.

“The message we want to get out is that Sanford is ready for business, and the town council will do whatever we can to help,” he said.

He said the town has actively pursued Dollar General to no avail.

“But we’re going to keep trying,” he said.

One of the town’s biggest economic accomplishments was becoming the new home to the J.M. Jackson Chevrolet dealership. Located across from the South Alabama Regional Airport, the new $2.5 million dealership will employ nearly 30 people. Built on six acres, the 25,000 square-foot building will consist of a showroom and sales area, 10 service bays with quick lube facility and a parts and accessory department.

The dealership will open on Monday, and on Friday, staff was busy moving vehicles from Opp to the new location.

Also, Thomasson said a local businessman is working to construct a commercial nursery and garden outlet at the intersection of Loop Road and U.S. Hwy. 84.

“We ran water lines out there a few years ago, and he’s been working on it steadily since then,” Thomasson said of the project.

While located just outside town limits, Thomasson said it will be a nice addition to the growing community.