Photo Courtesy of Sprouts Farmers Market.
New shopping center and organic grocery store
Sprouts Farmers Market, a grocery store chain based in the Southwest, could open its first Alabama store in Hoover this year.
During a public hearing in November, the Hoover City Council passed a motion to rezone a lot across John Hawkins Parkway from The Grove shopping center for a new development called The Crossings of Hoover. The proposed site is directly across John Hawkins Parkway from the entrance to The Grove shopping center.
According to Hoover Executive Director Allen Pate, when complete the development would include both the medical center and a 25,000-square-foot space for a large retailer, identified tentatively as Sprouts.
Sprouts Farmers Market, according to the store’s website, offers a wide selection of natural and organic foods alongside traditional supermarket fare. The chain has more than 150 stores in eight states in the Southwest — the closest in Texas — and employs more than 11,000.
Construction of free-standing ER
For many residents of South Shades Crest Road and the surrounding areas, the closest emergency room is about 10 miles away. However, during the State of the City Address in December, Mayor Gary Ivey announced that a construction project this year will lead to changing that.
In October, the Hoover City Council approved an agreement to help bring a free-standing emergency medical facility to the City across John Hawkins Parkway from the entrance to The Grove shopping center. Pate said UAB Medical West is planning an 18,000-square-foot facility at the back of the property, further south toward I-459.
As a level-3 center, it would have resources for emergency resuscitation and surgery but would be supported by a transfer agreement with a level 1 trauma center. The facility would also have the means to receive and send patients by helicopter.
Council Member John Lyda said the center is proposed to have 10 emergency treatment rooms and two trauma rooms and could see 12,000 to 15,000 patients each year. UAB Medical West filed for a Certificate of Need (CON) with the state in December 2011 and was approved in September 2012. A CON for Princeton Baptist Medical Center to build a free-standing ER in the same area was approved by the review board at the same time.
Development of the site includes planning by the City of Hoover. Pate said that with new developments, the City can be responsible for providing infrastructure. However, Hoover elected for the developer to build both a new road into the site and turn lane from John Hawkins Boulevard.
USA Football Bowl Festival
This month, the USA Football Bowl Festival will take place at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
In November, Dennis Wilson, president of USA Football Network, Inc. and Metropolitan New York Football Writers Association, announced that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the bowl, and he hopes to make Hoover the festival’s permanent home.
The event begins on Sunday, Jan. 19 with a traditional USA College Football Awards Banquet where college division national awards are presented. On Monday, Jan. 20, the senior all-star game will kickoff at 1 p.m. at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. On Tuesday, Jan. 21, NFL, CFL and AFL coaches and scouts will conduct a USA Professional Football Leagues Testing Combine.
Each team has a roster of 66 players, and Wilson said the SEC will be well represented with students selected from schools such as Mississippi State, Auburn and Arkansas. The five-day event will make Alabama the home of two of the three primary college football all-star events that are recognized by national media.
For more information on the festival, visit usafootballbowl.com.
U.S. road-widening project
Construction projects that will add a full lane traveling in each direction between the I-459 overpass and Data Drive south of Chace Lake, a distance of approximately a mile and a half, are on track to begin this spring.
The project is designed to make travel easier through the intersection of U.S. 31 and Alabama 150, which Hoover Mayor Gary Ivey said is one of the busiest in the city.
ALDOT informed the City last summer that it wouldn’t be able to complete construction before the holiday shopping season, so the Council agreed to postpone the work.
“We had made it very clear we didn’t want construction going on during Christmas,” Ivey said. “ALDOT sent the letter after meeting with our staff to confirm that if it wasn’t going to be complete by the holiday shopping season, we needed to move it.”
To assist drivers traveling north, a full turn lane will be constructed at the I-459 interchange for drivers intending to go west on the interstate toward Tuscaloosa. This is intended to reduce the bottleneck that sometimes spills onto the highway and impedes traffic flow.
Hoover’s financial contribution to the widening project will be capped at $500,000 -— reflecting a 50 percent match with the State of Alabama up to $1 million. Any excess will be covered by the State.
The area is already seeing traffic improvement with the opening of the Chapel Lane extension in late November, just in time for the holiday shopping season. As part of a plan to ease congestion around the Riverchase Galleria and Patton Creek shopping center, the extension was designed to give residents of Bluff Park and Patton Chapel neighborhoods access to these areas without using U.S. 31. It connects Al Sier Road and Galleria Boulevard.