Photo by Roy L. Williams.
Ross Bridge Welcome Center
Max Harbuck, a Ross Bridge resident serving on the advisory committee, hopes developer Daniel Corporation can attract a restaurant to the former Welcome Center building behind him.
When the Ross Bridge Welcome Center opened in June 2005, the community was just drawings on paper with residential lots being cleared.
Ten years, a luxury hotel and 1,300 homes later, Ross Bridge has become one of Hoover’s most successful residential developments, setting the stage for change at the welcome center.
he Ross Bridge Welcome Center, located at 2101 Grand Ave. at the main entrance to the community, closed effective June 30, when developer Daniel Corporation’s 10-year lease expired.
Jeff Boyd, vice president of residential development for Daniel Corporation, said the lease expiration was intentional from the start.
“The time has passed where we need a welcome center to operate,” Boyd said. “We always intended to find a follow-on commercial use to better serve the community once we no longer had a need for a welcome center.”
Nothing official has been decided, but Boyd said a neighborhood market or restaurant is a possibility. Signature Homes, which has built most of the homes in the development, will maintain its office next door.
Since Ross Bridge Parkway and the welcome center opened in June 2005, Ross Bridge has grown to 1,350 homeowners and a goal of 1,778 homes when complete, Boyd said.
Ross Bridge’s 12th neighborhood, Sawyer Trail, is currently under development and will have some homes started later this year.
Boyd said only three other neighborhoods still have homes and lots available for sale: Haddon, The Hamptons and Glasscott. Sales offices still operate in these neighborhoods.
“Ross Bridge is a great community,” said Boyd, who has lived in the community since shortly after it opened. “We have fantastic public parks, just opened our third community swimming pool and, of course, great Hoover schools.”
Derrick Murphy, president of the Hoover school board, said getting his children in the Hoover school system was the deciding factor to move into Ross Bridge’s Abbeyglen neighborhood nine years ago. He also was enticed by the amenities and the diversity of its neighborhoods.
“Ross Bridge is a wonderful, family-focused community,” Murphy said. “My neighbors are like an extension of my family.”
Murphy said he was glad to know the facility will still be available for residents’ use for family outings or reunions, as well as the possibility of a restaurant or neighborhood market tenant.
“I am curious what the future plans are for the building, but I feel confident in the developer leadership in planning for the area,” Murphy said. “Ross Bridge continues to see residential growth but I see a need for a small commercial grocery store, drug store, etc.”
Max Harbuck, a resident and charter member of the Ross Bridge advisory committee, also hopes the empty space can attract a commercial tenant.
“The residents would welcome having similar retail business establishments like the ones in The Preserve,” Harbuck said. “However, the main thing we would like and need is a grocery store, in my opinion.”
Boyd said no timeline has been set for making a decision on the building's future.