Economy doesn't deter growth in Auburn

January 12, 2008

By Chris Vessell  bio | email

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - The City of Auburn continues to draw in new commercial development despite the economic downturn. What is now vacant property at the intersection of Moores Mill Road and Hamilton Road is soon to be bustling with business. A CVS is currently being built at the intersection, and a Publix grocery store is expected to start construction this spring.

"It's very exciting, we're very happy for it," John Coleman, a manager for a nearby specialty shop said. Coleman helped open Chow Bella in December. "It's one of the things that made this storefront very attractive, because we knew that this area was going to grow, that there were more commercial areas moving in," Coleman said.

The news of new development at the intersection in Auburn leaves nearby business owners optimistic, excited about the opportunity of increased shopper traffic. "A lot of people ride by here and they don't stop because they're not familiar with it, but when they have to stop at the grocery across the way - they will come over here too," Mary Hudson, The Flower Store manager said.

Phillip Dunlap, Director of Economic Development for the City of Auburn says the Publix grocery store will be what development experts call an "anchor". It's a business that is sure to draw in other commercial deals along with it. "With the advent of CVS, and the additional shops with it, and now the Publix Shopping Center on another corner, we really have enough critical mass as we say, synergy, to create shopping opportunities," Dunlap said.

Dunlap says the recent development deals are proof of Auburn's ability to attract new business. "We have a very diversified economic base, of coarse we have Auburn University, which is the pin of Auburn's economy, but we've supplemented that fairly well," he added.

City officials say Auburn is positioned for business growth that even an economic downturn can't deter. "There's a lot of commercial activity up and down I-85 that we feel very comfortable that Auburn will continue to gain locations and gain their share," Dunlap added. City officials say construction on the Publix grocery store is expected to start by April. The store is scheduled to open sometime in 2010.