For years, friends and locals have commented on the state of Phenix City: there’s nowhere to eat around here, there’s nothing to do here, and everyone goes to Columbus for all their shopping.
Well, that’s a thing of the past as East Alabama has grown —albeit slowly. If you’re looking at East Alabama through your jaded lenses, then yes, there isn’t anything for you to do, or anywhere for you to eat. But Ladonia has seen tremendous strides in its tax base the last few years with the building of a neighborhood Walmart and Zaxby’s. That might not mean anything to someone who lives off Summerville Road, but to the Ladonia community, having a second Zaxby’s to drive through is great. And not having to face the typical Walmart crowd to get a few essentials is probably a lifesaver.
Then, let’s look at the retail space on 431 South. You see a lot of dirt being moved around and probably complain that it’s taking too long to build, but Renfroe’s will be a blessing to the surrounding community. It’s bound to be a place where you can make a quick drop-in, or get everything on your shopping list for the week. The retail availability that the development will create is good for everyone. I think there is a space, or two, that is still unfilled, but we’re looking at a pizza place and a few other businesses that have announced placement in that area.
If you’ve been following the news, you’re aware that you’ll be hearing the sweet sound of “Welcome to Moe’s” in just a few months in front of Walmart on 280/431. That development space also has a T-Mobile and Aspen Dental. There might already be a Moe’s in Columbus, but driving five minutes down the road is much easier than going through Columbus Park Crossing to get a delicious burrito or salad bowl.
Finally, Culver’s and Aldi have been announced for the space behind Chick-fil-A and the Waffle House. The comments on Facebook about Culver’s shows just how exciting that is for locals, since there’s isn’t one anywhere near here. The German grocery store is a personal favorite, because of its organic line of groceries and cheap produce. That one may take some time, but it’s coming.
Hopefully, in three to five years, we won’t hear that there’s nothing to do here, because of all the things that are being put in place now.
By Denise DuBois, Executive Editor