Council addresses letter

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By Blenda Copeland

The Phenix City Council publicly responded at its meeting Tuesday to a citizen’s letter to the editor printed in The Citizen of East Alabama last week.

The letter, written by former city employee Greg Glass, asked questions regarding a grocery store called Renfroe’s set to establish in a development in South Phenix City off U.S. Highway 431.

The newspaper previously covered the issue when the city first broke the news about it.

During Tuesday’s meeting, City Councilman Steve Bailey said the city hasn’t spent any money yet.

“This is going through slower” he said of the project, than the city wanted it to, and he said it’s not the city’s fault, but citizens will like the finished product.

Assistant City Manager Steve Smith publicly said unflattering remarks about Glass, the author of the letter, and mentioned “misinformation.” Smith said that the project, being completed through Amendment 772 of the Constitution of Alabama, will bring a “substantial” amount of revenue to the city. He said permits have been issued and the development will be one of the best the city has ever seen.

Mayor Eddie Lowe followed Smith’s comments, asserting that no one is doing wrong or accusing anyone of doing anything wrong and that the project is “economic development.”

The city will sub-lease the building being developed by Altera Development Company LLC to Renfroe’s. The slightly more than 40,000 GSF property on the 22-acre site will be located on Highway 431.

At its meeting Tuesday, the city council approved a subordination, non disturbance and attornment agreement with the developer, Altera, and Wells Fargo Bank Northwest, N.A. between all three parties. The council also agreed to sign a Tenant Estoppel Certificate with Altera. Essentially, the agreement ensures that the sub-leaser, Renfroe’s, can remain a tenant in the building if for some reason, financing or other issues should arise for the developer.