Construction activity picking up

Published 6:00 am Monday, March 29, 2004

Better weather conditions are helping various constructionprojects start or make progress toward completion, said BrookhavenBuilding Inspector Steve Moreton.

“It’s picked up a lot,” Moreton said about recent buildingactivity. “The weather’s dried out and we haven’t had rain in awhile.”

Moreton credited better weather for an increase in activity byconstruction workers during the first three months of 2004.

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“The ones who are working are happy with the weather. They canaccomplish something,” Moreton said.

Alvin McCrary, assistant superintendent with Bradford BuildingCompany, said crews are working six or seven days a week tocomplete the new Walgreens at the intersection of BrookwayBoulevard and Highway 51. He said the work schedule was beingupdated this weekend.

“As far as them taking the store, we’re hoping to give it tothem by mid-April,” McCrary said.

McCrary said it would then take Walgreens officials a littlewhile to stock the store. Moreton said store officials hoped toopen in May.

“It’ll be nice when it’s through,” Moreton said. “Castles willbe nice.”

A new building for the women’s clothing store is under way onBrookway Boulevard. The store is moving from its West CherokeeStreet location to the approximately $300,00 new building.

Also on the boulevard, work has begun on a new location forBrookway Auto Brokers, owned by Scotty Wallace. The new location iswest of Brookway Market Basket.

“He’s going to move and make it larger,” Moreton said.

Moreton said a $250,000 building will serve as the dealership’soffice while another building, estimated at $127,000, will beleased.

Other activity Moreton mentioned included a new $275,000 loadingdock at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center and a $288,000 family lifecenter at Southway Baptist Church on South Jackson Street.

“They’re just coming out of the ground with it,” Moreton said ofthe church facility.

Moreton said Allbritton Construction is handling severalprojects around town. Among others, he mentioned a new dentist’soffice at the intersection of Natchez Avenue and Highway 51 and newoffice buildings under construction on South Railroad Avenue indowntown.

Tennis court work and other progress is being made at Brookhillon Natchez Avenue, a new recreational club in the southern part ofthe city. The overall project probably will not be finished untilthe summer, but other attractions will be open before then.

“We should be swimming and playing tennis by May 1,” said JohnLynch, who is developing the facility along with David Misner andKeith White.

Two projects getting assistance from state economic developmentgrants are moving forward. Moreton said Lincoln Tie and Timber isplanning a $60,000 building for its operations on Eastpark Lane andtimber is being cleared for a new Sola Fide warehouse project nearFender Trail.

Among residential construction, Moreton said permits for sevennew homes have been issued in the first three months. The estimatedvalue of the new homes is over $732,000.

Also, a new subdivision development on Virginia Avenue is in theworks.

“The city’s approved for them to start,” Moreton said.

For the future, Moreton said he has seen preliminary site plansfor a new O’Reilly Auto Parts on Highway 51 and a new officebuilding south of Brookway. Otherwise, there are some smallerprojects also being considered.

“But I don’t have anything major on the board,” Moretonsaid.